Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #5328  by vermont4jerry
 Fri May 05, 2006 7:48 am
This post is for everyone that is looking to make their guitar playing better.

There is a book out there titled "Zen Guitar" by a fellow named Philip Toshido (i think that's his last name... look it up on Amazon if you are interested). It's a great book for everyone from a beginner to expert guitar player, and speaking from personal experience, it has completely revolutionized how I play the guitar and how i view music composition. This book isn't going to give you instruction on how or what to play, but it really helps to put your mind into a place where you can write and play. Check it out! I urge all of you... I know this is almost and ad for the book, but heck, borrow it from the library it don't cost nuthin' there. I hope somebody reads it and they get as much out of it as I have.

 #5332  by Billbbill
 Fri May 05, 2006 10:11 am
Small world moment - I'm halfway through it right now.

 #5334  by jck_strw
 Fri May 05, 2006 10:45 am
Thanks for the heads up. Found it on Amazon for $1.25.

What do you think of it Bill?

 #5335  by mikeohiostate
 Fri May 05, 2006 10:46 am
another small WWW moment, I am reading a copy of it borrowed from a friend.
 #5340  by letitflow
 Fri May 05, 2006 1:06 pm
I deleted my post because it was off-topic
Last edited by letitflow on Fri May 05, 2006 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 #5356  by Billbbill
 Fri May 05, 2006 8:44 pm

I like it. As stated by Vermont4jerry it's not a nuts and bolts piece, but more of a philosophical approach to guitar playing that gives a rather broad (though I'd say appropriate) take on tackling the instrument (or any instrument for that matter). It's confirmed some of my notions and offered some insights.

As the title implies "Zen" definitely deals with playing on a more esoteric level. I say that not to imply that it's more or less appropriate for a beginner or an advanced player. I'd say it depends on the individual and their ability to digest the concept of an open minded yet disciplined approach to their relationship with their err, instrument. (no joke implied)

For $1.25 definitely worth the money. I'd say at face value it's worth it but that's me, after having read half of it. Some good quotes from some accomplished players including this one from jg regarding a portion about obsesssion; being too emersed in the instrument.

"For me, I think the only danger is being too much in love with guitar playing. The music is the most important thing and the guitar playing is only the instrument."

The writer goes on to speak about the importance of imparting one's life experience into one's playing. To give meaning to a phrase rather than a technically accurate phrase, yet devoid of deeper resonance.

I think it's a worthy read.

 #5542  by jck_strw
 Fri May 12, 2006 1:47 pm
Got the book last night and finished it today at lunch (it's a small book). I liked it. It didn't strike me as amazing and revolutionary, but it has some very good tips. But I would argue that these tips don't necessarily apply only to the guitar. These are tips that you can use in all aspects of life, not just guitar (but I like how he tied it to the guitar, and I especially liked the quotes he used). In fact, the guy (he's dead now, unfortunately) has a couple of these books--Zen Sex and Zen 24/7 which I assume follow the same approach.

But definitely worth picking up. His philosophy is inspiring.