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Publisher's Summary

Unleash the song of your soul with Zen Guitar, a contemplative handbook that draws on ancient Eastern wisdom and applies it to music and performance.

Each of us carries a song inside us, the song that makes us human. Zen Guitar provides the key to unlocking this song - a series of life lessons presented through the metaphor of music.

Philip Sudo offers his own experiences with music to enable us to rediscover the harmony in each of our lives and open ourselves to Zen awareness uniquely suited to the Western mind. Through 58 lessons that provide focus and a guide, the listener is led through to Zen awareness. This harmony is further illuminated through quotes from sources ranging from Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix to Miles Davis. From those who have never strummed a guitar to the more experienced, Zen Guitar shows how the path of music offers fulfillment in all aspects of life - a winning idea and an instant classic.

©2013 Philip Toshio Sudo (P)2017 Simon & Schuster

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  • Overall
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Excellently Simple and Refreshing

I've been playing advanced level guitar now for 20 years and I highly recommend this book to anyone who plays, or even is thinking about learning to play the guitar.

Zen Guitar is one of the most important and enjoyable books out there covering playing an instrument. The concept of zen is familiar to many, and this book is certainly laden with familiar concepts, but it manages to relate those concepts incredibly well to the art of learning, practicing, and playing an instrument (not necessarily guitar; this book applies to any instrument... it is not an exercise book), all the while reminding you that those very same concepts seamlessly overlap into everyday life, and stretch far beyond the scope of playing an instrument.

Overall: This is a broad range of mental techniques that can change a person's perspective when applied to an instrument. That's what makes it different than the other books out there. There's really no technical knowledge, just spiritual and overall well being as the goal. I really can't say enough good things about this book. If you play any instrument at all... or hell, even if you don't... give it a shot.

19 people found this helpful

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Great! Been playing for 15+ years...love it!

When I first saw the title of this book, I almost laughed and thought of a cheesy collection of words and ideas I would steer clear of....then after seeing others recommend it in an online music forum (one of those forum that are actually worth reading), I decided to ditch my judgements (hang-ups) and listen to....Zen Guitar.

Yeah, my initial judgement was totally wrong. This book really speaks to me....

I’ve listened to it start to finish three times so far, and I’m still not finished with it....each time it helps me with a new insight or application for my art or in my life.....

Such good advice and wisdom....for playing and learning the guitar, yes - but also for any creative or meaningful endeavor.

This book will not give you technical lessons, you will want other books or teachers for that. But this book will share a point of view that can help you see beyond the surface of things....to help you see the deeper meaning in your choices, your actions, your thoughts and your life......

I’m no professor....just someone that makes things (professionally) and is really interested in bettering myself and learning....along the way I’ve read some guitar books, creativity book, philosophy books.....and this book has it’s place in my library.

I find myself coming back to this book for many reasons... the reason that come to mind right now... - I enjoy it’s mixture of deep concepts and ideas + relaxed and down to earth tone + easy application in my art and in my life....

I find the reader’s voice relaxing, the authors words and thoughts interesting and at times inspiring and insightful....I feel more centered and engaged in any activity after listening and thinking about these ideas. (I guess I use this book to remind myself of some of these concepts....throughout life, these things are so easy to forget...)

This may be my first or second review after listening to...maybe 100+ books on this app
- but felt like sharing my thoughts on this one - partially because I continue to learn from it....and partially because my initial and harsh judgment of this book was so completely wrong...

(I literally judged this book by it’s (digital) cover....and you already know how that goes...)

Also, the interspersed quotes from music legends are a welcomed connection - from the abstract world of Zen philosophy - to the world of familiar music that means so much to me.... this can help to remind you - that you are not alone when you struggle to master your instrument or your art or your life....
remember....the masters struggle too....
Damn it - they’re right there with you.... everybody is....

I know a lot of people that would grow from reading or listening this book....I know I have...and I continue to :)

Ok - now this feels like a journal entry...might as well keep going....


Other books & ideas that come to mind:

THE WAR OF ART
by
Steven Pressfield
(Creativity & Making “Art”)
(Or anything by Steven Pressfield)

THE ART OF MENTAL TRAINING
by
DC Gonzalez

MAN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING
by
Viktor Frankl
(Life’s meaning / Practical Philosophy)

THE COURAGE TO CREATE
by
Rollo May
(amazing thoughts & Practical life philosophy)

MAN’S SEARCH FOR HIMSELF -
- another great book by Rollo May

Or anything by:

Herman Hesse, Bill Hicks (genius stand-up comedian from the 1980 & 1990’s), Allan Watts, or was that GG Allen....

Wait - now that I think about it...I’m just some stranger....why would you listen to me......?

2 people found this helpful

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learned a lot

I recommend focusing on the words/taking notes.it might even change the way you see playing guitar, very informative and deep!

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a great book for this moment in my life

narrator was great for this material. amazin . i have been waiting to read this for years. and for whatever reason now i decided to take a listen. i can honestly day this has changed my thought process for the better. not just for guitar but other aspects of life.

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Zen Guitar way of life

I just finished this @Audible and I loved it. Speaks to me on so many levels. I’ve been playing guitar for 50 years and I still have beginners mind every time I pick up one of my 13 guitars. ❤️

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Great listen

This book helped me think about guitar playing and music in a bigger way. It could apply to any instrument, type of music or hobby for that matter. It relates music and the practice of it to zen and mindfulness. Highly recommended

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Thought provoking and exceptional.

My guitar instructor recommend this book around 10 years ago. Every few years I've been brought back to it. You have to be ready to really take it in, but it's not only invaluable for any beginning guitar players, it's a must for any professional guitarist that's struggling to still find their way.

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what I needed to take the next step

this book has
inspired me to take my guitar journey down the road further to where it may lead...

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Great advice on how to relate to music and life

I kept thinking to myself how one could insert any type of action and these attitudes would be relevant and useful. As a zen practitioner I found the book helpful and akin to Dogen's Instructions to the Cook.

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SuperCool

Found out about this book through ..Dean Delray Let There Be Talk Pod Cast with Sebastian ..ended up getting an audible subscription.. this turned me on to a new adventure... thanks Dean Bach Audible