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Book Review: Performance Insight for Musicians by Walter Beasley

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I guess I expected more from this book than it delivered. The author, Walter Beasley is an Associate Professor at Berklee College of Music in Boston. I have great respect for this school. Many of my favorite musicians have gone there.

The style of the book is one of a topic per page. It is readable in a very short time. One tends to just breeze through the content. It’s 156 pages, but could have easily been condensed to 30 or less. I read this book twice in deference to the author and to give him a fair shake. My thoughts are that this book may be helpful to young musicians who have not been playing out in the real world. Most of the stuff is common knowledge such as:

Consistent practice will help you overcome any weaknesses.

Boy, I’ve never heard of that before. Imagine – musicians should practice.

How about this one?

Set meaningful goals for yourself.

Good advice.

I actually believe I could write a book like this, but I wouldn’t because I couldn’t stand myself afterwards. On the back cover there’s a blurb that states, “This book will soon become the Bible for up-and-coming musicians . . . ” Boy, that’s some kind of hype. This whole book could have been printed on a few pages at Kinkos. There’s really no great insight that I see in this book. What there is could be printed on one page. The rest of the material any student musician learns in a good music program. I can only imagine that this material was previously a hand-out in Beasley’s classes at Berklee. There’s certainly not enough insightful material for a book.[ADBLOCKHERE]

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  • Willie P. Richardson

    Haven’t read the book, but sometimes less is more; particularly in a book of basics pertaining to some sort of art form. Napoleon’s “Maxims,” the early editions of, “Elements of Style,” or the first three chapters of Clauswitz’ “On War” come to mind. And don’t forget Mao’s “Little Red Book,” which though truly moronic, has a brevity that simplifies how to realize power through the art of political thuggery.

    Nows I’s gots to get.