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Motivational Books?

Kramer Ferrington III.

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I've just finished reading something called "To a Young Jazz Musician: Letters from the Road" by Wynton Marsalis and it was a pretty good read.


He talks about a lot of stuff regarding how people should play: what attitude they should have and so on. It's a really cool book, and once I got over him calling everyone "cats" (something I can't stand) I could see how it relates quite well to rock music (hell, any music) as well.


He goes into all sorts of ideas, such as the way that practising is an inherently moral thing to do, insofar as you are preparing yourself to be tested by your listeners, that you are not trying to slip a fast one over them. A central idea explored in the book is that your tone is a reflection of your personality and that you can't have a good tone if you are jut bullshitting your way through things: tone comes from the inside. He talks about the way that trying to get away from "the rules" is not necessarily a road to freedom since even that can become a rule in itself. He says that people that try to "move the music somewhere else" never really DO that. Coltrane carved out a niche for himself but that didn't mean that Beethoven was any less valid. He talks about the way that these days it's harder to "sell out" because we have so very little to sell anymore. That Coltrane and Rollins wanted to change the world, and that's why their music is inherently better than that of people who just want to succeed financially. He goes into lots of stuff.


Does anyone have any other interesting books on making music itself? I don't mean somebody's scales book or whatever, just books that bring out the spiritual side of playing and ask what exactly are we doing when we make music?

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I read a book awhile back called "The Natural Way to Play Guitar". It was a takeoff of the how to play Natural Tennis and Golf books. It was all about the mental approach to guitar. It did address technique but more in a way to make the playing more effortless. It discussed memorization and learning as well. Hmmm...I need to find that thing and reread it, its been awhile.
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Originally posted by Ricardo_F:

That book and the points you referenced in it really sound interesting to me, Kramer.

Yeah, there's a couple of reviews of it here




It's only a small little book, but he comes across like some old time prophet come down from the mountain.


As I write this, NZ Idol is on the telly and there's these guys crapping on about how they put their soul into their music, as they sing tired old club standards in order to win a cash prize and Marsalis' book and attitude is such an... antidote to all that bullshit.


Thanks for the suggestions, guys, I'll look for them online. :thu:

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