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Zen Guitar Paperback – Mar 24 1998

38 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1 edition (March 24 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068483877X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684838779
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.3 x 19 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #46,984 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Philip Toshio Sudo a student of Eastern philosphy and martial arts and a lifetime guitar player he developed the Zen guitar philosophy performing in the streets, parks, and subways of New York City.

Inside This Book

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Welcome to the Zen Guitar Dojo. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Yar Yankevych on Nov. 9 2005
Format: Paperback
'Zen Guitar' is an inspiring & easy read. It's not a heavy & hardcore explanation of zen philosophy or a crash course on learning to play guitar or a combination of both. It's more about developing & keeping a positive head-space about playing guitar & making music. I've been playing for eons & have heard all the points made dozens of times over the years, but like alot of players, don't always keep in mind. Aspects like... spirit, inner voice, technique, feel, mistakes, discipline, self doubt, ego, competion etc. are explained with an eastern/zen philosophical flavour, but always stressing maintaining a positive perspective about playing & about oneself. Words of guidance for the beginner, inspiration & wisdom for the intermediate, & a good refresher for the experienced player = 'Zen Guitar'
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 24 2002
Format: Paperback
This book seeks to inspire one to practice more and to be more focused on one's music and musical goals. But the problem is that the author tells you to do this, to do that, to watch out for this, but not for that, to think like this, and not like that, to try this, but not that, to be humble, yet at the same time intrepid, etc. ad infinitum. I want so bad to follow a wise path in my music, and the author of 'Zen Guitar' seems to have a lot to offer in that respect- TOO MUCH to offer, actually. I find myself getting so worried and caught up in following the authors many rules, noting his exceptions, avioding his stated pitfalls, and trying to be follow his fine-line, 'one mistake and you're out' path, that I am just going crazy trying to remember it all when I am playing. So I find I am not in zen at all. On the contrary, when trying to follow the authors well-intended advice, I get confused about just what kind of person the author would like for me to be, and I am full of self-doubt when I realize that I can not be as perfect as the author would like for me to be. It's hard enough practicing for a few hours each day. I just can't concentrate on what Philip Toshio Sudo wants me to do all the time, especially when I am playing. So sorry Philip- I know you mean well with 'Zen Guitar', but it's just too hard-line for me.
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Format: Paperback
Someone who is a great guitar player recommended this book to me. I study art and very interested in philosophical interpretation of music, art, life etc.
Once I started to read it, I could not believe how many great thoughts it had. This book has SO many valuable sayings written in such a simple language! Take for instance couple of these, "if you can't play what you hear, then hear what you play" or "do it [practice] as much as needs to be done, as well as it needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and do it this way every time."
I don't like to read it too fast though because I need to put it through my own "filter", well, I just like to chew on :).
I would say that "Zen Guitar" is for anyone who is interested in philosophy or/and any kind of art. I play some music instruments as well, and I think this book will help you depending on what you are looking for. For some it is strictly for that specific instrument (read: GUITAR) and will put some more soul in their sound but for others it just can be a starting point to many exciting discoveries in LIFE... enjoy!
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By A Customer on Aug. 13 2002
Format: Paperback
In this age of mainstream music and synthesized music and voices, and [disappointing] boy bands, VERY few musicians, unfortunately, carry any passion at all for their instrument, or even their craft.
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.
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Format: Paperback
This may be the most important contemporary work dealing with "the musician's state of mind".
Most guitar books are filled with the guitar gibberish that people "think" they need...many folks read them and accumulate an abundance of skills, but fail to consider why they really need skills. Most Zen books are chock full of Zen parables that people "think" ought to be included in a Zen text, ...many folks read them and accumulate an abundance of clever stories, but fail to realize that each story is a tool designed to inspire a particular state of mind. This book splits the difference and gives your head what it actually needs...the essential state of mind needed to make truly heartfelt music.
To truly appreciate this book, one must be willing to explore, in depth, on a spiritual level, the reasons that one is drawn to making music. Not everyone is seemingly able to do this. I truly feel bad for, but do not fault those who are unable to appreciate the gravity of this work.
Oh, one other thing, RIP Philip, you will be missed.
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