Setting out to become a guitar player can actually be a bit of a frustrating experience. While there are plenty of resources out there, it does seem that there are many obstacles on your way of becoming a great guitarist. First problems might appear if you start feeling discouraged, thinking about how long may it take to learn guitar. Look – every guitar player out there had similar issues. This is why we decided to look into some of the best guitar books for beginners and see to help anyone looking for ways on how to learn to play guitar on their own.
Of course, the choice was not that easy due to a simple reason – there are plenty of great guitar books out there. However, we narrowed it down to 12 books according to the things they cover, the ways they tackle learning basic concepts of guitar, and the overall accessibility – something that’s of great importance for a beginner guitar player. So this is the list we came up with.
- 1 My First Guitar
- 2 Play Guitar Today
- 3 Hal Leonard Guitar Method, Complete Edition
- 4 The Guitar Grimoire: The Exercise Book
- 5 The Only Beginner’s Guitar Book You’ll Ever Need
- 6 Teach Yourself to Play Guitar: A Quick and Easy Introduction for Beginners
- 7 Teach Yourself to Play Guitar: Everything You Need to Know to Start Playing the Guitar
- 8 Easy Fingerpicking Guitar: A Beginner’s Guide to Essential Patterns & Techniques
- 9 Guitar Chord Bible
- 10 Learn Your Fretboard: The Essential Memorization Guide for Guitar
- 11 No Bull – Music Theory for Guitarists
- 12 Guitar Book for Adult Beginners
- 13 Final Thoughts
My First Guitar
We’ll start things off with a book for the youngest ones. Written by Ben Parker, the book is done so that a student can approach the guitar in a fun, engaging, and loving way. And it’s simple enough for all kids of ages up to 10 to understand. The easy to follow instructions are all accompanied by illustrations and very simple, yet effective, exercise examples.
You need to know that there is no sheet music in there, just photos and chord diagrams that are really easy to follow. This is the best way for the young ones to learn some basic concepts and have fun with the instrument.
Play Guitar Today
If you’re looking for ways on how to teach yourself guitar, “Play Guitar Today!” comes as a very useful book. In fact, this is a full pack featuring an additional CD and DVD. It’s all conceived by Hal Leonard Corp. and intended for those who just started out, got familiar with some chords and simple songs, but feel like moving further from the basic stuff.
It involves a hands-on approach and a great deal of simple and systematized information that will help you along the way.
Hal Leonard Guitar Method, Complete Edition
Another one by Hal Leonard Corp., the “Guitar Method: Complete Edition” is more than just a regular book. In fact, it includes three books put into one, all written by Will Schmid and prog-rock master Greg Koch. So if you want to teach yourself guitar without any classes and just by using different resources on your own, getting through this will take you from an absolute beginner to an intermediate player.
The book also comes with a bonus – free access to over 150 online tracks for play-along and practice. What’s more, the tracks come with additional functionality, so you can slow them down or loop certain parts.
The Guitar Grimoire: The Exercise Book
Maybe not as interactive as the previously mentioned book, but “The Guitar Grimoire” by Adam Kadmon is a very extensive collection of fundamental principles and lessons that every good guitar player should go through. It covers both technical and theoretical basics that will help you excel further into the wonders of the guitar world.
And the book is not about learning simple songs mechanically and knowing how to finer a few chords. After this one, you’ll be ready to start learning advanced theory and how to approach songwriting, soloing, and improvisation.
The Only Beginner’s Guitar Book You’ll Ever Need
While the title might be an example of an ambitious marketing ploy, “The Only Beginner’s Guitar Book You’ll Ever Need” is still more than a great resource for beginners. The main idea here is to avoid the old “conventional” and somewhat outdated approaches. For instance, teaching kids stuff like “Mary Had a Little Lamb” will not cover any necessary basics.
Instead, this book takes actual practical techniques and basic chords, ultimately arming you – the beginner – with what you need.
Teach Yourself to Play Guitar: A Quick and Easy Introduction for Beginners
Learning how to read music is kind of tough. However, it’s far from an impossible task and you can even learn it on your own, without anyone’s help. On the other hand, the modern approach is more about learning some practical basics first, getting some gratification from learning actual songs, and then moving on to the next step.
And that’s exactly what this book is designed for. Many of the beginner books out there can be kind of misleading and actually contain more “fluff” and filler content rather than actual guitar lessons. With “Teach Yourself to Play Guitar” by David Brewster, you will be able to start practicing the important stuff straight away.
Teach Yourself to Play Guitar: Everything You Need to Know to Start Playing the Guitar
While half of the title is the same as the one we mentioned above, this is a completely different book by a different author. Here, we have an alternative approach – you’ll also be able to learn music notation. However, it all starts with learning how to use tablature, which is a very useful and practical approach that even experienced players often use.
Aside from music theory and practical stuff, the book also contains a lot of info about the world of guitars. It is like a full package for the purpose of getting you into the world of guitar the right way.
Easy Fingerpicking Guitar: A Beginner’s Guide to Essential Patterns & Techniques
The guitar is actually not a simple instrument. There are so many different ways how you can approach it, and there are so many different musical styles that it can cover. This particular book focuses on beginners who would like to get better at fingerpicking techniques.
It would be a great idea to cover some basic chords first before getting into this book. However, there’s also some info that will allow a complete beginner to get acquainted with the instrument.
Guitar Chord Bible
Whatever is the genre you’re playing, you’ll always have to be familiar with different guitar chords. But before you start getting into how chords are built and all the theory behind it, there’s a very useful book called the “Guitar Chord Bible,” featuring over 500 examples with accompanied diagrams.
What’s really interesting is that it doesn’t all focus on regular major and minor chords in one position, but also provides the student with a bunch of different voicings and their fingering patterns. It’s a pretty useful one that you’ll use even in your later stages of playing.
Learn Your Fretboard: The Essential Memorization Guide for Guitar
One of the biggest challenges for a young guitar player is learning the fretboard and how all notes on it relate to each other. If you are having troubles with this, “The Essential Memorization Guide for Guitar” will definitely be of use here.
With this thorough guide, written by Luke Zecchin, you will be acquainted with the fretboard and even find ways how to translate your ideas to your guitar neck. This skill later on helps with both complex guitar chords and intricate guitar scales.
No Bull – Music Theory for Guitarists
Divided into 12 chapters, the book covers the essential music theory components every guitarist should know. After all, you need to be familiar with the basic building blocks of every musical piece if you really want to become good at guitar.
This opens up a world of possibilities and allows you to, one day, learn how to write your own original music in different styles. As the title properly suggests, the book has no fills – only the most important things you will need to know.
Guitar Book for Adult Beginners
While almost all of the books are focused on young beginners, anything from ages of 5 to late teens, there are barely any good guitar books for beginners who are adults. While it’s the best idea to start as early as possible, it’s not uncommon to see great guitar players who began learning about the instrument later on in their lives.
This is where the “Guitar Book for Adult Beginners” by Damon Ferrante comes in. This is a very simple method, yet accustomed to adults. Just follow it through and you will be ready to tackle basic songs, different chords, and even some lead sections.
Talking of the best guitar books for beginners, it’s kind of hard to single out the “best” one. It usually comes down to personal needs and choices. However, there are three books that we thought stood out.
The first one is “The Guitar Grimoire” solely due to its extensive and very systematically organized collection. If you are a beginner planning to become a full-blown pro – this is the book you will want to get.
Then we would single out “Teach Yourself to Play Guitar” by David Brewster since it is very simple and comes in handy for almost any age.
Lastly, we have “Learn Your Fretboard” that thoroughly explains different approaches in learning how to coordinate on the guitar neck. We’d say that this is the best possible fusion of theory and practice on guitar, all written in one simple book for beginners.