Starting a new musical instrument can be an exciting but daunting prospect: with so many method books out there, the choice can be overwhelming, and it can be hard to know where to even begin! With this in mind, we have put together a curated list of books tailored for every type of beginner guitarist.
Whether you are picking up a guitar for the first time or looking to refresh your skills after some time away, we have a book to suit every learning path. The books listed below range from the famous, tried-and-tested guitar method used by Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, and Brian May, to innovative modern jazz guitar Études by Tom Ollendorff.
Build your perfect guitar music library and get playing today with our guitar methods and repertoire collections for every level!
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An old classic: Bert Weedon – Play In a Day
Bert Weedon's iconic Play In A Day remains one of the world's most successful guitar tutors. It is as much a legend as the stars that have learnt from it, which include Eric Clapton, Mike Oldfield, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, John Lennon, Sting, Brian May, Pete Townshend and many, many others!
A modern classic: The Ultimate Guitar Tutor - Electric / Acoustic
A comprehensive introduction to playing the guitar – no prior knowledge of music necessary! Featuring an introduction to TAB and standard notation, essential techniques and tuning, plus classic songs with audio backing tracks to help you practise your new skills.
For adults: It’s never too late to play guitar
Written with the adult learner in mind, It’s never too late to play guitar is the perfect all-in-one tutor book. Leading guitar educators James Longworth and Nick Walker break down the key elements of musical styles including classic chord progressions, riffs, and strumming patterns. Packed full of extra resources including photocopiable chord and notation guides, recommended listening, and playalong tracks.
For kids: Guitar Basics
From the authors of ‘It’s never too late to play guitar’, Guitar Basics is a landmark method for young guitarists. This best-selling method starts out at complete beginner level, taking the learner through notation, chords and TAB, and introducing the foundations of guitar playing in an accessible format.
For a challenge: Tom Ollendorff – Études
If you’re returning to guitar after some time away but looking for a bit more of a challenge, Tom Ollendorff’s Études might be for you. Suitable for all guitarists from classical to jazz and acoustic, these exercises explore key aspects of technique through Tom’s own unique musical voice, with commentary from the acclaimed artist himself.
For classical guitar: Beginning Classical Guitar
Nigel Tuff’s Beginning Classical Guitar is the ultimate classical guitar method for students of all ages. With a concise easy-to-follow introduction to both classical guitar techniques and music notation, helpful diagrams, backing tracks and demonstration audio, this is the perfect book for anyone looking to get started with classical guitar.
For relaxing: Peaceful Guitar Playlist
Inspired by popular playlists on streaming services with curated selections of calming and relaxing music, Peaceful Guitar Playlist aims to translate this into real life with beautiful solo transcriptions you can play yourself! Whether jazz, folk, musical theatre, classical, or rock, these are pieces you will return to again and again – the perfect collection of music to unwind with and lose yourself in at the end of the day.