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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vital Read for Aspiring Performers
Former principal bassist of the Cincinnati Symphony, Barry Green has created what has to be one of the most important books on musical psychology ever written. As a young clarinetist myself, I've found this read to help me change from one who frets over my auditions and solos to becoming a confident musician in front of others.
Green begins by discussing what makes...
Published on July 9 2004 by L. Ku

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3.0 out of 5 stars The inner game of music. More for the neophyte
Bought this book as a helper while getting ready for a cello royal conservatory exam, and it did not live up to my expectations. This book's wider spectrum of music appreciation subject and general mental prep. would fit a beginner/ neophyte population better than advanced musicians. Well written but broader spectrum of subject as if there is no main subject but a...
Published 2 months ago by color my universe


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vital Read for Aspiring Performers, July 9 2004
By 
L. Ku "pgroups" (New York) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Inner Game of Music (Hardcover)
Former principal bassist of the Cincinnati Symphony, Barry Green has created what has to be one of the most important books on musical psychology ever written. As a young clarinetist myself, I've found this read to help me change from one who frets over my auditions and solos to becoming a confident musician in front of others.
Green begins by discussing what makes up a good performance. He invented the formula P = p - i, where P is the level of the performance, p is the potential of the performer, and i is the level of mental interference during the performance. He explains how to decrease the amount of i in order to bring the level of P as close as possible to p.
Green then digs further into his ideas by introducing to two "selves". Quoted, "Self 1 is our interference. It contains our concepts about how things should be, our judgments and associations. It is particularly fond of the words 'should' and 'should not' and often sees things in terms of what 'could have been. Self 2 is the vast reservoir of potential within each one of us. It contains our natural talents and abilities, and is a virtually unlimited resource that we can tap and develope. Left to its own devices it performs with gracefulness and ease." Green goes own to give advice and excercises on how to ignore the interference of self 1 during performance and how to let self 2 work uninterupted.
Over the next chapters, Green goes into more technical and complicated details, while teaching us the powers of awareness, will, and trust. These three chapters are loaded with useful excercises, and most of them have the least do with music, at least directly. But they all tie in somewhere. Green also writes of 'Letting Go', a chapter all about how to 'become' the music while playing, rather than looking at it from a technical aspect.
Later, there's a particularly good chapter on how to, not perform but, listen to music. It explains why sometimes we don't feel moved by the music, and then gives relevant solutions to enjoying the performance.
Green chooses to end the book by not recapping all the techniques he have taught, but instead by writting several chapters on realizing how big a gift music is, and how to appreciate it to the fullest extent.
Reading this book is a potentially life changing experience. I urge all of you to give it a try...even if you are already a capable performer.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected benefits of this book!!!, Dec 5 2002
By 
Kevin Schoening (Champaign, Illinois United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Inner Game of Music (Hardcover)
I bought this book on the recommendation of a friend. He thought it would improve my guitar playing. What I noticed almost immediately, within the excercizes is actually a methodolgy for dealing with attention deficit disorder! I have had ADD since before there was a diagnosis for it and the methods in this book are not only helping me with music but are also having a profound affect on other areas of my life. I don't think it was the author's intent to help in this regard, but this "inner game" method has far reaching implications....Thank you!!!...
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spiral Binder, Please., Dec 26 2009
By 
Bonita Majonis (Toronto) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Inner Game of Music (Hardcover)
I am a amateur classical guitarist and bought the book on recommendations of others to deal with performance anxieties. While I am not a fan of self help books, this book does resonate with me and I am finding the discussion and suggestions interesting and useful.

I am about one third of the way through. The book has exercises for musicians and singers to perform, so giving it a hurried read will not deliver full benefits. I also think that multiple reads and practices will also be beneficial, as there a number of ideas that are new to someone not familiar with self-help language.

My one criticism, which is responsible for my 4 rather than 5 star rating, it the book's presentation. It is fairly small (5 1/2 by 8 inches)and has a traditional binding. Now, you are supposed to use this book during exercises when you are playing your instrument. How in the world are you supposed to keep it open on the music stand? I have resorted to a large clip and a lot of bending back the binding. The book should be larger and in spiral binding, and I would have paid more for such.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The inner game of music. More for the neophyte, Jan. 30 2014
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This review is from: The Inner Game of Music (Hardcover)
Bought this book as a helper while getting ready for a cello royal conservatory exam, and it did not live up to my expectations. This book's wider spectrum of music appreciation subject and general mental prep. would fit a beginner/ neophyte population better than advanced musicians. Well written but broader spectrum of subject as if there is no main subject but a handful of general ideas. I and my daughter Meghan ( University of Toronto Bachelors in Violin Performance) have found The book "Performance Success" by Don Greene and the inner game of tennis by timmothy Gallwey much better and valuable tools for the mental preparation aspect of performing. The inner game of music is a good read for someone approaching classical music listening or performing and or playing as a hobby perhaps. 3 stars only as it is more generic and less specific.
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5.0 out of 5 stars the inner game of music by barry green and timothy gallwey, Aug. 19 2013
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This review is from: The Inner Game of Music (Hardcover)
This is an excellent book for anyone playing or studying a musical instrument.The inner game is really what its all bout.How we sabotage our selves when we want to accomplish something we love to do.It posses a different mind set when we practice.Insead. of worrying about all technical problems and want to play the piece we chose.But instead enjoy the sound of one note then two and then a phrase.There are no wrong notes only the joy of the sound.The answer is correct analytical listening.This book takes you step by step through all thes problems and is filled with great exercises.I highly recommend this book for those playing a musical instrument and it reinforces other books on the same vein.Effort mastery by Kenny werner and Pepe romero book La guitarra.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Book on the Mental Side of Golf, Feb. 13 2012
By 
James Lythgoe (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Inner Game of Music (Hardcover)
The ideas presented in this book are very useful for golfers who are developing their golf swing and for those who already have a fully developed golf swing. Performing the mental exercises suggested in the book expands your prespective of what is involved in swinging a golf club. Combine the mental exercises with good mechnaics and the benefits magnify. This book is a worthwhile read and if you haven't read it, take the time to read it and try the exercises. A few thoughts from the author of The Golf Swing: It's all in the Hands.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A load of corny rubbish, Dec 11 2008
By 
This review is from: The Inner Game of Music (Hardcover)
Not really sure why this book is so highly regarded, it is nothing but wishy washy new age trash. It reads like a bad infomercial, about half the book is shameless self promotion and the other half is throwaway pseudo intellectual garbage. I kept reading and reading hoping for some substance but all I got was worthless mental tricks like the writer telling me "if you think you are going to make mistakes, you will make them! So all you have to do it stop being afraid of making mistakes and just ~let the music flow~". Sorry but the way to avoid mistakes is diligent and informed practice not some stupid mental game. If theres a part of you that is constantly fearing mistakes its because you haven't practiced enough or you weren't scrutinizing enough in your practice and ended up practicing mistakes. It has nothing to do with "self 1" or "self 2" the way to succeed is simply proper practice. Want to be able to play a passage effortlessly? Practice in a way that teaches you the most efficient and comfortable technique for doing it. This book is a waste of time.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit full of itself., Feb. 22 2002
By 
Kreig L. Kitts (Atlanta, Georgia, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Inner Game of Music (Hardcover)
This book seems intent on promoting the Inner Game as some cure-all life philosophy (no doubt with seminars and an entire line of books and other products on the way, if not already here), with Timothy Gallwey as its high priest, rather than providing a useful reading for musicians. It has some really useful ideas (and many good anecdotes) for improving the mental element of one's music, such as creating mental movies for pieces as a way of improving expression. It furthermore encourages musicians to experiment and explore improvisation, something lacking in many areas of music. At the same time, however, many of the ideas seem somewhat unoriginal, and I'm not quite sure how they relate to "the inner game," which by the end of the book has inflated itself into a catch-all for anything that might improve one's musical experience. I think many people listen to music at times by listening to individual instruments or parts, and I don't consider that a musicological revelation that needs the life-giving breath of Timothy Gallwey. In addition, towards the end is a tedious meditation section ("breathe in... breathe out...") that seemed little more than a page-creating device.
The book also borrows far too heavily from the related books on tennis and skiing, and really should have more original music-related content. Yes, the Inner Game translates across the entire spectrum of human experience (slight whiff of sarcasm), but I bought a book with "music" in its title not because I wanted to read about sports. The Inner Game of Music might be a good aid for teachers, providing ideas to use with their own students, but as a reading for a musician to use in reflecting on, improving, and enjoying his or her own music, it reads too much like a gimmicky self-help book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Well developed techniques for musicians, Aug. 3 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Inner Game of Music (Hardcover)
Using Timothy Gallwey's "Inner Game" techniques, Barry Green has provided here an excellent resource for musicians who feel that they practice adequately, but still lack a "certain something" in their music. Mr. Green leads the reader through a series of examples and techniques that combat nervousness, a lack of emotion, and many other problems that most musicians face. Although I am a rather well versed saxophonist, I tended to get nervous before many of my performances and auditions, and the techniques of the "Inner Game" have helped me to combat that. My practice time is now more effective, and my performances are better because of this book. Some may feel that the only shorcoming in this book is that Green discusses too many varying techniques, but in actuality they are all similar in philosophy and practice, and they all lead the performer to greater chances of success.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Could be the coach you've been looking for., June 20 2002
This review is from: The Inner Game of Music (Hardcover)
This book is a miracle for me. You might have heard of a book called the Inner Game of Tennis. In this book, the author reveals how he vastly improved his tennis skills through the revelation that he was actually playing 2 games: 1) The outer game, i.e. his skills and physical abilities and 2) The inner game, i.e. his mastery over his own psychological and emotional states while practicing and playing.
Well, these principles are not limited to the game of tennis, but wholly applicable to any challenge in life, from playing music to forming good relationships to whatever. Along comes a musician who recognizes this, teams up with the original author and writes a miraculous book for the musicians of the world. I doubt if there are many musicians who could not benefit from the information in this book.
Why should you improve your inner game? The book gives a great example... think of something that is easy for you to play, something you can play well every time. Now picture yourself thrust down onto the stage of Carnegie Hall in front of a packed house that expects you to play something brilliant. Do you think your nerves might get in the way of playing this simple little piece to your potential? If so, then you probably need this book. If not, you are a master already and I wonder why you are wasting your time reading this!
Remember that your skills, no matter what level, are considered part of your "outer game." These skills are particular to you, your physical limitations, your instrument, and your instrument's limitations. This book focuses on the inner game, which is universal. By universal, I mean the inner game is not even specific to music, but applies to any challenge. By using language, stories, and metaphors that are familiar to musicians, the book can help you improve your musical inner game, but there's no reason it should stop there.
The Inner Game of Music does an ingenious job of simplifying the psychology and spirituality of playing music into something practical by putting aside debatable beliefs about ego, id, subconscious, conscious, etc, and focusing simply on whether you are playing your inner game or losing it.
An example from my life... I have been studying with a master jazz guitarist for a couple of years. At times when I practice, I find myself playing a good inner game, very relaxed, playing from the heart, amazed at the notes I hear. I find that when you play a good inner game, you feel more like an observer than a participant. Well, when I sit down with my teacher, I become aware of his mastery. My own nervousness and desire to play well for him quite often cause enough interference to make me play well below my ability. Since reading this book, I have found that more often I can really relax with him, stretch out and really play to the best of my ability, often surprising us both. I find myself coming further in my limited practice time and playing better in unfamiliar situations. It is all about the inner game!
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The Inner Game of Music
The Inner Game of Music by W. Timothy Gallwey (Hardcover - Feb. 21 1986)
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