The Top 10 books Every Guitar Student Should Read

Playing guitar is a journey into self-awareness and self-mastery. A guitar-player, who looks at music passionately, sees his instrument as more than a tool that produces sound. Yet, it is the musician who is the instrument; the guitar IS just the tool. Your guitar is an extension of you, but it is you who is making the music, not the guitar.

Moreover: just like people who are passionate about yoga, or martial arts, or the art of tea making or flower arranging for that matter; music is the musician’s path to enlightenment. Like Zen Buddhists say: “Through one thing, know ten thousand things”. If you chose guitar as your path, then the guitar will teach you everything there is possible to learn about everything else: life, the Universe, yourself, the world, etc.  

For one: through the study of guitar and music you will learn the value of patience, persistence, and focus. You will also learn a lot about yourself: what your weakness is, where they come from, how to solve them, how to pace yourself, how to be in the moment, how to create rhythm, flow, and harmony, or how to become a better listener, and so much more.

In addition: the better you get at guitar, the more fun it becomes. The below books will help speed up your progress, open up your mind, and get you even more inspired. They will get you into the zone! The lessons taught in those books will further ignite your passion, inspiration, creativity, personal growth, and interest in music.

These are the top ten books every guitar student should have on their shelves and regularly reread. These books are a must-read if you want to find and develop your inner artist, overcome your self-imposed limitations and overcome obstacles. The lessons you will learn will help you unlock your full potential, help you learn more effortlessly, and will lead you to find even greater joy in music.

You can buy these top-10 must-reads here or from the accompanying links underneath each book description.

Time to Get Into The Zone!

1.       The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

The Artist’s Way offers many tools and insights to awakening your creative being. Julia Cameron offers many great examples of how to nourish your creativity with tools such as morning pages and the artist date. Morning pages are geared to help clear your head and allow ideas to flow. The artist date is a tool to help you explore the world around you with a creative eye. These exercises get you to express yourself more freely and grow creatively.

Buy The Artist’s Way Here

2.         Zen Guitar by Philip Toshio Sudo

Zen Guitar explains the spirit and principles of Japanese dojo and how those principles relate to music. Zen Guitar is about the spiritual side of musicianship and this book helps you to explore the passion and spirituality behind the music. If you are interested in learning more about the spirituality of music and in becoming more aware of your musical journey, then this book is a great way to dig deeper into your core and understand why you enjoy music. You will read this book over and over again.

Buy Zen Guitar Here

3.     Effortless Mastery by Kenny Werner

Effortless Mastery is a fantastic book that proves every musician can achieve greatness with his mind and instrument. Effortless Mastery is a success story of jazz musician Kenny Werner and provides great key points on how to establish greater confidence in yourself and embrace your musicianship. This is a great read for any musician trying to become the best he can be.

Buy Effortless Mastery: Liberating the Master Musician Within (Book + CD set) Here

4.     The Inner Game of Music by Barry Green

The Inner Game of Music is a book written by double bassist Barry Green. This is a great read for any music student because it describes in simple ways how to avoid the pitfalls that can ruin or obstruct the “game” of your musical development. Barry Green explains how to avoid the voices of doubt, judgment, and confusion in order to love the music you play. The book teaches why it is always the people who have the most fun learning a new skill, who end up becoming masters at that skill much more effortlessly.

Buy The Inner Game of Music Here

5.     Stage Performance by Livingston Taylor

Stage Performance is a book written by Livingston Taylor, professor of music at Berklee College of Music. This book is an extremely helpful account of how to perform on stage. Taylor covers topics like the right way to begin and end your stage performance as well as how to overcome stage fright. Written with humor and real-life solutions, Stage Performance is a great book any performing musician should read!

Buy Stage Performance Here

6.       The Music Lesson by Victor Wooten

The Music Lesson is a fantastic account of Wooten’s ideas on the spirituality of musicianship as well as the spiritual journey that can be taken by playing music. Victor Wooten describes his many ideas and ways of thinking in this book as well as many other spiritual music lessons. Music is fully capable of having a spiritual effect on anyone. Read The Music Lesson to find out why.

Buy The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music Here

7.        Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell


“Outliers” is Malcolm Gladwell’s account of a specific type of person deemed an “outlier.” Gladwell compares successful people such as Mozart and Bill Gates and builds a case of how many successful people become successful on a tide of advantages that were the result of dedication, hard work, planning, and putting in the hours, as opposed to pure talent and genius. This is a great read for any musician because it puts “talent” in the right perspective, After reading this book you will realize that indeed “genius” is something that is created, not something that is a gift or inborn. You have all the genius and talent you need.

Buy Outliers: The Story of Success Here

8.               The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle

Daniel Coyle wrote the Talent Code to prove successful, talented people are not “born,” they are grown. The Talent Code is a fantastic read for any musician because it offers many of Coyle’s methods of coaching, motivation, and training. With useful tips on how to become great at anything, this book can easily be applied to playing guitar and teach you how to be great at what you do. This MUST read will help you realize that “YES, you do have all the talent it takes” to become as good at guitar as you would like to be.

Buy The Talent Code Here

9.       The Power of the Subconscious Mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy

The Power of the Subconscious Mind offers great exercises and insights on how to overcome mental barriers. The mind is extremely capable of holding you back in your growth as a musician. Dr. Murphy offers several exercises and true success stories for anyone looking to overcome limitations. Though not a music or musicians book, the principles from the fields of psychology and spirituality that this book covers, will help you become a greater musician, help you get rid of performance anxiety, and achieve better results with lesser effort.

Buy The Power of Your Subconscious Mind Here

10.      The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Now describes living in the now to be the truest and surest way to happiness and enlightenment. This is a great book for musicians because it describes how to be more passionate about what you are doing at the moment rather than being anxious about the past or future. The more you are aware and at the moment, the more focused you will be and the more you will get out of your life, out of your musicianship, and out of your practice time. Focus on the now and on the joy of the journey: you will get wherever you are going to in due time.

Buy The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment Here

These fun, profound reads will have a tremendous impact on your musical joy, journey, and growth.    
You can also buy these top-10 must-reads here in the ZOT Zin Music bookstore


Hit me up anytime at if you have any questions, or if you would like to book a lesson.

These free lessons are cool, but you will never experience the progress, joy, and results that my students experience in lessons when you’re learning by yourself from blogs and videos.

That is why people take lessons: way better results and progress, much more complete information, exposed to way more creative ideas than you can get from a blog or YouTube video.
There is only so much that self-study can accomplish.

If you want to see amazing results and progress in your guitar playing, buy your first lesson here and get started ASAP.

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