Guitar Zero: The Science of Becoming Musical at Any Age

Guitar Zero: The Science of Becoming Musical at Any Age

by Gary Marcus


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780143122784
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/24/2012
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 622,124
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.26(h) x 0.74(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Gary Marcus, described by the New York Times as “one of the country’s best known cognitive psychologists,” directs the Center for Language and Music at New York University, where he studies language, music, cognitive development, and evolution. His previous book, Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind, was a New York Times Editors’ Choice pick.

Table of Contents

Tuning Up 1

Take Me to the River 11

Learning to Crawl 23

It Don't Come Easy 35

Talking Heads 53

Back to School 65

School of Rock 85

True Talent 97

Into the Groove 107

Onstage 119

The Worst Song in the World 123

Knowing Without Knowing 147

Take It to the Limit 161

Heavy Metal 191

Epilogue 203

Acknowledgments 207

Glossary 211

Notes 219

References 235

Index 263

What People are Saying About This

Norman Doidge

"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 . . . makes some delightful counterintuitive fine points. . . . For those who look forward, in 'retirement,' to honoring the lifelong yearnings they have neglected, Guitar Zero is good news."

Steven Pinker

“An entertaining and enlightening memoir, filled with insight about music, learning, and the human mind, by Gary Marcus, one of the deepest thinkers in cognitive science.”

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