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5 books that every aspiring guitarist has to read

Today I would like to share with you five of my most favourite guitar-related books. I always write about the importance of our thinking and mindset when pursuing the dream of becoming a great guitar player. These five books are exactly about that. They won’t teach you how to play solo from Hotel California or how to play A mixolydian scale but you will learn some very important music and life lessons.

These books have totally changed the way I think about guitar playing and music. I re-read them every now and then and always find some insights that were hidden before. They’ve helped me to become better guitar player and guitar teacher. They are my great source of inspiration and wisdom. Hope they will help you too.

Zen Guitar by Philip Toshio Sudo

I found this book only by accident when I was looking for something else, but once I started to read it, I coudn’t put it down. I’ve read it probably five or six times and I still think it is great. It is an instant solution for many musical and also non-musical problems.

It is hard to describe this book because it has so much depth. If you think that it is about guitar, then you are right. If you think it is about life, you are also right. There are many layers that will unfold as you read. Guitar, zen, goals and dreams, practicing, life, purpose etc.

It is really a fascinating read and I would recommend it to any musician. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or pro. You will find what you need. The only thing you need is an open mind.

The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle

There are many myths surrounding guitar and music in general. One of them is that in order to become a great musician you need to have a talent. It’s a shame that many people won’t start to follow their passion for music just because they think  they lack talent.

This book uncovers many misconceptions that people consider to be true when talking about talent. It  is scientifically proven that talent isn’t natural, it is grown. Author goes into a great depth into describing how a skill is born and how can we attain high level of skill virtually at anything. There are many examples from different areas that ilustrates the principles of skill acquisition.

There is also a great chapter about how to practice properly where you can find so much good stuff. I think this book will be an eye-opener for many people.

Mastery by George Leonard

What does it mean to master something? How long does it take to become a master? How do you know that you’ve become a master? If you are interested in these kind of questions, then this book will give you answers.

It doesn’t matter if you are a musician, a  golfer or a martial artist, principles in this book can be applied in many different areas of life. If you want to become good at anything you have to commit to a long-term process of practicing. You have to be willing to make mistakes, to try new approaches and to keep going no matter how small is the progress. You have to cultivate your thinking. This book is all about that.

The Practicing Mind by Thomas M. Sterner 

If you need help with developing a self-discipline, focus, patience and self-awarness then this book is definitely for you. Thomas M. Sterner is a musician, a piano technician and a golfer who knows what he is talking about when it comes to practicing. His insights are simple yet beautiful. You’ve probably heard most of this stuff before but sometimes one more repetition is exactly what you need. This is a beautiful book and it is definitely worth checking out.

The Music Lesson by Victor L. Wooten

Everybody who wants to take his or her playing to the next level has to read this book. It is a brilliant little book written by one of the best bass guitar players of the world – Victor Wooten.  But it is definitely not only for bass players.  You can apply thoughts and insights to any musical instrument and any genre.

It is not an instruction book, you won’t learn any technical stuff, but after reading this, you will probably understand music and life much better. All you need to do is to be open to the possibility that your most important music lesson is still to come.

“Learning to use the mind is the key to all posibilities.”

Make sure this is added to your collection soon!!




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