Michael's Reviews > Guitar Zero: The New Musician and the Science of Learning

Guitar Zero by Gary Marcus
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's review
Mar 10, 12

Read in March, 2012

I was disappointed with this. The writing is fine but . . . It didn't have much to say that didn't seem fairly obvious. Some of the most interesting information wasn't about learning to play an instrument but comparing how musicians and non-musicians appreciate music.

He obviously had a really good time researching the book and meeting and becoming friends with musicians - that's great, but no guarantee of a good book.

Perhaps I'm being unfair - I took lessons on mandolin a few yreas ago and eventually became frustrated with the results and stopped. I thought this book might give me some hints or insights in that area, but I didn't find anything here.

The jacket blurb says that Marcus "debunks the popular theory of an innate musical instinct while simultaneously challenging the idea that talent is only a myth." that just seems like semantic blather - the book admits that some can become great musicians, albeit of widely different sets of skills, much more easily than other people - but why exactly this is isn't much discussed. (I was reminded of a kind of learning I know much better myself, the study of foreign languages - and there are clearly people who are gifted and then there are the rest of us . . . )
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