5 Great Books for Musicians

Here are 5 great books for musicians on your gift list.


Music by Andrew Zuckerman

Music by Andrew Zuckerman. This book is chock full of the voice of experience. Zuckerman interviews musical icons from many genres: rock icons like Ozzy, pop musicians like Lenny Kravitz, Iggy Pop, Chrissie Hynde, Ani DiFranco, Rosanne Cash and others; jazz luminaries like Herbie Hancock and Dave Brubeck; classical composer Phililip Glass; Indian sitar master Ravi Shankar and many, many, many more. A total of 50 musicians were interviewed for the project and nearly everyone has interesting things to say about music. The last I checked, this $50 hardcover book was going for less than ten bucks! The pictures are also pretty amazing, just the artist against a stark white background.

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Abrams; Har/Psc edition (October 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 12.3 x 12.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars (7 customer reviews)

_______________________________________________by Gerald Klickstein


The Talent CodeThe Talent Code by Dan Coyle. This is one of the most engaging reads that tackles practice in general, and what’s happening in the brain. Coyle uses anecdotes and interviews with experts to help the reader understand how people get better and what’s going on in the brain. My review of the book goes into more details. Highly recommended. ~$15

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; 1 edition (April 28, 2009)
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars (103 customer reviews)


The Inner Game of MusicThe Inner Game of Music, by Barry Green. This is an excellent book for any musician even though Green, like many other books, is a classical bass player. Lots of smart things in this book, based on the “inner game of tennis” format. Green took the principles from that book lived with them and applied them to music for ten years, then wrote this book. My review of the book is here if you’d like more info. Highly recommended. ~$15

  • Hardcover: 225 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday; 1 edition (1986)
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars (31 customer reviews)


The Inner Game of MusicFreeplay: Improvisation in Life and Art, by Stephen Nachmanovitch. An excellent book on improvising in many forms, both musical and in your life. It’s an easy read that’s well worth it even if you’re not an improviser. Lots of great material in here. My review is here if you’d like more info. Highly recommended. ~$15

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Tarcher; 1 edition (1990)
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.2 x .06 inches
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars (35 customer reviews)

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Brian says:

    hey, just wanted to add this book.

    Great in-depth interviews with musicians from the top. Lots of great insights.

    1. Great! thanks so much. I’ve put this in my shopping cart already. And I love the e-mail address name, too. 🙂

  2. onemorepretentiousblogger says:

    Reblogged this on onemorepretentiousblogger.

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