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Guitar book buying tips

At this time of ear people often browse local book stores looking for last minute Christmas gifts, and maybe a music-related book is a possibility. You might also be searching for a guitar book to complement your guitar practice, advance your skills, or expand your knowledge? Here are my eight tips for beginner and intermediate guitar books:

Beginner guitar books should:

  1. Cover multiple styles
  2. Introduce the basics, not go too in depth
  3. Describe various techniques without going into advanced details
  4. Show you how to use some simple theory e.g. counting beats

Advancing on introductory books, intermediate guitar books should also:

  1. Train your “guitar ears
  2. Include oral drills so you can sing as well as play guitar
  3. Go more in depth into theory behind guitar
  4. Coach you in sightreading

I’m reluctant to pitch certain books since peoples preferences vary a lot. What works for one person might be too casual a writing style, too anglicised, or not visual enough for another. But for what it’s worth I find Solo Guitar Playing to be an excellent introductory guitar book for beginners, even for those who might not yet know how to read music. I liked it so much I recently bought a fresh copy for myself! If you like that and want to continue learning classical guitar there is an intermediate version by the same author.

A black paperback textbook and two of my plectra on a wooden table
A suggested beginner’s guitar book.

What guitar books would you recommend?

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