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1 Burnside Music- General History

Guitar Zero: The New Musician and the Science of Learning

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Guitar Zero: The New Musician and the Science of Learning Cover

ISBN13: 9781594203176
ISBN10: 1594203172
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

On the eve of his fortieth birthday, a professor of no discernible musical talent learns to play the guitar and investigates how anyone of any age might master a new skill.

Just about every human being knows how to listen to music, but what does it take to make music? Is musicality something we are born with? Or a skill that anyone can develop at any time? If you don't start piano at the age of six, is there any hope? Is skill learning best left to children or can anyone reinvent him — or herself at any time?

On the eve of his fortieth birthday, Gary Marcus, an internationally renowned scientist with no discernible musical talent, becomes his own guinea pig to look at how human beings become musical — and how anyone of any age can master something new. Guitar Zero traces his journey, what he learned, and how you can learn, too. In addition to being a groundbreaking look at the origins and allure of music, Marcus's journey is also an empowering tale of the mind's plasticity.

In a quest that takes him from Suzuki classes to guitar gods, Marcus investigates the most effective ways to train your brain and body to learn to play an instrument. How can you make your practice more deliberate and effective? How can you find the best music teacher for you or your child? Does talent really exist? Or is hard work all you need?

Guitar Zero stands the science of music on its head, debunking the popular theory of an innate musical instinct and many other commonly held fallacies. At the same time, it raises new questions about the science of human pleasure and brings new insight into humankind's most basic question: what counts as a life well lived? Does one have to become the next Jimi Hendrix to make a passionate pursuit worthwhile? Or can the journey itself bring the brain lasting satisfaction?

For those who have ever set out to learn a musical instrument — or wishes that they could — Guitar Zero is an inspiring and fascinating look at music, learning, and the pursuit of a well-lived life.

Review:

"Guitar Zero is a refreshing alternation between the nitty-gritty details of learning rock-guitar licks and Mr. Marcus's survey of the relevant scientific literature on learning and the brain. For those who look forward, in 'retirement', to honoring the lifelong yearnings they have neglected, Guitar Zero is good news." Wall Street Journal

Review:

"[Guitar Zero] looks far more deeply into the ways our brains rewire themselves and find ways to compensate for certain gaps or deficits in our abilities. In the process of demonstrating these, Marcus sounds an encouraging note (pun intended) for older readers who have always wanted to do something but have never had time." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"This enjoyable blend of music appreciation, science and personal exploration commands a new respect for how the brain and body responds to the promise, and shock, of the new." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Jimi Hendrix meets Oliver Sacks in this great new science book." Very Short List

Review:

"[Guitar Zero is] the sort of book where Steven Pinker (Dr. Marcus's mentor and collaborator) mixes with K. Anders Ericsson (the psychologist most associated with the '10,000 hours' theory of expertise) and Tom Morello (the lead guitarist from Rage Against the Machine)." The New York Times

Synopsis:

Just about every human being knows how to listen to music, but what does it take to make music? Is musicality something we are born with? Or a skill that anyone can develop at any time? If you don't start piano at the age of six, is there any hope? Is skill learning best left to children or can anyone reinvent him-or herself at any time?

For anyone who has ever set out to play a musical instrument — or wished that they could — Guitar Zero is an inspiring and fascinating look at the pursuit of music, the mechanics of the mind, and the surprising rewards that come from following one's dreams. Gary Marcus, whom Steven Pinker describes as “one of the deepest thinkers in cognitive science,” debunks the popular theory that there is an innate musical instinct while challenging the idea that talent is only a myth. From deliberate and efficient practicing techniques to finding the right music teacher, Marcus translates his own experience — as well as reflections from world-renowned musicians — into practical advice for anyone hoping to become musical or learn any new skill.

Synopsis:

On the eve of his 40th birthday, Gary Marcus, a renowned scientist with no discernible musical talent, learns to play the guitar and investigates how anyone — of any age — can become musical. Do you have to be born musical to become musical? Do you have to start at the age of six?

Using the tools of his day job as a cognitive psychologist, Gary Marcus becomes his own guinea pig as he takes up the guitar. In a powerful and incisive look at how both children and adults become musical, Guitar Zero traces Marcus's journey, what he learned, and how anyone else can learn, too. A groundbreaking peek into the origins of music in the human brain, this musical journey is also an empowering tale of the mind's enduring plasticity.

Marcus investigates the most effective ways to train body and brain to learn to play an instrument, in a quest that takes him from Suzuki classes to guitar gods. From deliberate and efficient practicing techniques to finding the right music teacher, Marcus translates his own experience — as well as reflections from world-renowned musicians — into practical advice for anyone hoping to become musical, or to learn a new skill.

Guitar Zero debunks the popular theory of an innate musical instinct while simultaneously challenging the idea that talent is only a myth. While standing the science of music on its head, Marcus brings new insight into humankind's most basic question: what counts as a life well lived? Does one have to become the next Jimi Hendrix to make a passionate pursuit worthwhile, or can the journey itself bring the brain lasting satisfaction?

For all those who have ever set out to play an instrument — or wish that they could — Guitar Zero is an inspiring and fascinating look at the pursuit of music, the mechanics of the mind, and the surprising rewards that come from following one's dreams.

About the Author

Gary Marcus studies evolution, language, and cognitive development at New York University, where he is a professor of psychology and the director of the NYU Center for Child Language. The editor of the Norton Psychology Reader and author of three books about the origins and development of mind and brain, Marcus has written articles for The New York Times, Wired, Discover, and The Wall Street Journal, and has appeared on radio and television programs around the globe.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

lleavitt, February 1, 2012 (view all comments by lleavitt)
Guitar Zero combines science, memoir and the best advice I've seen about how to learn to play the guitar - or to approach learning anything new. I jammed with Gary Marcus at his reading and he made his Traveler guitar sing!
I love this book and recommend it!
You can read more about Gary Marcus's reading at Powell's and see pics of him with local bands Taborgrass and Steer Crazy here: @dianeprokop.com. http://dianeprokop.com/
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
bigmamou, January 27, 2012 (view all comments by bigmamou)
One of the obscure treasures of last year's crop of books (2011). I hope this book gets wider notice as it is interesting, educational and full of fun, inspiration and getting to a better place!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781594203176
Subtitle:
The New Musician and the Science of Learning
Author:
Marcus, Gary
Publisher:
Penguin Press HC, The
Subject:
Appreciation
Subject:
Music-Music Appreciation
Edition Description:
Hardback
Publication Date:
20120119
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
b/w illustrations throughout
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Arts and Entertainment » Music » History and Criticism
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Arts and Entertainment » Music » Instruction and Study » Music Appreciation
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Guitar Zero: The New Musician and the Science of Learning Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Penguin (Non-Classics) - English 9781594203176 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Guitar Zero is a refreshing alternation between the nitty-gritty details of learning rock-guitar licks and Mr. Marcus's survey of the relevant scientific literature on learning and the brain. For those who look forward, in 'retirement', to honoring the lifelong yearnings they have neglected, Guitar Zero is good news."
"Review" by , "[Guitar Zero] looks far more deeply into the ways our brains rewire themselves and find ways to compensate for certain gaps or deficits in our abilities. In the process of demonstrating these, Marcus sounds an encouraging note (pun intended) for older readers who have always wanted to do something but have never had time."
"Review" by , "This enjoyable blend of music appreciation, science and personal exploration commands a new respect for how the brain and body responds to the promise, and shock, of the new."
"Review" by , "Jimi Hendrix meets Oliver Sacks in this great new science book."
"Review" by , "[Guitar Zero is] the sort of book where Steven Pinker (Dr. Marcus's mentor and collaborator) mixes with K. Anders Ericsson (the psychologist most associated with the '10,000 hours' theory of expertise) and Tom Morello (the lead guitarist from Rage Against the Machine)."
"Synopsis" by , Just about every human being knows how to listen to music, but what does it take to make music? Is musicality something we are born with? Or a skill that anyone can develop at any time? If you don't start piano at the age of six, is there any hope? Is skill learning best left to children or can anyone reinvent him-or herself at any time?

For anyone who has ever set out to play a musical instrument — or wished that they could — Guitar Zero is an inspiring and fascinating look at the pursuit of music, the mechanics of the mind, and the surprising rewards that come from following one's dreams. Gary Marcus, whom Steven Pinker describes as “one of the deepest thinkers in cognitive science,” debunks the popular theory that there is an innate musical instinct while challenging the idea that talent is only a myth. From deliberate and efficient practicing techniques to finding the right music teacher, Marcus translates his own experience — as well as reflections from world-renowned musicians — into practical advice for anyone hoping to become musical or learn any new skill.

"Synopsis" by , On the eve of his 40th birthday, Gary Marcus, a renowned scientist with no discernible musical talent, learns to play the guitar and investigates how anyone — of any age — can become musical. Do you have to be born musical to become musical? Do you have to start at the age of six?

Using the tools of his day job as a cognitive psychologist, Gary Marcus becomes his own guinea pig as he takes up the guitar. In a powerful and incisive look at how both children and adults become musical, Guitar Zero traces Marcus's journey, what he learned, and how anyone else can learn, too. A groundbreaking peek into the origins of music in the human brain, this musical journey is also an empowering tale of the mind's enduring plasticity.

Marcus investigates the most effective ways to train body and brain to learn to play an instrument, in a quest that takes him from Suzuki classes to guitar gods. From deliberate and efficient practicing techniques to finding the right music teacher, Marcus translates his own experience — as well as reflections from world-renowned musicians — into practical advice for anyone hoping to become musical, or to learn a new skill.

Guitar Zero debunks the popular theory of an innate musical instinct while simultaneously challenging the idea that talent is only a myth. While standing the science of music on its head, Marcus brings new insight into humankind's most basic question: what counts as a life well lived? Does one have to become the next Jimi Hendrix to make a passionate pursuit worthwhile, or can the journey itself bring the brain lasting satisfaction?

For all those who have ever set out to play an instrument — or wish that they could — Guitar Zero is an inspiring and fascinating look at the pursuit of music, the mechanics of the mind, and the surprising rewards that come from following one's dreams.

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