6 Books Every Musician Should Read [2021]

Michael Jackson once said:

I’m a big believer that reading is the most common habit amongst successful people.

As you progress through life as an artist, it soon becomes evident that we require help from others to get from A to B. What isn't clear, however, is who we go to in order to progress? Many of us try and look for mentors, whose time is often caught up in other endeavors.

One route that has been regarded as a blessing is the ability to read books. Greek Philosopher, "Socrates", once said: "Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for". In this article, we'll showcase six books that will help develop your mindset for success.

1: It's All In Your Head, by Russ.

Buy "It's All In Your Head".

Russ is arguably one of the most successful independent hip-hop artists around today and boasts a catalog of over 200 songs; all of which he owns the masters to. What's special about Russ is that he wasn't discovered overnight. In fact, in this book, he chronicles his 10+-year journey from earning pennies to six-figures per week without the support of a record label.

He also dives into his mindset when he couldn't afford to eat good quality meals, as well as how he tolerated hatred from others as he followed his dream. This book is truly an easy-to-consume, yet incredibly powerful story of what it means to make a success of yourself as an independent artist.

2: The 15 Invaluable Laws Of Growth, By John C Maxwell

Buy: "The 15 Invaluable Laws Of Growth"

The 15 Invaluable Laws Of Growth is by far one of the greatest books anyone on a mission should read. Maxwell takes the reader on a journey through the various levels one must master in order to achieve a great quality of life, along with how to fulfill yourself throughout the journey.

If you're an entrepreneur, this book is most definitely for you!

3: How To Win Friends & Influence People, By Dale Carnegie

Buy How To Win Friends & Influence People

As a musician, you develop a certain level of responsibility to ensure what you put to the world out adds to the growth of the human species in some way. Whether that's spreading good vibes through your music, or inspiring the many thousands - and hopefully millions - of people who listen to your music throughout your career.

Among some of the important chapters in this book, Carnegie walks you through ways to develop your character in order to inspire and influence others positively. Here's a part of this book that has stuck with me for years now:

“A person's name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

This book will teach you how to develop yourself so that you're remembered by others for being kind, positive, and compassionate throughout your career. This is a must-read for any musician!

4: When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress, By Gabor Maté

Buy: When The Body Says No - The Cost Of Hidden Stress

As a musician, there's no doubt that you're bound to feel stressed at some point. But what if we told you that a lot of our stress comes from our childhood and experiences we've not yet worked on and healed?

If untreated, stress can manifest into a wide array of physical and mental illnesses. In this book, Physician Gabor Maté takes you through the following (and more):

  • Explores the role of the mind-body link in conditions and diseases such as arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and multiple sclerosis.
  • Shares dozens of enlightening case studies and stories, including those of people such as Lou Gehrig (ALS), Betty Ford (breast cancer), Ronald Reagan (Alzheimer’s), Gilda Radner (ovarian cancer) and Lance Armstrong (testicular cancer).
  • Reveals ‘The Seven A’s of Healing’: principles in healing and the prevention of illness from hidden stress.

5: Who Says You Can't, You Do. - By Daniel Chidiac

Buy: Who Says You Can't, You Do.

Let me ask you something. What's stopping you from reaching the level of success you wish to attain? Before you answer, think critically here. What's been holding you back from going forward? Poor spending habits? hanging around with a bad social group? Drugs? etc?

In this book, Chidiac guides you through 7 steps that cover self-discovery, energy, achievement, relationships, and physical health.

Chidiac intuitively helps readers understand their own mental roadblocks in order to help them answer their own questions - so they can begin the road towards the success they know they're capable of. Additionally, Chidiac chronicles his own personal journey to success, and how success can change us for the worst unless we are content and thoughtful throughout life.

6: Atomic Habits, by James Clear

Buy: Atomic Habits

Among one of my favorite books (and one I'm still reading), is this book by James Clear. Atomic Habits teaches readers how to develop positive habits systems in order to create a more optimized state of being.

The book breaks down the four things that make habits stick, as well as how people and businesses alike have leveraged small daily habits in order to reach massive success.

Clear also reshapes readers' minds when they think of what it means to "reach a goal". In fact, upon reading this book, you'll come out removing any of your "goals" entirely. The reason for this, as explained by Clear, is that goals do not prepare us for the person we become once we've reached the goal, and so the human mind simply plots down new goals and goes on a wild goose chase in search of more fulfillment.

These are among just two of the topics outlined in this easy-to-read and incredibly insightful book.

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