Need some inspiration for your guitar playing? While they may not directly improve your guitar skills, these books will inspire you to approach your music in different ways.
See the list here…
Good Guitar Books For Inspiration
Maybe it’s just me, but there are days when actually playing a guitar is the last thing I feel like doing. In my mind I can already hear those tired old licks, the over-familiar pieces and the same mistakes that I’ve been making for years.
I suspect that most musicians go through the same thing from time to time; it’s on days like these we need some inspiration: a reminder of what made us take up music in the first place.
Some years ago, I attended a composition class in which the lecturer somehow created a whirlpool inside some plastic bottles filled with water.
It was to demonstrate that inspiration can be drawn from everything around you.
Or maybe it was just a cool party trick.
Anyway, the lecture stuck with me, and turning to the natural world is always a good idea when you’re stuck in a rut.
However, sometimes you need something a little less metaphysical; something a little more tangible… perhaps something like a good book.
There are many (too many?) ‘how to play guitar’ books available, but fear not; the following list won’t include any of them. Instead, these books have been chosen to ‘inspire’ rather than ‘instruct’.
The list does include tuition books, but they are not specifically for the guitar, and will serve to improve one’s overall understanding of music. Other books on the list are about the guitar, but have been selected to be inspiring rather than didactic.
So, without further ado, here is a list of some of the most inspiring books for guitarists (and other musicians).
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List Of Inspiring Books For Guitarists And Other Musicians
David Baker’s Jazz Improvisation: A Comprehensive Method for All Musicians
David Baker’s classic jazz method is still highly regarded. Despite not being aimed at guitarists, it contains a large amount of information that will be beneficial for all aspiring jazz musicians. It provides a good alternative to guitar-centric jazz method books.
Guitar Lessons: A Life’s Journey Turning Passion into Business by Bob Taylor
Most guitarists will have heard of Taylor guitars: they produce a range of highly desirable acoustic and electric instruments. This book, written by co-founder and president Bob Taylor, documents how passion fuelled the rise of the company. Not just for musicians: this is an inspiring read for any would-be entrepreneur.
The guitar equivalent to the classic ‘Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance’, Zen Guitar outlines a new approach to learning guitar, based on Zen philosophy. This cult book is well worth checking out.
Twentieth Century Harmony: Creative Aspects And Practice
Vincent Persichetti’s classic book on twentieth century harmony is a useful book for anyone interested in modern classical music harmony. It probably won’t help with your blues licks, but will open your mind to a whole new musical world. If you are seeking inspiration for the compositional or theoretical aspects of your playing, take a look.
Don’t Shoot! I’m the Guitar Man by Buzzy Martin
Buzzy Martin taught guitar to convicted criminals in San Quentin Prison. This is both a story of his experiences, and a testament to the power of music.
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I Found My Horn (A Devil to Play): One Man’s Struggle with the Orchestra’s Most Difficult Instrument by Jasper Rees
A story of one man’s quest to master one of the most difficult to master instruments. Jasper Rees hadn’t played his French horn for over twenty years. Then, one day, he decided that in a year’s time he would perform a Mozart horn concerto in front of an audience. This entertaining book documents his struggles.
The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music
Written by bass player Victor L. Wooten, this is a philosophical book about music and being a musician. Like other books on this list, The Music Lesson presents an alternative approach to learning how to play an instrument, and is both entertaining and inspiring.
Driving Over Lemons by Chris Stewart
This book’s link to the guitar is somewhat tenuous: the writer, one-time Genesis drummer Chris Stewart, is also an amateur flamenco guitarist. Driving Over Lemons describes how Stewart moved to rural Spain to start a new, simpler, life as a hill farmer. Humorous, inspiring and a wonderful piece of escapism: a good book for anyone considering changing their life to follow their passion.
Martin Taylor: Autobiography Of A Travelling Musician
We’ve already reviewed Autobiography Of A Travelling Musician in Guitar Command, but in case you missed it, we highly recommended it for any guitarist wanting to experience life on the road, albeit vicariously. Taylor’s account is passionate, very funny, and, at times, heartbreaking: which just about sums up a career in music! Inspiring stuff.
Guitar Inspiration: Good Guitar Books Conclusion
I hope that you have enjoyed reading about these books, and that your interest has been sufficiently piqued for you to investigate one or more of them further.
If you do, and are ever in need of inspiration, you won’t have to resort to plastic bottles filled with water!
Check out these posts for more inspiration: