There are so many guitar tuition books out there! it can be overwhelming deciding which ones are right for you!
Fear not! Tunedin can do the work for you, and we will use this blog to keep you in the loop of which books we use and those we think are worth your pennies.
And we cannot recommend this first one enough...
The Justinguitar.com Beginner's Songbook
"At the early stages of learning guitar, many people get frustrated because they think the only songs they can play are Baa Baa Black sheep and other such dross... but it's not true! With just a few chords you can play some awesome songs and that is what my Beginner's Songbook's are all about. :) "
We love Justinguitar songbooks here at Tunedin! Much like in our lessons, Justin uses popular music you know and provides a clear instruction of how to approach each song. Justin has books covering a whole variety of genres and skill levels but this particular book is recommended to beginners due to it's collection of 100 songs arranged specifically for practicing your open chords.
There are around ten songs in each stage, with stage one collecting 10 songs using just your E, A, and D chords! arm yourself with a capo and off you go, playing some of your favourite songs in no time. Each stage adds some new chords, but sticks with your open chords throughout.
We recommend this book alongside your lessons, as it allows you to take home what you have learned from your chords in your lessons and apply them to other songs should you want to have a go at something yourself!
Troy Stetina's Metal Guitar Books
"Do you want to be awesome on the guitar? Want to get right to "the good stuff", without a lot of irrelevant garbage? If so, the Troy Stetina Series is for you."
Troy Stetina's Metal Lead Guitar: Volume 1 and Metal Rhythm Guitar: Volume 1 were the first two instructional books I bought as a young metalhead guitarist. They worked great together, showing me the importance of solid rhythm playing and the common techniques and licks that all my favourite guitarists were using.
While directed toward guitarists wanting to learn metal, both of these books teach essential techniques and ideas which are useful to know across the board, whether playing metal or not.
I would also recommend his Lead Guitar Primer book, which is great as an added lead in to volume 1.
Very Easy Guitar Tunes (Anthony Mark)
A great book for young beginners to start off with sight reading, makes use of various rhymes and melodies with musical notation. Starts of with the first three notes of the G major scale, steadily introducing new notes and scales as the book progresses.
This book is also useful for older students as a little entry point into some easy sight reading!
Easy Guitar Tunes: 30 Fun and Easy Guitar Tunes for Beginners (Ben Parker)
An alternative to the above would be Ben Parkers Easy Guitar tunes. Much like the last book this makes use of simple rhymes and melodies, however this time with a guitar tab underneath the notation. Great to test yourself with as it allows you to check with the accompanying tab!
Sight Reading Mastery for Guitar: Volume 1 by Joseph Alexander
For students further along in their musical journey, the latter books may feel a bit too simple for your skill level. This book would be recommended for those.
Sight reading can be an essential part of learning guitar. In a world where guitar tabs and online videos are so readily available and so many of your favourite guitarists openly admit they don't read music, it can be easy to overlook the importance of reading music.
Very few other instruments read tablature, and all other instruments learn to read music as a natural part of learning to play. To work as a professional guitarist, for example alongside an orchestra or in a musical show, it will be a necessary element of learning guitar.
This book covers pitch, rhythm, harmony and all variety of scales but unlike other books does not have 'pieces' to learn. While in most instances, such as learning your chords and how your scales work it may me more appropriate to learn actual songs, this book focuses solely on note recognition over learning musical patterns.
The advantage here is that you do not memorise the musical shapes of a song, but you are forced to read the music to learn how to recognise your notation.
I would recommend this book for guitarists who have already been playing for a while who have felt the desire to learn how to read music, or for advanced guitarists who have felt it may be useful for their professional musical career.
Hope some of this helps some of you! Any new books we think are worth some of your time, we will be sure to keep you updated :)
Thanks for reading!