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Zen Guitar Paperback – March 24, 1998
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Top Customer Reviews
What the book does--or did for me, at any rate--is help you evaluate why you play guitar in the first place and gives you some food for thought as you go about achieving your guitar goals. I am a sloppy, self-taught player, I have no experience with Zen teachings, and I'm not big on books that offer fun new dogma--but I found the book's focus on the spiritual and emotional aspects of creating music on a guitar as well as the musician's unique and personal relationship with the instrument both fascinating and extremely valuable. I feel I'm a better player now, practicing with sharper goals and better intentions; the book's advice has helped both broaden my outlook and focus my efforts. At no time does Zen Guitar neglect the importance of practice; it is, in fact, at the heart of the book (its First Point Of Focus: "Don't ask, practice"). Many of its concepts are direct from Zen teachings and beliefs, but the book neither preaches nor drags.
Zen Guitar is a difficult book to describe, but I didn't find it difficult to comprehend--and I was able to apply its wisdoms to my playing immediately. As long as you *want* to explore the spiritual aspect of playing guitar, the book can be an invaluable tool.
Since the first time i picked up a guitar back in 1995, i've been completely and utterly awed and inspired by Johnny Rzeznik of the GOO GOO DOLLS. His songwriting and guitar playing always amazed me, and in one interview i read, he had spoken about this book and how it had helped him.
Now, i have been playin guitar for 8 years now...and i'm pretty damn good! I've played for professional theatre productions, various bands, i even played in the band for Late Show with David Letterman. I thought i was good ~ Then i read this book and realized just how much i was MISSING!
Don't get it wrong ---> this book isn't going to poison you with some strange new dogma. All you need to do is believe that there is in fact a spiritual connection between what your fingers are doing on the fretboard and what is going on in your heart. This book teaches you how to harness that and use it to your advantage. I honestly believe, and dozens of my co-workers and friends have agreed, that my guitar playing has been taken to a whole new level.
ALL YOU GUITAR PLAYERS OUT THERE, I URGE YOU TO DO THE SAME. This book will be the best ... bucks you'll ever spend in your musical career. Enjoy it, and learn something. You might be surprised by what you find out.
I do know what the book is about. I'm just having trouble finding it useful because it spends its time telling you how to be, without spending much time at all on *how* to change. It tells you the the qualities you should adopt in your approach to the guitar; but it tells you very little in how to internalize those qualities.
For example, the book starts by telling you that having the beginner's mind, even when you no longer seem like a beginner by the opinion of outsiders, is of absolute paramount importance. It tells you that you should try to approach the guitar with no preconceptions, as if you've never played before so that what you've learned in the past isn't a barrier to learning more now. I like this philosophy; indeed, as I understand it, many authors have suggested that this is the central precept to following the path of Zen (and, for that matter, to learning anything else, not just guitar).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While Zen is a great philosophy for life and living it to the fullest, this book incorporates Zen into learning, playing and performing with the guitar. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Corey H
My favorite book on the subject of guitar playing and zen. Worth every penny, if you teach guitar or any instrument I highly recommend picking this up.Published 1 month ago by Marc A. Quagliara
My favorite music book of all time. Full of inspiration and insights for every musical person.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
What a great read for every level of guitarist. I must've highlighted something on every page. Read it then read it again, white to black and to white again.Published 1 month ago by Jlarranaga
This was my second reading of Zen Guitar. I am now ready to begin to read it again from the beginning for I am back to where I started. Read morePublished 2 months ago by J. Puleo
This book has become my go to reference not only for guitar but for my everyday endeavours.Published 2 months ago by Ulric von Bek
I bought this book when I was 18. It was a random book I found in the guitar section at Borders. At the time, I didn't know what I was holding in my hands but this has become one... Read morePublished 6 months ago by MM510e