The 10 Best Guitar Books 2021

The 10 Best Guitar Books 2021

Guitar books are a great way to teach yourself guitar, complement your lessons, or just further develop as an intermediate or advanced player. They provide the guidance and wisdom of expert musicians at a much more affordable price than you’d pay to take lessons. But choosing the right guitar book can be tricky, and if you end up with a bad one, it can hurt your motivation to continue learning.

In this guide, we’ll go over the key factors you should look at before buying, answer some of the most pressing questions you might have as you shop, and give you our recommendations for the top 10 best guitar books of 2021.

What Is the Best Guitar Instruction Book?

The best guitar book is the one with material that you can connect with and intuitively grasp. Ultimately, you need to find a book that is able to explain things in a way that works for you. Here are some of the factors that will play a big part in that:

Skill Level

The most important factor to consider is your skill level. A beginner player will not have much use for an advanced book or a songbook that is exclusively sheet music without any instruction. Meanwhile, a more advanced player doesn’t need to spend money on a book that teaches them how to tune a guitar or change strings.

Fortunately, most guitar books will identify their target skill level either in the title or somewhere on the cover, so you can quickly figure out which books are appropriate. We’ve noted this in each of our reviews.

Logical Flow

The author of the book should be an experienced teacher who understands how different skills and techniques build on each other. You can’t really understand chords until you understand the notes that they’re made of, for example.

A good guitar book is organized logically so that each lesson builds on the skills or theory you learned in the previous lesson. If it lacks that logical flow, you’ll struggle to learn, and find it even more difficult to apply any of the things you’re learning to the actual goal of playing music.

Consistent and Comprehensive Series

As a beginner, if you’re relying on guitar books to teach yourself to play, you want to pick a series and stick with it. Don’t get a level one book from one author and a level two book from a different author. If you jump around to different series, you’ll lose that consistency that is so key to learning. You can read more about the benefits of sticking with a good series in our series advice section below.

As you become more of an intermediate/advanced guitar player, you may find it more beneficial to jump around between different books in order to expose yourself to different teaching styles.

Supplementary Material

Many instructional guitar books will come with CDs, DVDs, or online access to additional resources to help you learn. These supplementary materials are especially valuable if you are teaching yourself to play.

They shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, though. With the internet, you can supplement a great lesson book with tutorial videos and online recordings to get a sense of form and sound. So, focus more on the factors described above and treat supplementary materials as a convenient bonus rather than a necessity.

In the list below, you’ll find a mix of instructional books and songbooks that are all suited to either beginner or intermediate guitar players. Advanced players can also benefit from many of the songbooks as well as the more advanced books in some of the series we talk about below.

Top 10 Best Guitar Books 2021

1. Best Overall Guitar Book: Hal Leonard Guitar Method Complete Edition

Hal Leonard Guitar Method Complete Edition

Editor’s Rating:

5 of 5 stars

Why we like it:

This is a comprehensive guide to all the fundamental skills you’ll need to sound like a pro on the guitar!

Quick Specs:
  • Skill Level:Beginner and Intermediate
  • Series:No
  • Supplementary Material:3 CDs

The Hal Leonard Guitar Method series is one of the most popular series among guitar teachers and one of the most highly recommended series for teaching yourself to play. This edition collects all three volumes of the series in one convenient spiral-bound book!

Instructions and Skill Building

This complete edition takes you from learning the proper playing position through to mastering barre chords. It’s a great resource for teaching yourself or as a supplement to professional lessons. In fact, many teachers will either use this book or recommend it to their students.

By the time you’ve worked through all three volumes, you should feel pretty comfortable on the guitar and capable of learning just about any song, though some will be more challenging than others.

The only risk is that having all three volumes bound together, it’s easy to rush through the lessons. While it’s natural to be eager to get to the end and start jamming or playing your favorite songs, it’s important to spend sufficient time on each lesson.

We recommend focusing on no more than 1-2 lessons per week and not moving on from a lesson until you’re fully confident in your mastery of it.

If you think you’ll struggle to resist that urge to rush through, you can either buy this series in individual volumes, starting with volume one, or check out Mel Bay’s Modern Guitar Method: Grade 1 which is the first in a seven-volume series.

What’s Included?

While there are no additional books, this is technically a series on its own. The book is a collection of all three volumes of the Hal Leonard Guitar Method. This includes the CDs that normally come with each volume, so you get three volumes worth of lessons and three CDs all in one package.

It also comes in a plastic, spiral-bound format that makes it very convenient for reference while playing. Traditional bound books won’t lay flat or fold easily. This one does. So, you don’t need a music stand or paperweight to keep it open.

Pros

  • Comprehensive beginner and intermediate lessons
  • Includes three CDs
  • Easy-to-follow lessons and explanations
  • Convenient spiral-bound format

Cons

  • Complete edition makes pacing your lessons difficult

2. Best Guitar Book for Beginners: Mel Bay’s Modern Guitar Method: Grade 1

Mel Bay’s Modern Guitar Method: Grade 1

Editor’s Rating:

5 of 5 stars

Why we like it:

The Mel Bay Modern Guitar Method series is a comprehensive lesson plan that can take you from absolute beginner through to an advanced guitar player!

Quick Specs:
  • Skill Level:Beginner
  • Series:7
  • Supplementary Material:Online access to audio and video material

This book is the first in a seven-volume series that covers all the skills you need to be a confident guitarist. Over the course of the series, you’ll learn everything from tuning and guitar care through to chord studies and etudes.

Instructions and Skill Building

Grade 1 focuses on the essentials. It teaches all the fundamental skills you’d expect to find in a grade 1 book with a special emphasis on developing strong sight-reading and technical skills.

The lessons are clear and easy to follow. They build on each other naturally, so you’ll be able to feel and see the progress you’re making as you work through the book.

After you’ve finished grade 1, you can continue to grade 2 and keep playing through all seven volumes of this comprehensive self-teaching series.

For those who want everything in one book, this book will leave you wanting. For all the rich detail and extensive practice opportunities this offers, it’s still a seven-book series that needs purchasing separately. That’s more expensive than a comprehensive edition like the Hal Leonard book where you get lessons ranging from beginner through to advanced intermediate all-in-one convenient, affordable book.

However, if you’re willing to make the investment and you want that extra detail and practice for each lesson, this longer series is the way to go.

What’s Included?

Along with the book, you’ll get access to their online resource of audio and video materials. This includes an audio library of the songs found in the book so that you can play along as well as practice the duets that are included.

The video library includes tutorials to help you master finger positioning and other basic skills.

Pros

  • Great lesson structure for natural progressing through skills
  • Focus on key technical skills
  • Great for improving sight-reading
  • Includes tons of audio and video material to tie in with lessons

Cons

  • The full 7 volume series is costly

3. Best Budget Guitar Book: Teach Yourself to Play Guitar

Teach Yourself to Play Guitar

Editor’s Rating:

4.5 of 5 stars

Why we like it:

For those who’ve never played before and plan to self-teach, this is a great book to start with!

Quick Specs:
  • Skill Level:Beginner
  • Series:No
  • Supplementary Material:No

This uniquely designed beginner’s guide to learning the guitar is specifically intended for the self-taught players out there. If you’re looking for a fast way to pick up the basics of your new instrument and need instructions that are intuitive and easy to follow, this is the book to get.

Instructions and Skill Building

While this beginner’s guitar book includes all the key content you’d expect to see in a book for this skill level, it is unique in its focus on the self-teaching player. Unlike some instructional books, lessons are explained as if you don’t also have a professional teacher explaining it to you as well.

The progression of lessons is uniquely constructed to help you start playing tunes as quickly as possible, so impatient learners will appreciate how this book is laid out.

With that said, it does miss some key skills (like reading sheet music) in its effort to get you playing as fast as possible. In fact, the main downside to this book is that it’s not part of a series and not very comprehensive.

It’s a beginner-level book, and that’s it. For something that will carry you through to more advanced levels and help you develop as a player, you’ll probably prefer a series like Mel Bays Modern Guitar Method.

With that said, where this book excels is at getting the absolute beginner to start playing quickly. You’ll go from “never touched a guitar” to being able to play some simple tunes in no time.

What’s Included?

There are no supplementary materials included with the book. However, you can supplement the lessons yourself with online tutorials. You will also learn how to read guitar tabs in this book so you can supplement the lessons by finding tab sheet music for your favorite songs online.

Pros

  • Fastest way to start playing if you’re a beginner
  • Affordable
  • Specifically designed for self-taught players

Cons

  • Not part of a series
  • Not a comprehensive guide
  • No supplementary materials

4. Best Premium Guitar Book: The Beatles: Complete Chord Songbook

The Beatles: Complete Chord Songbook

Editor’s Rating:

4.5 of 5 stars

Why we like it:

With this book, the wildly popular songs of The Beatles can now be used to develop your technique and guitar playing skills!

Quick Specs:
  • Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced
  • Series:No
  • Supplementary Material:Playing guide, full discography

For players who have already developed their fundamental skills but aren’t yet comfortable with reading music, this chord songbook is a great pick. It’s a refreshing change from the simplistic, often boring songs that are used during in-person lessons, without being so complex that it’s inaccessible.

Instructions and Skill Building

This book contains all 194 songs by The Beatles, adapted specifically for strumming guitarists. The notes have been transcribed from actual recordings into chord symbols and boxes. You also get the lyrics so that you can sing along while you play.

It’s great for intermediate to advanced players who want to play some easy crowd-pleasers for friends and family. It’s also a good way to change up your practice when you’re starting to get bored or frustrated with your regular lessons.

As much as we love that this gives you the ability to learn any Beatles song you want, it is light on instruction. That’s because it’s meant as a songbook, not a lesson book.

For beginners who still need practice in the basics, you might prefer Learn to Play Guitar with Metallica, which is also a songbook but includes more detailed guidance and instruction specifically for beginner players.

What’s Included?

This songbook comes with the full Beatles discography and a playing guide that provides some helpful tips and instructions.

You have the option to get this book in a spiral-bound format, and we highly recommend doing so. That way you won’t need a music stand or paperweight to keep this book open. You can lay it flat or fold it to the page you’re playing from and then just concentrate on playing.

Pros

  • Includes all 194 songs by The Beatles
  • Songs are adapted for strumming guitarists
  • Includes helpful diagrams
  • Convenient, spiral-bound format available
  • Comes with

Cons

  • Not an instructional book
  • Not suitable for beginners

5. Learn to Play Guitar With Metallica

Learn to Play Guitar With Metallica

Editor’s Rating:

4.5 of 5 stars

Why we like it:

With this book, learning fundamental skills and jamming out to your favorite tunes can finally be done at the same time!

Quick Specs:
  • Skill Level:Advanced Beginner to Intermediate
  • Series:2
  • Supplementary Material:Online audio access

This unique approach to learning the guitar uses actual Metallica songs to help you understand the lessons in the book. If your reason for not having learned the guitar by now is because you just can’t get past those boring scales and hokey introductory songs, this book is exactly what you need!

Instructions and Skill Building

This book features 30 Metallica songs that have been simplified to match the skill level of a new player. It’s not for total beginners, but you only need the most basic knowledge to start with this book. So if you used it alongside say, Hal Leonard’s Guitar Method: Complete Edition, you’d be ready to start on this book after the first few lessons in that one.

This isn’t just a songbook, though. With each song, you get tips and instructions to help you play. So, you’re actually learning fundamental skills like reading music, tuning your guitar, and playing chord progressions.

When you’ve played your way through this one, you can move up to the intermediate level book in this same series.

If Metallica isn’t your jam, you can enjoy the same approach to learning guitar with your favorite artists using songs from Bob Dylan, The Ventures, and several other books like this.

The benefit of this approach is that you get to learn the fundamentals while still playing real songs that you know and enjoy. This helps you avoid that fateful rut that lots of budding musicians fall into, where you get so sick of playing boring scales over and over that you give up practicing.

With a book like this, practice feels like jamming out to some of your favorite songs right from the beginning.

What’s Included?

This book includes 30 simplified Metallica songs, each with tips and instructions for learning to play the guitar. It also comes with online access to the music so that you can play along with the band.

That online access isn’t really necessary since you can also find all these songs on YouTube or a music app. But it is convenient to have all 30 songs in one place and in the order they appear in the book.

Pros

  • Learn fundamentals in a more interesting way than playing scales
  • Includes 30 simplified Metallica songs
  • Includes online audio access to jam alongside the band
  • Part of a two-volume set

Cons

  • Metallica songs may not appeal to everyone
  • Requires some pre-existing knowledge to play

6. Best Reference Book: Proline Picture Chord Encyclopedia Book

Proline Picture Chord Encyclopedia Book

Editor’s Rating:

4 of 5 stars

Why we like it:

Learning chords and refreshing your memory on ones you haven’t used in a while is easy with this picture encyclopedia!

Quick Specs:
  • Skill Level:All
  • Series:No
  • Supplementary Material:No

Chords are the backbone of guitar music. As you progress as a player, you’ll be learning more and more advanced chords. The more you learn, the more you’ll need the ability to quickly reference the chord you’re trying to play. This is one of the best books for that purpose.

Instructions and Skill Building

This 272-page book includes 2,640 chords. Each one comes with a chord diagram and a real photo of the chord being played on a guitar. This makes it a great learning tool, as well as a reference.

You can use the diagram to know what the chord looks like and use the photo to make sure you get the position right.

The beginning of the book also features helpful instructions for choosing the best voicings and constructing chords. So, it’s more than a reference book. It’s a great way for players of all skill levels to develop their technique and start making the transition from memorizing sheet music to writing your own music!

The main drawback is that it’s not a lesson book. If you’re just starting to learn, this book won’t be a great teacher by itself. You’ll need an actual instructional guitar book like Hal Leonard Guitar Method: Complete Edition to learn the fundamentals.

With that said, it’s a great reference book to have on hand and would benefit beginners just as much as more advanced players.

What’s Included?

There are no supplementary materials included, but there’s no real need for them. This is a reference book to help you learn new chords. With over 2,640 chords and incredible visuals, it fulfills that purpose exceptionally well.

Pros

  • Includes over 2,600 chords
  • Each chord has a diagram and a real photo
  • Includes instructions on how to construct chords and other skills
  • Essential reference book for players of all skill levels

Cons

  • Not a lesson book

7. Blues Guitar From Scratch

Blues Guitar From Scratch

Editor’s Rating:

4 of 5 stars

Why we like it:

Learning to play the guitar is more fun when you’re playing music you love, and blues fans will love this quick tutorial in the art of playing the blues.

Quick Specs:
  • Skill Level:Advanced Beginner to Intermediate
  • Series:No
  • Supplementary Material:Online access to audio material

For blues lovers who are learning the guitar, this book is a must. It makes this complex genre accessible for early-stage learners so that you can quickly start playing the music that you want to play.

Instructions and Skill Building

This in-depth 88-page guide teaches you to play classic blues riffs and scales. While you should have some basic skills before you dive into this book, you don’t need to be anywhere near an expert. The lessons and practice included are simplified for easier understanding, and they build on each other so that you can learn and improve as you go.

If you are a beginner, you might find it harder to master the later lessons in the book, but if you use this alongside a more traditional instruction book like Teach Yourself to Play Guitar, you can keep your practice sessions fresh and develop your blues playing skills right alongside your fundamental skills.

The book uses tab notation so it’s easier to read than standard notation. However, those who want to work on their sight-reading might feel like they’re losing an opportunity to do so with this book.

If learning sight-reading is a high priority for you right now, we’d recommend 100 Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time, which uses standard notation throughout.

What’s Included?

The comprehensive book also comes with online access to audio so that you can jam along to the recordings of the songs, scales, and riffs in the book.

Pros

  • Tab notation is easier to read
  • Includes fundamental blues riffs and scales
  • Comes with audio recordings to jam with

Cons

  • Not helpful for practicing sight-reading
  • Lacks some fundamental skill lessons

8. 100 Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time

100 Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time

Editor’s Rating:

4 of 5 stars

Why we like it:

Learning guitar solos is a great way to advance your technical skills quickly while also sounding like an absolute rock star!

Quick Specs:
  • Skill Level:Intermediate to Advanced
  • Series:No
  • Supplementary Material:No

With guitar solos from rock n’ roll classics like All Along the Watchtower, Bohemian Rhapsody, Crazy Train, and Hotel California, this book is a must-have songbook for the budding rock star. It’s a great way to develop your skills, keep your lessons exciting, and sound great while you’re at it.

Instructions and Skill Building

In addition to containing accurately transcribed standard notation for 100 of the most iconic guitar solos of all time, you also get fascinating background information and performance notes for over 40 of those songs. Plus, the solos have been simplified for new guitarists so intermediate players won’t feel intimidated.

If you want to sound like a pro quickly, this book is a great trick to have up your sleeve. You will need to have your fundamental skills down, but once you do, memorize a couple of impressive guitar solos from this book and you’ll sound like you’ve been playing for years!

While the standard notation makes it great for working on your sight-reading skills, this book is generally light on instruction. It’s more geared toward early-stage players who already have the fundamental skills and just need a fun way to practice them.

For those who still need to work on those fundamentals, consider getting Mel Bay’s Modern Guitar Method book first.

What’s Included?

Unfortunately, no CD or online access to audio is included. It would have been really helpful to have a library of the songs at your fingertips because it can be tricky to tell if you’re playing a solo correctly, since it diverges from the actual melody and rhythm of the song it’s in so much.

You’ll also need to create your own playlist of the songs included to be able to play the solos along with the audio. For a similarly fun learning option that does come with audio, try the Metallica songbook.

Pros

  • Great for improving sight-reading skills
  • Simplified versions of iconic guitar solos
  • Over 100 solos to keep practice fresh and exciting

Cons

  • No audio or other supplementary material

9. Guitar Chord Dictionary

Guitar Chord Dictionary

Editor’s Rating:

4 of 5 stars

Why we like it:

This is a handy little reference book that also offers some instruction and opportunities to learn new skills!

Quick Specs:
  • Skill Level:Beginner to Intermediate
  • Series:No
  • Supplementary Material:No

This little chord dictionary was designed to be easy-to-follow and beginner-friendly. You’ll get over 1,100 chords across all 12 keys, all in a convenient, portable size that you can keep in your guitar case.

Instructions and Skill Building

This is a reference book with 1,100 of the most popular and important chords you’ll need to know as a guitarist. It’s designed with beginners in mind, so you’ll have plenty of guidance on how to effectively use this reference.

You’ll also get an introduction to basic chord theory, a guide to building and using barre chords, and other helpful information that will take your guitar skills to the next level.

While we love that there’s a little more instruction and guidance in here, it lacks the breadth that you can find in a more comprehensive reference book like the Proline Picture Chord Encyclopedia.

It also doesn’t offer enough instruction to rightly call it a lesson book like Teach Yourself to Play Guitar. So, it exists in a kind of awkward middle ground between the two. With that said, it acts as a great supplement to either one.

Use the instructions here to better navigate a more comprehensive encyclopedia or use the chord diagrams and guidance to better master the lessons in your instruction book.

What’s Included?

There are no supplementary materials included with this book. However, they aren’t really necessary. As a reference book, it sort of is the supplementary material you would add to a collection of instruction books and songbooks.

Pros

  • Over 1,100 guitar chords
  • Introduction to chord theory
  • Tips on building and using barre chords

Cons

  • Not as comprehensive as other reference books
  • Not as instructive as other instructional books

10. Best Guitar Book for Kids: Children’s Guitar Chord Book

Children’s Guitar Chord Book

Editor’s Rating:

3.5 of 5 stars

Why we like it:

With this book, you can nurture your little one’s musical side by building those fundamental skills early on.

Quick Specs:
  • Skill Level:Beginner
  • Series:No
  • Supplementary Material:Online content

For parents trying to get their kids inspired to play music, this book offers a unique opportunity to teach some basic guitar skills while also increasing your child’s motivation to keep learning! If they’ve struggled to stay motivated in the past, this is a great pick to reinspire them!

Instructions and Skill Building

This is a chord diagram and instruction book at the same time. It’s meant to help kids start playing and understanding chord progressions as quickly as possible. The advantage of that approach is that playing chord progressions feels more like playing than simply repeating scales.

It’s a more fun introduction to learning the guitar and a better way to motivate continued learning. With that said, it does lack some of those fundamental lessons like tuning your guitar, reading sheet music, and strumming techniques.

For something with a more comprehensive beginner’s curriculum, you might prefer the Hal Leonard book.

While this isn’t part of its own series, it is part of the Mel Bay collection. If your child does well with this book and finds the explanations useful and easy to grasp, they’ll likely transition well to Mel Bay’s Modern Guitar Method further down the line.

You might also transition your child from this book to Children’s Guitar Method Volume 1, which is also part of the Mel Bay collection and part of a three-volume series designed specifically for children.

For older kids and adults who are starting with the Children’s Guitar Chord Book because they appreciate the simplicity of it, it might be possible to skip straight to grade 2 in the main Mel Bay Guitar Method series. However, it wouldn’t hurt to go to grade 1 because a strong foundation of fundamental skills will really help you develop as a player later on.

What’s Included?

With the purchase of this book, you’ll also gain access to a 52-minute online video tutorial that is designed to perfectly complement the lessons in here. This is a great feature for kids who might be better at visual or aural learning.

Pros

  • Part of the Mel Bay collection
  • Includes access to online video tutorial
  • Fun way to start learning guitar
  • Includes chord diagrams

Cons

  • Lacks lessons on some fundamental skills

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re just starting to learn guitar or you’ve relied on lessons up to now, and it’s your first time trying to pick out a book on your own, it’s natural to have a lot of questions. How can you tell if a guitar book is any good or the right book for your learning goals before you buy it? In this section, we’ll answer some of the most common questions guitar learners have to help you better understand what you should be looking for in your next guitar book. woman playing guitar

Absolutely. While there are a lot of great free resources online, a guitar book offers an advantage that these resources can’t. Namely, everything you need to learn to play the guitar is conveniently organized in a single resource.

You can start at page one and work your way through to the end. The curriculum and order of learning have already been created for you by the author of the book.

If you’re trying to learn guitar without paying for lessons, this is an affordable alternative to paying a live teacher. If you’re paying for lessons but eager to get extra practice in beyond those lessons, a guitar book is an excellent companion to your professional training.

When you try to learn from watching random YouTube tutorials, it’s easy to miss some core skills and theory. Worse, when your lack of fundamental training catches up with you, you’ll get frustrated and give up.

You don’t have to ditch the YouTube tutorials, but by making a comprehensive guitar method book like Hal Leonard the centerpiece of your practice, you’ll ensure that you’re building those fundamental skills that allow you to explore and experiment more freely later on.

For absolute beginners, you need a book that is focused on the most basic elements of guitar playing. That means your first book needs to include the following:

While comprehensive guides that offer to cover early fundamentals through to more advanced techniques are useful, there is some advantage to choosing a book like Mel Bay’s Modern Guitar, which only focuses on beginner skills.

The narrower focus means the book can provide more lessons and guidance to build that foundation. It also encourages you to spend more time learning those fundamentals because you’re less likely to rush through to the more advanced lessons if those advanced lessons aren’t there.

If you’re self-teaching, a series of targeted skill level books like Mel Bay’s Modern Guitar Method: Grade 1 will be better for pacing your lessons and making sure you devote enough time to each stage of your learning process.

If you’re taking lessons and looking for additional resources to add to your guided practice, a comprehensive book like Hal Leonard is a more convenient option to get additional insights and practice into the lessons your guitar teacher is giving you.

If you’re good at self-pacing and not worried about rushing through the lessons, you can use a comprehensive guide to self-teach.

We also recommend getting a band-themed songbook, like those on Metallica or The Beatles to go along with your instruction book. These will provide additional opportunities to apply those fundamentals and make your practice more rewarding as you get better at playing familiar songs.

As mentioned earlier, sticking to a single series for your lessons is important. With that in mind, at a beginner level, there is little harm in trying out two or three different level one books to see which one you get the most value from.

We all learn in different ways, and usually, the way one author approaches a lesson will connect with you more than the way another author does. At that early stage, you want to explore until you find that author whose lessons you connect with. Then, stick with that series through to the last book.

By sticking with one series, you are usually sticking with one author. This creates consistency in how concepts are explained and how the lessons build on each other. That consistency makes the learning process a lot smoother.

If you started with a beginner level book and didn’t enjoy the style or the way lessons were structured, we’d recommend getting a beginner level book from a different series before moving on to a more advanced level book, whether it’s in the same series or a new one.

If you are getting lessons, they’re less important since you’ll get that visual and aural learning from the lessons. However, if you are teaching yourself, you should make sure to get a book like Blues Guitar From Scratch that comes with supplementary material to provide a more well-rounded learning experience.

Learning to play will always require some level of listening and watching others play. Diagrams and descriptions are enormously helpful, but you usually need to see some with proper form and skill performing those chords or techniques to really know what you should be doing.

After all, if you don’t know what C Minor is supposed to sound like, how will you know when you’ve played the chord correctly?

With patience, dedication, and the help of a great guitar book, you can absolutely teach yourself to play the guitar.

The guitar book is key, as it will provide a logical progression of lessons and a curriculum that you can follow. Without this, it’s hard for beginners to know where to start or what skills to focus on.

This depends on how much time you can commit to it, but it’s more important to focus on consistency than on quantity. 15 minutes every day will lead to more rapid improvement than an hour here and there when you find the time.

This is because repetition helps reinforce the lessons. If you only practice sporadically, even if each of those sporadic lessons is longer, you’re likely to forget much of what you learned by the time you pick up the guitar again.

You’re also more likely to stick with your lesson schedule for the long term if you set more realistic expectations. It’s easier to find a spare 15 minutes each day than it is to find a spare hour.

We all learn at different speeds. However, with consistent practice totaling at least 1-2 hours a week, ideally broken into smaller daily chunks, you’ll likely feel comfortable on the guitar in about six months.

By comfortable, we mean being able to play open chords and memorize basic songs. It will take anywhere from 1-2 years before you’re at a level where you can play barre chords, play songs by ear, or write your own music.


Final Word

When choosing a guitar book, the most important thing is finding something that matches your current skill level. Absolute beginners need a book that explains fundamentals like tuning, changing strings, and basic guitar care. More advanced players need a book that focuses more on chord progression and advanced strumming techniques.

You also want to consider what supplementary materials come with the book and how enjoyable it is. A songbook like 100 Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time that tailors the sheet music to your skill level can make the learning process less frustrating. Whichever guitar book you choose, make sure you stick to a consistent practice schedule to reinforce the skills and songs you’re learning!

Team MusicVibe

Whether it be the heady sonatas of a lone violin or the thrashing distortion of an amped-up guitar, we here at MusicVibe have an ear for it. Our team has performed gigs, played in concerts, and spent a lifetime fiddling with soundscapes in their bedrooms. They know a musician is only as good as their gear – and that musicians don’t just need the best gear, but they need the right gear for them. We help beginners find their feet in their first foray into the world of frets and fiddles, and give experts a leg-up in finding that studio-defining kit and most importantly, getting the best out of it. We’re here to help you play out your tune, so enjoy our library of content so you can hit the high notes.