The best books for rock guitar philosophers

Tobias Hurwitz Author Of The Total Rock Guitarist: A Fun and Comprehensive Overview of Rock Guitar Playing, Book & CD
By Tobias Hurwitz

The Books I Picked & Why

Zen Guitar

By Philip Toshio Sudo

Zen Guitar

Why this book?

This book hit me hard and fast. It validated what I previously thought were my private ideas. I’d never met the author, but it seemed to be written about me… for me… or was it written for and about the other 100k plus readers who must have felt the same? I don’t know. Maybe you’re next.


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Music Reading for Guitar (The Complete Method)

By David Oakes

Music Reading for Guitar (The Complete Method)

Why this book?

The Beatles didn’t know how to read music, and typically, rock musicians don’t read and write music. So therefore it’s a challenge to us, the people who learned to play around campfires, at the beach, and in the roadhouse, just cause we wanted to. Instead of merely presenting an increasingly difficult set of examples, Oaks teaches us how to think about reading music. He’s a great guy and it’s the best book of its kind I’ve come across.


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Analog Days: The Invention and Impact of the Moog Synthesizer

By Trevor Pinch, Frank Trocco

Analog Days: The Invention and Impact of the Moog Synthesizer

Why this book?

We rock guitarists tend to think of ourselves as pretty darned special. I mean, wasn’t the introduction of the solid-body electric guitar synonymous with and indispensable to the formation of rock music itself? We get so cocky we forget that the invention and development of the analog synthesizer, which happened around the same time, brought its own dazzling array of brand-new sounds, never heard before. How were they created? Whose genius was behind it? How do they fit into the music of The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Edgar Winter, and The Grateful Dead? Did LSD have anything to do with it? Read the book and find out!


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Starting at Zero: His Own Story

By Jimi Hendrix

Starting at Zero: His Own Story

Why this book?

This is the coolest Hendrix book ever because it is all written by Jimi himself! Peter Neal has transcribed all know statements, letters, lyrics, interviews, audio clips or quotes into chronological order and makes it read like an autobiography. The lyrics and letters are included where they belong in the timeline. I learned more about Hendrix from this very personal account than from anything else. It’s a brilliant idea and a one of a kind read!


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I'm with the Band: Confessions of a Groupie

By Pamela Des Barres

I'm with the Band: Confessions of a Groupie

Why this book?

To see the seedy underbelly, the proud head, and well… the entire body of the rock industry through the eyes of its key muse and groupie is quite a wild read! What did Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Jim Morrison, Robert Plant, Keith Moon, and so many more rockstars have in common? Who were the GTOs and The Plaster Castors? What’s it like to be Moon Unit Zappa’s nannie? You can’t pretend you don’t want to read this. There were many intelligent and fascinating thoughts throughout. It let me see things through a new lens.


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