Here are 3 of my favorite books to learn to play guitar. I’ve chosen these because each book offers something a bit different, but cover all the major bases from beginner to advanced, acoustic and electric guitar.
Each book includes an audio CD so you can be sure you’re doing it right, and there’s truly something for everyone here which makes them great gift ideas too! 😉
Learn to Play Guitar
The Hal Leonard Guitar Method
Hal Leonard is a giant in the music publishing business, and they have some of the best books to learn to play guitar. The Hal Leonard Guitar Method, Complete Edition: Books & CD’s 1, 2 and 3 is one of the best of their collection.
What makes the Hal Leonard Guitar Method so great is that it’s designed for beginners and intermediate players and covers both acoustic and electric guitar.
This “complete edition” features 3 spiral bound books (Guitar Method 1, 2 and 3), each with a CD of samples, so you can hear what the lessons should sound like when played correctly.
This book begins at the beginning with how to hold the guitar. Each lesson proceeds from there in a logical way to more advanced topics like:
- reading music
- building chords
- music theory
- advanced fingerings
- and much much more!
The Hal Leonard Guitar Method, Complete Edition: Books & CD’s 1, 2 and 3 is an incredible resource – whether you are a beginner wanting to learn to play guitar, or an intermediate player who wants to improve your skills.
This book focuses on developing the guitarist’s fingers, ear and understanding of harmony and melody. Music theory is introduced naturally, and subtly without ever feeling like a text book. The CD set makes learning proper timing, intonation and rhythm enjoyable and rewarding.
It’s never been easier to learn to play guitar!
Learn How the Fretboard Works
With the Guitar Fretboard Workbook, you will learn to navigate the guitar neck better than ever before.
The content of this book is based upon the core curriculum of the Musicians Institute, and it covers essential concepts of playing guitar from basic to advanced.
What makes the this book so cool is that it’s a hands-on technique for learning theory and how it relates to the fretboard – and you don’t even need to read musical notation to do it! You learn the fundamentals of music as they relate to the guitar. That knowledge can be extended to all styles and forms of music.
Among some of the topics covered are:
- slash chords (ex: D/F, G/B..)
- how to understand the neck, and relate to chords and scales anywhere on the neck
The Guitar Fretboard Workbook will teach you how to speak the universal language of Music. It gives you the knowledge you need to be able to communicate with other trained musicians regardless of what instrument they play.
The book itself if designed for use in everything from private lessons to classroom instruction to personal study.
The Fretboard Workbook is comprised of 22 short chapters, covering a specific topic or lesson small enough to be completed in a 20 – 30 minute timeframe. Each chapter builds on the one before it and increases in difficulty. Written and playing assignments are included, with answers in the back.
This Guitar Workbook is ideal for the self-starter who wants to learn to play guitar, but doesn’t have the time to schedule a fixed lesson every week. It’s also a great book for the intermediate player looking to jump to the next level of playing guitar.
Even people who know the 5 patterns of major scales have said they benefited from an improved sense of understanding the scales and how to visualize where to play them after using the Guitar Fretboard Workbook.
Great for anyone who has trouble finding their way around the fretboard.
Let’s face it – unless you’re a professional musician or student, it’s hard to find the time to practice playing guitar. Between work, and family obligations there isn’t much time to devote to regular practice. That’s where Guitar Aerobics: A 52-Week, One-lick-per-day Workout Program for Developing, Improving and Maintaining Guitar Technique comes into play.
Guitar Aerobics is what that titles suggests. One lick to practice, every day that adds up to a week long workout to get you in the groove, and help you build up your skills with minimal hassle to your already busy life.
You can think of this as your daily dose of vitamins, or callous inducing calisthenics.
Anyway, all the main styles are covered:
Techniques covered include:
- alternate picking
- sweep picking
- string skipping
- string bending
- rhythm guitar
Practicing these techniques every day leads to improved dexterity and accuracy. Each technique is mapped to a day of the week, and each week builds on the one before it.
For example, Monday is “alternate picking day”, so each Monday focuses on increasingly challenging alternate picking skills.
Like any good book meant to teach you to learn to play guitar, the Guitar Aerobics: A 52-Week, One-lick-per-day Workout Program for Developing, Improving and Maintaining Guitar Technique includes a CD. The CD has all 365 workout licks and play-along grooves in various styles and metronome settings.
The real beauty of Guitar Aerobics is that the workouts are broken down into daily exercises that can be completed in 10 or 15 minutes a day. This avoids practice fatigue and it’s perfect for the busy amateur guitarist!