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The Best Guitar Books for Beginners

Guitar with a book. Best Guitar Books Featured Image.

Guitar books, also known as method books are designed to educate new and active guitar players on new methods, chords, and playing strategy. Guitar books cover a wide variety of relevant topics that make it easy for guitarists to enhance their existing skills or learn new skills. In this post we review some of the best guitar books for beginners.

A summary of our best rated guitar books from our review section:

Gibson’s Learn & Master Guitar Boxed Dvd/CD Set Legacy Of LearningBest for beginners looking for an intensive course as an alternative to lessons.Check Amazon
Guitar All-In-One For DummiesGreat for beginners looking for a less intensive method of learning guitarCheck Amazon
Guitar: The First 100 Chords for Guitar: How to Learn and Play Guitar Chords: The Complete Beginner Guitar Method Great for beginners looking to grasp the concept of guitar chords.Check Amazon

Best Guitar Books for Beginners

Looking for some inspiration? This section of the post explores some of the top guitar books available for people looking to learn guitar. These books vary in terms of learning style and content but are all great options.

Below is a list of the 5 best beginner guitar books.

Gibson’s Learn & Master Guitar Boxed Dvd/CD Set Legacy Of Learning

Think of this a comprehensive course, rather than just a guitar book. People end up with dozens of random guitar books littering their bookshelf. Without finding a single book really hits the spot.

If this sounds like you don’t worry about ending up with this being just one more book on the pile.

If you’re looking for a single repository of well organised information from industry experts, you’ve found it. And boy will you love what Gibson have put together!

The problem with many other guitar books is that you read them quickly. This doesn’t really give you the time to absorb, and put all of the information into practice.

This material will take you approximately a year to get through. Once you have, you’ll be completely transformed in terms of guitar knowledge. With this material you’ll go from guitar novice to playing some great music.

If you think this is a little pricey, it’s worth noting we’ve known people to literally cancel guitar lessons to use this book. Over the course of a year private lessons can cost into the thousands. Not to mention they can be impractical.

This book comes as a one of fee, after that you get a year of unlimited learning, whenever and wherever you want.

Think of this book as in investment, rather than just a guitar book. If you commit to it, there’s no doubt you’ll come out the other side a knowledgeable and able guitarist.

Guitar All-In-One For Dummies

I don’t know about you, but the first time I picked up a guitar and tried to play I felt helpless. So what better to join the list than a guitar for dummies guide.

There’s more to this book than meets the eye. You get 6, yes you heard correctly 6 books in one! These will teach you theory as well as exercises to help get you on your way.

It will teach you everything from stringing your guitar to tips on buying one. Making this is a helpful book even if you haven’t bought a guitar yet.

If you’re looking to play a variation of songs this is probably up there with the best books you can get your hands on.

It teaches you a range of sounds including but not limited to rock, blues and classical guitar. To keep things interesting you also get online audio and video tutorials.

If you feel like a dummy with a guitar in your hands, this is the book to have you on your way in no time!

Hal Leonard Guitar Method, Complete Edition: Books 1, 2 and 3

Next up on the list we’ve got a book from Will Schmid and Greg Koch. It’s aimed at those learning acoustic or electric guitar.

Similar to the guitars for dummies book, you get more than just one book with this purchase. You actually get three books in one making this great value for money.

This is perfect for those of you looking for something that isn’t massively intensive. As you’ll find yourself able to pick this up and learn something new with as little as 10 minutes of reading.

This books combines learning to read music with the technical side of playing. What we love about this option is that you can learn at your own steady pace. You won’t be left feeling overwhelmed with information.

A point worth mentioning is that this books is well suited to visual learners. There’s a lot of graphic information rather than text. For example you will find great labelled diagrams and sheet music.

In practice this book proves to be a great tool for learning guitar. It will help you to develop a system that works for you, allowing you to learn at a steady pace.

Guitar: The First 100 Chords for Guitar: How to Learn and Play Guitar Chords: The Complete Beginner Guitar Method

Next up on the list we’ve got a great book by Joseph Alexander. A name you might be familiar with if you’ve looked for high quality guitar books before.

If you haven’t guessed from the name, this book is heavily focused around chords. It comes with a fantastic array of chords along with diagrams for these.

With this book you will be taught how to read chord diagrams, and understand the formation of chords.

Another great aspect this book focuses on is strumming techniques. After all, it’s all good knowing where you put your fingers, but execution is a vital part of producing the sound.

The great thing about this book is that it addresses in detail, a vital step in progression for any beginner guitarist.

From my experience, jumping from tabs to chords was something that felt overwhelming. This book focuses on chords logically, making them something a beginner can understand not fear.

That said, if you’re looking for a comprehensive overview of guitars this alone might not do the trick. The book does however, cover a vital area in the development of beginner guitarists.

No Bull Music Theory for Guitarists

Last on the list but by no means least, No Bull Music Theory for Guitarists is an excellent book for beginners (and even for established players) from James Shipway.

If you’re looking for something that “does what it says on the tin” you’re in safe hands.

With a no-bull approach, this book makes even the most complex guitar concepts, feel simple and makes sure you won’t forget them.

Many beginners often struggle getting their bearings and have trouble turning theory into practical understanding. If this sounds like you then we’d highly recommend this book.

The last thing beginners want is to feel overwhelmed. This book is very well written and helps make concepts that are often overcomplicated feel easily understandable. This is a critical characteristic of any book that aims to be effective for beginners.

Although this features in our best beginner guitar book round-up, it wouldn’t be wasted on experienced guitarists and is one of those books you’re scared to let a friend borrow.

Finding a Great Guitar Book

Beginner guitar books are a single or series of books that are to help new guitarists get started. With areas ranging from choosing a first guitar, maintaining their instrument, and learning how to play.

The books are designed to be easy to follow, in order to facilitate self-guided or instructor-guided learning. This applies for both new and experienced guitar players to learn new skills.

Guitar books range in order from beginner to professional and provide a viable reference for all of your guitar playing needs.

Common examples of topics covered by guitar books:

The list above is not comprehensive. As guitar books will cover a bunch of guitar related topics from A to Z.

Why use a Beginner Guitar Book?

For new guitar players, using a guitar book is akin to reading the instruction manual for a complicated new electronic appliance. Guitar books can teach new players how to simplify their learning.

As well as manage their instrument by teaching important skills. These include how to hold and tune instruments, how to read music, and also provide a variety of new skillsets as your playing skills continue to grow.

Guitar books are valuable for players at all levels from beginner to professional. These handy guides provide hands-on visual training. They help guitarists to enhance their existing skills and learn new skills at their own pace.

Serious guitar players take the time to hone their craft. If you want to become a serious guitar player you will find yourself investing in some kind of tool to aid your learning. Whether these are physical lessons, online tutorials or books.

Pros and Cons of Using a Book to Learn Guitar

While there are many valuable reasons why new guitarists should use guitar books, there are also some downsides. Take a look at some of the pros and cons of using guitar books below:


Guitar method books provide a fast track option for learning important guitar-related skills like how to read music.

Guitar books are available covering a wide variety of topics related to playing. Including learning new chords, riffs, and string maintenance.

Books can teach you what to look for in a good quality guitar.

Guitar books are affordable and portable allow for you to learn and practice on the go and at your own pace.


Many guitar method books come in a series that requires purchasing an entire series in order to learn one skill.

The wide variety of guitar book selections may become overwhelming or confusing to new guitarists who aren’t sure where to begin.

What Makes a Good Guitar Book?

There can be a variety of factors that make a good guitar book. You’ll want to find something with clarity and readability. You’ll need to be able to clearly understand the information in order to absorb it. You’ll also need something with good quality visual references. This will help you identify patterns and diagrams such as guitar parts and music sheets.

Ultimately everyone learns differently. The best book for learning guitar is one that allows you to learn at comfortably at your desired pace, and is tailored to your best learning style.

Tips for Buying a Guitar Book

Next we’re going to provide you with a few tips to help you make the best buying decision.

Due to the sheer volume of guitar books available for purchase, it is important to do your research in advance. This will help to make sure that you are choosing the right book for your needs.

If you are a new guitarist, you want to choose books that cover basic guitar introduction. With a variety of topics such as how to read music and how to maintain your guitar body and strings.

Choose books that have high user ratings and reviews that come with additional aides like audio and videos. This will help make your learning experience interactive and fun.

You may be tempted to purchase a large number of books at one time due to the excitement of learning new skills. Be sure to focus your attention on the current method that you’re studying in each book. Complete one full series before moving on to a new skill to avoid confusion or overload.

Final Thoughts

Owning and using guitar books is a great way to quickly enhance your knowledge and skills. Guitar books can help you quickly learn how to tune and maintain them, how to read music, play new chords and so much more. Hopefully this guide has helped you find the best book to learn guitar for your learning style, and helps you develop into a well rounded guitarist.