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.