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Section 2: What books and Course Should you get?

First some advice: I recommend that you follow a two-step path in learning to play classical guitar. First you get an instruction book. One of the three in the first section (section A) would be perfect.

Then, once you start to play and are building a repertoire you should expand your ability by getting one or more of the technique and repertoire books in the lower section (section B.)of this page.

This way you learn how to play then you refine your skills.



A. Learn how to play books

If you want to learn how to play traditional classical guitar there is one book that rises above all the others. It was written two hundred years ago and is still the standard for learning. It assumes you have no knowledge of playing guitar and no knowledge of how to read music. It takes you from there to competent playing. This is the book I learned on. It is a tried a true classic.

The Carcassi Method Classical Guitar Method (0762) A new edition, Classical Guitar Method offers an elementary approach to playing the guitar. It provides a table of relative value of notes, definitions and explanations about the rudimentary elements of guitar playing such as scales and tempo. This is one of the most famous guitar method books for students and teachers!



If you are looking for something more contemporary this is an excellent book. It it clearly written and too assumes you have no prior knowledge of guitar or reading music. As a bonus it also comes with a CD so you can hear how things are supposed to sound. A good choice.

A Modern Approach to Classical Guitar -

Now Available With CDs! This multi-volume method was developed to allow students to study the art of classical guitar within a new, more con-temporary framework. For private, class or self-instruction. Book One features an all-new format that incorporates chord frames and symbols, as well as a record to assist in tuning and to provide accompaniments for at-home practice. Book One also introduces beginning fingerboard technique and music theory. Book Two and Three build upon the techniques learned in Book One.

(I have a full page review of this method of learning guitar. The review is right here


The Christopher Parkening Guitar Method

(Guitar Method). This premier method for the beginning classical guitarist, by one of the world's pre-eminent virtuosos and the recognized heir to the legacy of Andres Segovia, is now completely revised and updated! Guitarists will learn basic classical technique by playing over 50 beautiful classical pieces, 26 exercises and 14 duets, and through numerous photos and illustrations. The method covers: rudiments of classical technique, note reading and music theory, selection and care of guitars, strategies for effective practicing, and much more!


The Hal Leonard Classical Guitar Instruction Book

(Guitar Method). The Hal Leonard Classical Guitar Method is designed for anyone just learning to play classical guitar. This comprehensive and easy-to-use beginner's guide by renowned classical guitarist and teacher Paul Henry uses the music of the master composers to teach you the basics of the classical style and technique. The accompanying audio features all the pieces in the book for demonstration and play along. Includes pieces by Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Schumann, Giuliani, Carcassi, Bathioli, Aguado, Tarrega, Purcell, and more. Includes all the basics plus info on PIMA technique, two- and three-part music, time signatures, key signatures, articulation, free stroke, rest stroke, composers, and much more. Does NOT include tablature. Audio is accessed online using the unique code inside each book and can be downloaded or streamed. The audio also includes PLAYBACK+ features such as tempo adjustment, looping, and other features to assist with practice.


B. Technique books

Once you have started to improve as a guitarist you will be looking for books of compositions, and books that will improve your technique and expand your range. Here are some excellent ones.
Carcassi 25 Melodic and progressive studies Matteo Carcassi - 25 Melodic and Progressive Studies, Op. 60
Once you have worked your way through the Carcassi Method you should move on to this book of 25 Progressive exercises. It will take your technique to new levels.
Segovia 20 Studies Andres Segovia - 20 Studies for Guitar
These 20 pieces were composed by Fernando Sor (Who was a contemporary of Beethoven) and this version is edited, revised and played by the grandmaster himself Segovia.
Pumping Nylon - This is an excellent book for building your technique. With exercises and explanations for improving both left and right hands, increasing speed and much more. It includes an array of daily warm-ups. This is a best selling book and should be a part of everyones library.
120 Studies for the right hand 120 Studies for Right Hand Development (Classical Guitar Study Series) These studies constitute an irreplaceable part of the standard study material for classical guitar. They are designed to aid in maximum development of right-hand technique.
Repertoire Books

Fifty easy classical guitar pieces Fifty Easy Classical Guitar Pieces
This is an excellent first repertoire book for beginners. It has pieces from all the periods of classical guitar and includes a cd of the author playing all the pieces. I highly recommend this if you want to start playing real pieces as a beginner.
Beatles for classical guitar
Beatles for Classical Guitar
Baroque for classical guitar
50 Baroque Solos for Classical Guitar
Spanish guitar music
Spanish Guitar Music