You are currently viewing 7 Best Must-Read Guitar Books for Beginners for 2024

Last Updated on March 2, 2024 by Teemu Suomala

 

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Best Overall/Get’s You Started Fast: Teach Yourself to Play Guitar

Reviewer: Teemu Suomala

Practicality
How In-Depth
How Engaging
Does What If Should?
Value For Money

Summary

My favorite thing about this book is practicality and how it teaches you through actually doing things. 

Pros
-Affordable
-Simple
-Teaches all the basics
-Teaches you by doing
-Don’t even try to dive deep with music theory upfront

Cons
-It could dive a bit deeper (fretboard memorization, etc.)
-Photos are straight from the ’90s (Even though the book is published in 2003)
-Short, only 48 pages

If someone comes to ask ”which book will get me started with guitar”, this book is my go-to choice. It teaches all the needed guitar basics in easy to understand manner.

4.5

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Best Exercise Book: Guitar Aerobics

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Our Overall Rating

Summary

Pros

  • Does what it should really well
  • Book covers a wide variety of different genres and techniques(definitely even more than beginner needs in his first year)
  • Really easy to use if you know how to read tabs
  • Years worth of practice material for this price is really affordable
  • Relly improves your skills fast
  • Online audio tracks available

Cons

  • Doesn’t teach you all the basics (guitar anatomy, how to tune, etc.). So this is probably not the only guitar book you are going to need.
  • The introduction is a bit dry for the generation who is used to getting info from blogs and Youtube
  • App companion would make learning more fun and motivating

Best for Jazz Guitar: Hal Leonard Guitar Method – Jazz Guitar

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Our Overall Rating

Summary

Pros

  • Teaches Jazz basics mostly with real songs
  • Helps you understand Jazz and guitars role in it
  • Information itself is really good from cover to cover
  • Great book for beginner to advanced skill level (has something for everyone)

Cons

  • Photos were outdated 10 years ago
  • Format and plain editing could use upgrading. More visuals and shorter paragraphs would make learning more pleasant

Best for Learning Songs: Simple Songs

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Our Overall Rating

Summary

Pros

  • The majority of the songs are great for beginners
  • 50 songs to learn for this price is affordable
  • Includes both, tabs and chords
  • Great songs for almost every player

Cons

  • Not for metalheads
  • All songs are not for complete beginners(still for beginners overall tho)
  • The format can look a bit complex at first

Best Classical Guitar Book: Hal Leonard Classical Guitar Method

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Our Overall Rating

Summary

Pros

  • Teaches you all the basics of classical guitar
  • Revised in 2015
  • More engaging than the older Hal Leonard guitar books
  • Teaches you about classical guitar care (remember to read the section about the humidity if you don’t want any cracks to your bodywood)
  • Includes classical songs we all love

Cons

  • Photos still look old
  • Still not the most visual learning resource

Best All-Around Guitar Guide: The Guitar Handbook

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Our Overall Rating

Summary

Pros

  • Really comprehensive
  • Great chord chart and scale-sections
  • Really in-depth guitar maintenance section
  • Valuable info from beginner to advanced players
  • Has a value-packed theory section too
  • Performance technology section can become handy too

Cons

  • Old-fashioned, new revised version would be awesome
  • Could be more engaging and visual
  • The performance technology -section is probably the most outdated

Best for Electric Guitar: First 15 Lessons – Electric Guitar

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Our Overall Rating

Summary

Pros

  • More engaging and visual than the older Hal Leonard-published books
  • Teaches parts of famous songs with tablature
  • Learning the basics of an electric guitar is easy and straightforward with this book
  • Nice to have a book that focuses on electric guitars only

Cons

  • Photos still look outdated
  • Could include even more lessons
graphic compares 7 Best Guitar Books for Beginners

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This guitar guide I wish I had when I started guitar playing might also help you out.

photo reveals owner of guitaristnextdoor.com

Author: Teemu Suomala

I first grabbed the guitar in 2009. I started this website in January 2020 because I couldn’t do window installation anymore due to my health problems. I love guitars and have played dozens and dozens of different guitars through different amps and pedals over the years, and also, building a website interested me, so I decided to just go for it! I got lucky and managed to get awesome people to help me with my website.

I also got lucky because I have you visiting my website right now. Thank you. I do all this for you guys. If you have any recommendations, tips, or feedback, just leave a comment, I would love to chat with you. I have also been fortunate to produce content for several large guitar websites, such as SongsterrMusicnotesGuitarGuitar, and Ultimate Guitar.

I spend my spare time exercising and hanging out with my wife and crazy dog (I guess that went the right way…).


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Runner-Ups That Just Missed The Top 7


Buyer’s Guide

Are Guitar Books Worth it?

Here’s why they are worth it:  You need proper systematization when learning any new skill. This is where quality guitar books can help you. Experts have organized topics in the right order and present things in easy to understand manner(usually).

So, you don’t have to buy guitar books, but they can definitely be very helpful when learning to play.

Can you learn to play guitar from a book?

I would say yes. You can learn all the necessary scales, chords, techniques, and music theory from books. Of course, you have to put that information to action by actually playing the guitar. But when it comes to gaining knowledge, books are a great method.

What Makes a Great Guitar Book?

A couple of things.

  • Book has to be written by someone who has expertise in the topic(this is usually the case). But the fact that something is made by experts doesn’t actually mean that something is good and will deliver a huge impact.
  • Book teaches you through playing
  • Book and the lessons in it have to be structured well so that the reader has a clear road-map
  • Images, tabs, and chord charts help a lot
  • Information is easy to put into action
  • Book doesn’t force readers to read 50 pages of boring and dry theory before getting them into action

The books mentioned in this article follow fit these standards really well. And the knowledge every book mentioned here contains is definitely more valuable than the price.

How to Choose The Right Guitar Book for You?

What do you want a guitar book to do for your skills? And what do you want to accomplish as a guitar player? These are the 2 key questions.

For example, if you are just getting started and want to learn the basics and start playing simple songs, the best overall choice of this article is a great choice. Pair that with guitar tabs, and you are playing songs in no time!

If you have played for a while and are interested in getting into playing classical guitar, then get a book that teaches you classical guitar basics!

Choosing the right book is actually pretty simple!

Also, keep in mind that there are definitely many more great guitar books out there which were not mentioned in this article. So do your research and choose one that suits your needs and looks interesting to you. You might actually like a book with just blank text(unlike me)…if that’s the case, get a book with just blank text.

Advantages of Guitar Books

  • Affordable
  • Structured info written by experts(there might be some bad books out there too, but I haven’t heard about them much)
  • Handy, you can just grab a book and start learning
  • Easy to skim through and find the right section
  • Easy on your eyes
  • Reading books improves your imagination and focus
  • Easy to borrow to a friend (remember to ask the book back)

Downsides of Guitar Books

  • Not always very visual
  • Audio element is missing (sometimes books have some kind of audio companion)
  • Some people just can’t stand reading (you can always learn to love reading)
  • Prone to wear and tear

Find our picks for the 5 Best Guitar Books for Intermediate Players.


Conclusion

Books are one of my favorite methods to learn new stuff. Especially for gaining basic knowledge about some concept or skill. I just love reading.

I hope that this post helped you to choose the right beginner guitar book for you. If you have any questions, just go to my Youtube channel, and ask in the comments!

I wish you all the best. Keep reading and rocking!

Teemu

Teemu Suomala

I first grabbed the guitar in 2009. I started this website in January 2020 because I couldn’t do window installation anymore due to my health problems. I also noticed that most guitar websites don’t do a really good job, so I decided to just go for it! I got lucky and managed to get awesome people to help me with my website. I also got lucky because I have you visiting my website right now. Thank you. I do all this for you guys. If you have any recommendations, tips, or feedback, just leave a comment, I would love to chat with you. I have been fortunate to produce content for several large guitar websites, such as Songsterr, Musicnotes, GuitarGuitar, and Ultimate Guitar. I spend my spare time exercising and hanging out with my wife and crazy dog(I guess that went the right way…). Expertise: guitar learning techniques, electric guitars, and guitar amplifiers. You can connect with me on LinkedIn or just email me.