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What’s Behind “The Secret Map Of The Happy Guitarist”?

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In a correspondence with Jazz Guitar Today, guitarist and author Manuel Consigli explains the concept and motivation behind “The Secret Map Of The Happy Guitarist”.

Manuel Consigli: I would be very curious to know what guitarists in America think about the book, as well as around the world. In Italy it was greatly appreciated and received excellent reviews, including from many guitarists and teachers.

But it is also a controversial book, and especially at the beginning it met with some opposition …

Some guitarists, for example, misunderstood the title, thinking that the “Secret Map” I speak of in the title was some easy shortcut to learn how to play the guitar quickly and without commitment.

But obviously this is not the case, on the contrary, it is a book that invites the guitarist to go deeper, to recognize and harmonize the inner dynamics of the study and performance, to experience music in a more intense and personal way.

This “secret map” really exists, but it is not a shortcut…

…but rather a path of artistic awareness that the guitarist can take, an inner journey to discover his own infinite potential and resources. It is a “secret” map because it is well hidden inside each of us, and you cannot see it unless you go looking for it.

In the book, this path is described very clearly, and in a very simple way, without difficult words or psychologisms.

I address the guitarist as if I had him in front of him, as if he were one of the many students I have met in more than thirty years of teaching.

Manuel Consigli at Ursa Major Recording Studio with his 1980 ES-175 CC

I speak with confidence and kindness, and without taboos or embarrassment in dealing with the most intimate and profound aspects related to our path in music.

What I have discovered, from those who have read this book, is that those who play the guitar, and in particular the jazz guitarist, have a great desire to “go beyond” the technicalities and dynamics of competition, to be able to express themselves more natural and harmonious.

With the Guitar Mindfulness® method, I have seen guitarists remove blocks of expression and pacify themselves with the frustrations that often mark our artistic path. I have seen guitarists literally flourish, and find their own way, and finally give voice to their qualities.

There is a great mission behind this book, a strong “intent” that prompted me to write it …

I confess that when I wrote it, I felt somehow “guided”.

I didn’t invent the map mentioned in the book, but it literally “arrived” suddenly, like an intuition, and I strongly felt the commitment to share it with other guitarists.

But it’s not just because it makes us play the guitar better …

There is something more.

Maybe we guitarists can do something important for this suffering world …

Perhaps all of us musicians, who study ‘harmony’, to unite the most diverse sounds in beauty, are called to a specific task:

Bring harmony within us, and then spread it as much as possible in the world.

Is this perhaps the real mission of us guitarists?

This is the message of the “The Secret Map of the Happy Guitarist”.


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