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> Zen Guitar : Anybody Else Read It ?
Ben Higgins
post Jun 5 2010, 04:58 PM
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Hi Everybody.

I just wondered if anybody else was aware of the book, 'Zen Guitar' by Philip Toshio Sudo ? I was introduced to it a few years ago and eventually decided to get my own copy of it.

Just in case any of you haven't heard of it, I wanted to share it with you because it's always inspired me in times of self doubt about my guitar playing. It's not a technique or theory book.. it's all purely about the mental and philisophical approach to guitar ( but it applies to all musicians, not just guitarists )

It always makes me smile too.... many of the thoughts in the book are things that we probably already believe deep down anyway.. but it's so helpful to see them written down and presented in a way that helps us understand our own meaning behind guitar playing. One of the hardest concepts for us musicians to grasp is that obsession towards our instrument isn't always a good thing. If we only exist for the guitar.. then we have no other life experience to give to our art. The more varied and colourful our life is, whether good or bad, the more passion, emotion and experience we can bring to our instrument. It took me a while to let go of my obsession and accept that life is about more than the guitar, but after I did.. I see the value that life in general brings to the music and the art of creation !

Sudo puts it this way:
" The path to a black belt (he uses martial arts terminology to describe progress, but not in the way you might think!) is not through becoming the best player, but the best person. Raise your living to the level of an art form, and your playing will reflect it. That is the way of Zen Guitar."

That's just one small aspect of the book... it really is a valuable support and inspiration. Pick it up and open any page.. and you will get something positive !

I'll be really interested to hear anybody else's thoughts or experiences with the book... and hopefully I've inspired some of you to look for it !

Take care...! smile.gif

Ben


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Adrian Figallo
post Jun 5 2010, 06:08 PM
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hey thanks for that ben, will look for it, love to read!


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Gitarrero
post Jun 5 2010, 06:21 PM
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I always love reading about new or different concepts, views etc...so I think I'm gonna get this book. Sounds really interesting!


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Fusar
post Jun 5 2010, 08:37 PM
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I'm reading at the moment "The Jazz Ear", it also gives me new aspects of my musical playing...I don't have much read of it atm, so I'll post a thread later on it...this sounds also very interesting, will take notice of it smile.gif


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zen
post Jun 6 2010, 05:43 AM
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Yes !!.. I love everythin that goes with the 'Zen' philosophy and it's way of thinking.. Too bad the imperfections in me don't always let me apply it to all facets of life but it's a never ending task... always evolving. I started with Zen in the martial arts and then onto other topics. The underlying philosophy remains the same. I question whatever I read and put it in practice to see if it works for me or not and some of the stuff has been very efficient (if applied correctly). And some... well.. I'm just not capable of applying it at the moment. It's a great read to be reminded of what matters in the end, how to make the most of what you have, overcome challenges and really connect with music on a spiritual and holistic level.

Still just reading a book may not help, I still get depressed when im not progressing and know the right thing to do but still wont do it. That's what makes me an imperfect being and a moron on some levels.

My nickname's not Zen for shits n giggles laugh.gif ... (ok maybe some shits n giggles)

Glad to see there is interest in this subject smile.gif .. as most people either don't get it or feel it's full of crap. But who would blame them when they are busy finding out which celebrity ate what for breakfast ... laugh.gif


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JamesT
post Jun 6 2010, 06:49 AM
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I've heard good things about this book.
Thanks for posting this. I think I will go out and get this book now.


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Ben Higgins
post Jun 6 2010, 09:14 AM
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Hi Guys !

I'm really pleased that it's made you want to get the book. It truly is a valuable thing to add to your musical references ! It's helped me find deeper meaning behind why we make music and it helps us see how our musical art and everything else in life are connected.

One of my favourite Zen sayings is "From one thing, know ten thousand things" ..which means that knowledge learnt from one thing we do (or even knowledge from somebody else) can then be applied to anything. It's a concept which really interests me so much. My journey on the guitar, all the ups, downs, progression, humility, faith etc.. and my pursuit for improvement and skill has allowed me to recognise the same level of skill and dedication in things that other people do in life, whether that be martial arts, cooking, horse riding, racing, painting, dancing.

Before reading Zen Guitar, I never really took the time to understand why people do certain things.. but from one thing (my guitar playing) I now know ten thousand things ( and understand and relate to other people's mastery of their arts. ) It's really been a massive revelation in my attitude towards life.

I agree with what ZEN said as well.... it's not always easy to successfully apply the zen philosophy to our lives. Their's so much stress and the world moves so fast that we can't always find that peace. But I do think that having this knowledge, even though we're not always able to live by it, is half the battle won ! biggrin.gif

Take care, everyone... let's make today a good day !


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Vasilije Vukmiro...
post Jun 6 2010, 11:49 AM
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I heard about this book, Petrucci mentioned it, it must be good then! smile.gif
By far, best guitar for me is Rock Discipline(for technique).


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Aleksander Sukov...
post Jul 2 2010, 06:29 PM
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A few months back, I stumbled upon this cool site: http://guitarplayerzen.com/ smile.gif
I wonder if it has something to do with your post huh.gif



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Ben Higgins
post Jul 7 2010, 07:02 PM
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QUOTE (Aleksander Sukovic @ Jul 2 2010, 06:29 PM) *
A few months back, I stumbled upon this cool site: http://guitarplayerzen.com/ smile.gif
I wonder if it has something to do with your post huh.gif


Hi Aleksander,

It doesn't appear to be related although it's still cool smile.gif

This is the author (sadly passed away) and the site about the book. http://www.maui.net/~zen_gtr/about.html It's quite a dated site by today's standards but if people check it out it gives more insight into the book than I could in my post !



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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jul 7 2010, 07:57 PM
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What a nice topic Ben! I definitely will buy this book! smile.gif


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Fre
post Jan 9 2011, 12:26 PM
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I ordered this book and recieved it yesterday. I started reading and.... it really looks in a different way to music. A way I could never imagine by my own. It relates guitar and music to the rest of things, world. It's really motivating. Glad you made me buy this, thanks Ben!!
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Ben Higgins
post Jan 9 2011, 01:00 PM
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Fre, I'm really pleased you got a copy... enjoy the inspiration within !!! biggrin.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jan 12 2011, 02:00 AM
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Thanks for the suggestion man, didn't read this book, but I will find it, seems interesting. I like this approach, and it seems like a very interesting read! I'll give my opinion when I check it out! Thanks once more! smile.gif


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Ben Higgins
post Jan 13 2011, 11:13 AM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Jan 12 2011, 01:00 AM) *
Thanks for the suggestion man, didn't read this book, but I will find it, seems interesting. I like this approach, and it seems like a very interesting read! I'll give my opinion when I check it out! Thanks once more! smile.gif


Go for it, Ivan... it will certainly add to your guitar approach and philosophy ! smile.gif


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Fre
post Jan 13 2011, 04:41 PM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Jan 12 2011, 02:00 AM) *
Thanks for the suggestion man, didn't read this book, but I will find it, seems interesting. I like this approach, and it seems like a very interesting read! I'll give my opinion when I check it out! Thanks once more! smile.gif


Just buy it man! It's a great book!
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jstcrsn
post Jan 13 2011, 05:07 PM
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here is a little (zen) for you
A fool can not learn from his own mistakes but a wise man can learn from the fools mistake
i am stilltrying to see if i can implement this to guitar
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Ben Higgins
post Jan 13 2011, 06:21 PM
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QUOTE (jstcrsn @ Jan 13 2011, 04:07 PM) *
here is a little (zen) for you
A fool can not learn from his own mistakes but a wise man can learn from the fools mistake
i am stilltrying to see if i can implement this to guitar


Very true ! I believe that though the mistakes and behaviour of rock stars who have abused drugs and paid the price is just one example that we can learn from. Also, becoming complacent and releasing rubbish albums is another. I believe they went through all that so we don't have to ! tongue.gif


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jan 13 2011, 06:22 PM
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I bought and read this book thanks to this thread. I love it, it's very inspiring! I really recommend this one! Thanks for the suggestion Ben! smile.gif


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Ben Higgins
post Jan 13 2011, 06:23 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Jan 13 2011, 05:22 PM) *
I bought and read this book thanks to this thread. I love it, it's very inspiring! I really recommend this one! Thanks for the suggestion Ben! smile.gif


Oh Man, that is excellent ! I didn't realise you had bought it... I'm really pleased !! biggrin.gif


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