Learn to Play Guitar with Method Books

The guitar “method” book is a staple for guitar players going back decades. Before audio, video, and Internet guitar lessons, there were guitar method book.

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Learn to Play Guitar — Left Handers

Why Learn Guitar With Method Books?

Hal Leonard Guitar Method Book
Hal Leonard Guitar Method Book

Some features of basic guitar method books include:

  • First lessons start from scratch — teaching you how to hold the guitar and how to hold the pick.
  • Lessons are graduated, each building on the previous lesson, increasing in complexity.
  • Most methods come in a series of three to six books — sold separately so you don’t have to buy all at once.
  • One goal is to teach the student how to read music (notes), and build chords.
  • Another goal is to have the student build dexterity in both hands.
  • Teachers often use method books for both private and class instruction.
  • Audio CDs of lessons are often included.

Learn Guitar Music for Beginners

Level one method books are all about guitar music for beginners. Level one books teach:

  • Easy guitar chords.
  • Sight-reading guitar notes for beginners.
  • Easy guitar music.
  • Some method books include guitar tabs for beginners.

Students who work through a level one method book will have a good foundation for tackling intermediate level materials.

Specialized Guitar Method Books

Alfred's Kid's Guitar Course
Alfred’s Kid’s Guitar Course

Aside from the basic guitar method books, there are also specialized or niche method books for…

  • small children.
  • electric guitar or for acoustic guitar.
  • genres: blues, jazz, rock, bluegrass, classical, etc.

These niche books often place less emphasis on teaching note-reading and more emphasis on learning to play the fundamentals of the specific style, for example blues progressions, or bluegrass style bass/chord runs. If you’re more interested in joining a blues, rock, or bluegrass jam than you are on learning to read notes, these niche methods might be a good place to start.

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