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Would you listen to Guitar Zero again? Why?
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the intersection of neuroscience and music.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Guitar Zero?
The author does a good job of weaving in interesting summaries of the current state of the science of things like language acquisition and musical talent vs. practice.
What about Gary Marcus???s performance did you like?
The author is a good narrator, which is not always the case.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
This book delivers a number of ah-ha moments, such as debunking the myth of 10,000 hours.
Any additional comments?
This audio book not terribly long, and some will probably complain that it's not technical enough, but it makes for a thoroughly enjoyable tour through the science of musicality. The author is good humored, and tells entertaining stories about his visit to music camp (for kids because he is such a lousy guitarist). If you've ever wondered whether music is somehow innate in humans, this book does a good job of walking you through the answers from a neuroscientist.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
The book was enjoyable but lacked in substance. I kept waiting for it to start and come to some concrete conclusions and pointers but it never did really.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
As a musician and a student of brain mapping, neuro-plasticity and the like, I thought this book could be very interesting. It turned out to be an almighty effort to get to the end. I stuck at it diligently but can honestly say that my life has not been enriched by listening to it. The book basically alternates between two areas.
One: the author describes his efforts to learn the guitar. I am not sure who would find this interesting. As a musician I can remember those early days. I think one's learning experience is a very personal thing but trying make that into a great read/listen takes a great story and equally great skill. I'm not sure even listening to Keith Richards learn his first G chord would actually be that riveting.
Two: The science behind learning, practicing, listening etc. The author does mention a few other books along the way, e.g. 'the Talent Code' amongst others. Simply I would just say that those other books do the job of explaining the hows and whys of practice superbly. This book just doesn't do it.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
My interest in this may be a little niche; I'm studying adult learning and I'm an enthusiastic if untalented guitar player. So this book ticks a couple of boxes for me and the fact that the author reads it himself also adds something in terms of conveying a sense of immediacy in how the tale is told. It's possible that for other readers this may be too much of a minority interest but the central messages about how, as adults, we can still master skills that might be considered challenging once we're past childhood are clearly and helpfully spelled out. Marcus also strikes a nice balance between the theory; which he knows well from his day job as an academic; and the practice of sticking his neck out and trying to learn an instrument. The section where he has to audition in front of a bunch of 11 year olds to see if they'll let him into their band at "band camp" is a great example of the latter quality.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful