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Zen Guitar (A fireside book) [Paperback]

Philip Toshio Sudo
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 7.19 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

2 Feb 1999 A fireside book
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 fifty-eight lessons that provide focus and a guide, the reader 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.

Frequently Bought Together

Zen Guitar (A fireside book) + THE Music Lesson + Inner Game of Music
Price For All Three: 23.00

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  • THE Music Lesson 9.52
  • Inner Game of Music 6.29

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; New edition edition (2 Feb 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068483877X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684838779
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 13.9 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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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 (Learn More)
First Sentence
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

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wise Man Passes Away Too Soon 14 July 2002
This book reflects the attitude and scope you bring to it, and can be applied to any part of life. I bought a US edition five years ago; whenever I return to it I'm struck by its simple truth and sound guidance. Whether you are an absolute beginner or a Jedi, you can learn from this book. The structure and pace are superb - it can be read fast or slow, skimming or pondering, cover-to-cover or dipping in and out. Remarkable.
It is a small, elegant book. There are no motorcycle maintenance tips.
I'm particularly fond of its emphasis on context. Our listening and reacting to one another can make or break the music we love (why else are we playing?). This book can guide you to play better with other musicians, and there's precious few books that can do that.
The Zen Guitar site ([...]) is a fine community and resource. I'm sure it will endure despite Philip Sudo's death. If you're nervous about buying the book unseen, visit the site to see what it's about. And then buy it. And then show it to other people.
If you let this book guide your learning, you will get better. It really is that simple.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars inspirational 21 July 2001
By A Customer
zen guitar does not teach you theory, chords or technical information, but it provides an excellent source of philosophy and wisdom from the east to apply to the guitar. these teachings can be used in any situation in life and enhance and enrichen guitar playing so instead of thinking about playing the tune right, u feel the tune - it comes naturally. everyone who owns a guitar MUST buy this book! it really does help you enjoy the whole spirit of the guitar and was an excellent, educational read.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soul Music 5 Nov 2003
Zen guitar achieves what every other Guitar tuition book fails to do, and that is to provide the guitarist with a sense of 'soul' or 'depth' to their playing. It is certainly spiritual, and at times, eclectic, but the concepts and thoughts of the late, great Philip Sudo have inspired many guitarists into approaching the guitar in several different ways.
A prime example of how a simple instruction yields incredible results. In the book, the instruction is just to "Pick up the guitar, and play each note as if it is the last one that you'll ever play". Coupled with a few sage paragraphs that get you mentally prepared for this task, and with a little help from many great quotes from many great guitarists dotted around the book, suddenly, the expression and passion that you play the instrument becomes tenfold.
There is not one piece of notation, or explanation of music theory. The principles throuought "Zen Guitar" are profound, and may alter your outlook beyond the fretboard, and every word has been written with the reader's best interests in mind. No matter what you are trying to achieve with the guitar, no matter what level of proficiency you believe you have achieved, and no matter how many books or how much time you have studied to get there, this will be a book that you need to have in your collection.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read, loved every minute 8 Jan 1999
By A Customer
I chanced upon this book by accident whilst browsing the various guitar books and it instantly caught my eye. I ordered it straight away and it arrived the next day. When I picked it up I read it in one go. What a refreshing read! So different from the run-of-the-mill playing guides. This is to be read for inspiration. Half way through I was itching to pick my guitar up and I had a fantastically deep play after I'd finished the book (quite brief - only took me a couple of hours). I'll be returning to it time and time again. Also I love all the quotes from people like Jimi, Segovia, Stevie, Clapton etc. In terms of Zen, it's the first time I've been exposed to it and I like it! It doesn't get a heavy handed treatment which is good in my opinion. All I can say is nice one Phil!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Road Is Long... 25 May 2012
Zen Guitar, by Philip Toshio Sudo, is the one book on guitar that I just keep going back to again and again. It's not trying to teach scales or chords or licks and riffs, it strives to teach about accessing a balanced approach in one's own attitude towards one's own (and other people's) life and guitar playing.

I bought my copy back in 2003 when I first started to play guitar. I have read loads of books on learning to play guitar; however, Zen Guitar has really been the most helpful in advancing my playing. This book is a real joy to read whether you play guitar or not. It is the only book that I reccommend to anyone who ask's me about learning the guitar. Tighten your mind...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a good Way to think about music 31 Mar 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
On ordering I was slightly wary of this book being a bit 'new age' but I took the chance and I'm really happy that I have it to dip into when the mood takes. As other reviewers point out it is not a typical music tutoring book and so will not be to every taste. As someone who is quite into music from an improvising perspective I found all the nuggets of advice helpful in providing a less formal approach and mindset. This is the real key (ouch!) to the book in that it offers 'Ways' in how to think about the sound that you produce and the processes that go into music making per se. It borrows ideas from other Zen practices which most of us have come across in some shape or form. Applying these to guitar playing (or any instrument for that matter) is quite a neat idea, especially if you're hacked off with books promoting the Lydian Flat 7 in all 15 keys which is what tends to be out there. A companion book I've come across via Amazon is

Free Play: Power of Improvisation in Life and the Arts by Stephen Nachmanovitch

but only if, like me. you've become allergic to the Lydian Flat 7 in all 15 keys!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Mindfulness for guitarists!
I've studied a bit of Zen Buddhism. I've also been playing guitar for thirty years, so this book caught my eye. It's a great way to bring some mindfulness to guitar playing. Read more
Published 1 day ago by S. Parsons
5.0 out of 5 stars most enjoyable
I have enjoyed this book and find that it gives me inspiration. Once read the book can be dipped into at random and will refresh one's enthusiasm. Read more
Published 5 months ago by John M Peters
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilled
A very good read. Not about playing the guitar so much as geting into a frame of mind to play it. I loved it. Took the pressure off learning, but improved my playing nontheless.
Published 6 months ago by DerbyDave
5.0 out of 5 stars could change your perspective on music making and life.
An important read for musicians of all kinds, not particularly relevant to how, but why. Very elegantly written and easy to read, accessible.
Published 8 months ago by Julian Bertino
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth a read
Mabye a bit 'out there' for some readers but some very applicable concepts in there that are applicable to any aspect of life not just guitar. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Fergal o'Hanlon
This is a strangely compelling little book about the zen of guitar playing; along with the zen of archery or flower arranging or motorcycle maintainance it doesn't actually have... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Mr. R. Aulton
5.0 out of 5 stars different!
I didn't know what to expect when i purchased this book.

one thing for sure, I couldn't put it down once I opened it up! Read more
Published on 11 Oct 2011 by sid
5.0 out of 5 stars A book I recommend to all my serious students. (and not just guitar?)
As a guitar teacher, I am always on the lookout for something to inspire my pupils and make them think for themselves. Read more
Published on 13 Sep 2011 by Neil Browning
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for anyone serious about learning an instrument
An incredibly important book for any serious musician. Just substitute your instrument for "guitar". Read more
Published on 16 Jun 2011 by S. Brewin
2.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish?
I bought this book because I happen to be learning guitar. I was going great guns with it until I got to page 108, where I read the statement, 'A good chef delivers exactly the... Read more
Published on 17 Nov 2010 by Buffalo1652
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