Three Great Guitar Method Books for Beginning Guitarists

One of the best ways to get started playing guitar is with guitar method books. Most guitar method books come in a series and book one is written for complete beginners, new to the guitar. Originally guitar method books were written for students studying with a teacher. Now, they often come with CDs and/or DVDs and are suitable for guitar students learning on their own.

Guitar Method Books for Beginners

Level one method books get you started sight reading guitar notes for beginners. After learning notes the books progress into the easy guitar chords for beginners.

Here’s a comparison review of three guitar method books we’ve reviewed at

 Guitar Method Books Compared
Title Hal Leonard Guitar Method A Modern Method for Guitar (William Leavitt) Mel Bay’s Modern Guitar Method
Rank #1 #3 #2
Product Image   Hal Leonard Guitar Method   A Modern Method for Guitar   Mel Bay's Modern Guitar Method
Feature 1 3 volumes in set 3 volumes in set 7 volumes in set
Feature 2 Play-along CD Play-along CD Play-along CD/DVD (optional)
Feature 3 Method updated to include rock and modern songs. Method book used at Berklee College of Music Favorite method of teachers since 1948.
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Guitar Method Book Reviews
Hal Leonard Guitar Method I would highly recommend the Hal Leonard Method for young beginners who want to play basic, bare-bones rock guitar. This book would appeal to players of all ages who just want to get up to speed playing any popular style of music such as rock, folk or blues guitar. The backing tracks are modern, and rocking and would interest and inspire a young player.
A Modern Method for Guitar With its origins at the Berklee School of Music, the Modern Method for Guitar would be ideal for a serious music student, possibly one with aspirations of playing or teaching professionally. Of the three, this course has the most in-depth theoretical and technical instruction. That’s great for a serious student, but may put off a more-casual learner. While the play-along exercises are highly-functional, they’re not recognizable songs, and thus, not so much fun to play along with.
Mel Bay Guitar Method Mel Bay’s Guitar Method is a bit more serious than the Hal Leonard Method, and a bit more loose, and fun than the Berklee Method. While Mel Bay offers a serious approach to learning the guitar, it focuses a bit more on developing mechanical skills and less on in-depth theory than the Berklee method. However, you will learn the theory you need as you progress.
 Summary Conclusion
I could easily recommend any of these method books to a beginning guitar student. However, I would want to know the student’s goals and level of interest.

The Berklee Method would be a great choice for a student serious about music, but not as good a choice for the casual teen looking to get into a punk band.

However, a student could very easily start out with volume 1 of Hal Leonard and start to get serious.

It would be no problem to switch to Berklee or Mel Bay for a more serious approach. Which might be a good reason to buy the individual first volume and not the whole set.

Value-wise, given the amount of material in each of the volumes, each method is well worth the cover price. Books can be purchased as a set or individually.

Have you used any of these three guitar method books? Let us know how you liked them. Or, if you didn’t like them at all. Submit your review, below. We want to hear what you think.

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