5 Inspirational Books for Musicians 

by Rodrigo Sanchez, May 3, 2021 . 4 min read

5 Inspirational Books for Musicians 

These 5 inspirational books for musicians can be considered modern classics. They are a fantastic resource to feed our drive and keep us inspired.

We all know that there are times when we feel insecure about our musical abilities, and might even have trouble reconnecting with why we play anyways. These five books can help us reconnect with that fire within. Some of them even offer tips on how to deal with creative blocks and other creative issues artists face. Without further ado, here are the 5 inspirational books for musicians.

The Artist’s Way – Julia Cameron

This is a true classic for artists around the world. The Artist’s Way has been around for over 25 years and introduced the concept of “morning pages”. This basically is writing three pages of stream of consciousness in a journal first thing in the morning. Some artists swear by this process as it helps unblock them and clean the creative pipes. In all fairness, this book has been criticized for leaning heavily on the connection to mystical superpowers. However, it is one of the premier self help books for the creative artist. 

Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell

Best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell takes on top-notch performers in this book. Basically, world class performers have two components: luck and tons of practice. You cannot control the first element, but you can control the second. Outliers took the concept of ten thousand hours of practice and ran with it. There are some articles on the Internet that debunk this concept. But watchout: they do not claim that practice is unnecessary. The debate is about how much time should be spent practicing. In any case, Outliers is a fantastic book that gives us insight into what made world class performers great, including a case study of The Beatles. So yes, you still have to practice a lot to get good.

Miles: The AutoBiography – Miles Davis and Quincy Troupe

Miles Davis was a larger than life jazzist that redefined what a true superstar is. His influence in music is unmeasurable. Besides having the adoration of fans and critics, Miles was also seen as the true master he was by other stars like Sting, Madonna, Phil Collins and more. This book details the struggles he faced as a black man in a deeply segregated world, and how he rose to become the very definition of the word “cool”. Beholden to no one, Miles Davis made his own path, and had the entire world follow in his footsteps, his ideas and the magical sound of his trumpet. 

The War of Art – Steven Pressfield

A fantastic book that bases its premise on the value of discipline. If you’re a guitarist, you play everyday. If you’re a songwriter you write everyday. If you’re a producer, you produce everyday. Not only when you feel like it, not only when you’re inspired. This concept seems simple, but it is not easy to execute. Steven Pressfiled states that a professional works on his craft everyday, no matter what. The War of Art also explores some of the thoughts and attitudes that keeps us from working on our art every single day. And if you look at the facts, the top performers in their field apply the concepts in this book whether they know it or not. 

Anything You Want – Derek Sivers

Derek Sivers founded CD Baby and sold it years later for 22 million dollars. He donated all the money to charity and went to travel around the world. This peculiar character gives us 40 lessons in this easy to read book. These lessons are enlightening and speak to the power of ingenuity, hard work and other core values all musicians should strive for. You can easily read Anything You Want in just a couple of hours. However, despite its simplicity, this book can leave a lasting impression in musicians feeling stuck with their art and life in general. 

These 5 inspirational books for musicians are a great source of motivation. As a matter of fact, these can be thoroughly enjoyed just by anybody in any field. They are well written, entertaining and deep. Take the time to read them and you won’t regret it. Leave us a comment with books that have helped you get through difficult creative times. 

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