The 10 Best Guitar Books For Beginners In 2024

Written by Dan Farrant
Last updated

If you’re just starting out on the guitar, it can be tough to know where to start. There are so many different resources out there, all claiming to be the best for beginners. So, which one should you go for?

To help you narrow down your search, in this post, we’ve compiled a list of what we think are the ten best guitar books for beginners in 2024. Let’s get started.

1. Acoustic Guitar Primer Book for Beginners 

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Acoustic Guitar Primer Book for Beginners: With Online Video and Audio Access
  • Casey, Bert (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 75 Pages – 05/16/2019 (Publication Date) – Watch & Learn, Inc. (Publisher)

Up first, we have to recommend the Acoustic Guitar Primer Book for Beginners by Bert Casey. It’s written for complete beginners and starts at absolute zero, not assuming you have any prior experience with the guitar.

Before you even strum your first song, the book explains the anatomy of a guitar, chord structure, and strumming patterns to help you have a good understanding of the fundamentals. It also explains how to read tablature, which is essential knowledge for any guitarist who wants to learn songs and riffs.

As well as being full of method tutorials with exercises and technical routines, it also includes eighteen songs, written both in traditional sheet music and tablature so you can actually learn to play some tunes rather than just scales and boring stuff.

Not only that, the book comes with audio files for each tune at three different speeds, allowing you to select a comfortable pace no matter what ability you are. Check it out by clicking below.

2. Guitar Book For Adult Beginners

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Guitar Book for Adult Beginners: Teach Yourself How to Play Famous Guitar Songs, Guitar Chords, Music Theory & Technique (Book &…
  • Ferrante, Damon (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 122 Pages – 12/06/2017 (Publication Date) – Steeplechase Arts (Publisher)

Next, we have Damon Ferrante’s Guitar Book For Adult Beginners which is a comprehensive method book designed for adult learners who are new to the guitar. The course begins with the basics, such as proper hand positioning and basic chords, and progresses to more advanced concepts and techniques.

One of the standout features of this book is the use of familiar songs to help students learn and apply the concepts they are learning. This approach not only helps to make the learning process more enjoyable but also ensures that the material is relevant and engaging for the student.

In addition to the book, students also have access to supplemental videos that provide additional instruction and demonstration. The lessons are well-structured, with clear and concise written instructions accompanied by helpful diagrams and illustrations.

Overall, this is an excellent resource for adult learners who are looking to start their guitar journey.

3. The Christopher Parkening Guitar Method 

The Christopher Parkening Guitar Method – Volume 1: Guitar Technique
  • Premier Method for Beginning Classical Guitarists
  • Learn to Play Over 50 Beautiful Classical Pieces
  • Includes 26 Exercises and 14 Duets

The Christopher Parkening Guitar Method is a comprehensive and well-organized guide to learning classical guitar techniques. Written by one of the world’s premier classical guitarists, this book is the perfect starting point for any aspiring classical guitarist.

The book begins with an introduction to the fundamentals of classical guitar playing, including proper posture and hand position, and then progresses to more advanced topics such as note reading, music theory, and practice strategies. Throughout the book, Parkening includes over 50 beautiful classical pieces for readers to learn, as well as 26 helpful exercises and 14 duets for further practice.

Related: Check out our list of the best classical guitar books.

One of the standout features of this book is its clear and concise writing style, which makes even the most complex concepts easy to understand. The accompanying illustrations are also extremely helpful, providing visual guides to help readers master the techniques being taught.

In addition to its focus on classical guitar playing, this book also includes valuable information on guitar selection and care, which is essential knowledge for any musician.

Overall, The Christopher Parkening Guitar Method is a must-have for anyone looking to learn classical guitar or improve their skills in this genre.

4. Music Theory for Guitarists

Music Theory For Guitarists is a valuable resource for guitarists who have a foundation in playing and are looking to improve their understanding of music theory.

The book’s straightforward approach and simple language make it accessible to readers of all levels, and the accompanying audio tracks provide a helpful tool for learning and practicing the lessons.

The book covers a wide range of topics, including scales, modes, chords, and ear training. Each lesson is clearly explained and accompanied by diagrams to help readers understand and apply the concepts being taught.

One of the standout features of this book is its emphasis on practical application. While it does not teach the fundamentals of playing guitar, it does provide valuable insight into how music theory can be used to improve technical skills and enhance musicality.

Overall, The Guitar Music Theory Method is a useful addition to any guitarist’s library. Whether you are a beginner looking to improve your understanding of music theory or an experienced player looking to refine your technical skills, this book has something to offer.

5. My First Guitar: Learn To Play For Kids 

My First Guitar: Learn To Play: Kids
  • Parker, Ben (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 31 Pages – 01/30/2013 (Publication Date) – Kyle Craig Publishing (Publisher)

Next, we have My First Guitar: Learn To Play For Kids by Ben Parker. The book is designed to be an accessible and user-friendly introduction to playing guitar for children aged six to nine.

It covers the basics of guitar technique, including proper hand position, posture, and strumming, and gradually progresses to more advanced concepts such as chord development and finger placement.

It’s ideal for young children as it uses clear diagrams and illustrations to help students understand and apply the lessons, and the accompanying audio tracks provide a valuable tool for practicing and reinforcing the techniques being taught.

One of the standout features of this book is its emphasis on independent learning. The lessons are structured in a way that allows students to progress at their own pace, and the book does not require readers to be able to read music. This approach may make the learning process more enjoyable and engaging for young readers, and may help them develop a lifelong love of music.

Overall, “My First Guitar: Learn To Play For Kids” by Ben Parker is a valuable resource for children looking to learn guitar. The book’s clear and concise writing, helpful diagrams and illustrations, and audio tracks make it an effective and engaging introduction to the world of music.

6. Guitar: The First 100 Chords for Guitar 

Guitar: The First 100 Chords for Guitar: How to Learn and Play Guitar Chords: The Complete Beginner Guitar Method (Beginner Guitar…
  • Alexander, Mr Joseph (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 83 Pages – 11/19/2016 (Publication Date) – www.fundamental-changes.com (Publisher)

The First 100 Chords for Guitar is a valuable resource for any aspiring guitar player. In this comprehensive method book, Joseph Alexander provides clear and detailed instructions on how to properly fret and strum the essential guitar chords.

The book also offers techniques for combining chords in a musical way, as well as a proven practice routine to help students build muscle memory and improve their technique.

In addition to the step-by-step guidance on playing chords, the book also covers the theory behind chord construction and offers a unique trick for teaching your fingers to move subconsciously. This makes it a great resource not only for learning how to play the chords but also for understanding the underlying principles of guitar playing.

The book also includes two bonuses: a guide to linking chords together creatively, and a guide to essential strumming patterns on guitar. These additional resources add even more value to the book, making it a comprehensive guide to improving your guitar-playing skills.

Overall, The First 100 Chords for Guitar is an excellent resource for anyone looking to take their guitar playing to the next level.

7. Essential Elements for Guitar – Book 1

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Essential Elements for Guitar – Book 1: Comprehensive Guitar Method
  • Essential Elements for Guitar Book 1 (Book Only)
  • Take your guitar teaching to a new level! Hal Leonard’s top-selling comprehensive method for band and strings is now also available for guitar
  • With the time-tested classroom teaching methods of Will Schmid and Bob Morris and popular songs in a variety of styles, Essential Elements for Guitar…

Up next we have Essential Elements for Guitar which is a fantastic resource for anyone looking to learn the basics of guitar playing. The lessons are easy to follow and take students from the very beginning to a more advanced level, using techniques that are in line with the National Standards for Music Education.

The book covers basic chords, finger-picking, basic theory, and even improvisation, all using familiar songs that students can learn to play quickly. The quizzes and varied teaching methods used by the authors, Will Schmid and Bob Morris, ensure that students of all learning styles can benefit from the book and improve their skills.

Overall, Essential Elements for Guitar is an excellent tool for anyone looking to learn how to play guitar, especially when used in conjunction with an instructor.

8. Guitar Exercises for Beginners 

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Guitar Exercises for Beginners: 10x Your Guitar Skills in 10 Minutes a Day
  • Head, Guitar (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 138 Pages – 08/29/2020 (Publication Date) – Independently published (Publisher)

Guitar Exercises for Beginners, by Guitar Head, is a great resource for aspiring guitarists looking to improve their skills. The book is designed to take beginners from the fundamentals to simple melodies, with daily exercises that only take ten minutes to complete.

No prior knowledge is required, as the book assumes that readers know nothing about playing the guitar. The lessons start by teaching readers how to hold a pick and then build upon that foundation to cover more advanced techniques.

One of the standout features of this book is the inclusion of extra resources. In addition to the 100 exercises included in the book, purchases also include a PDF edition, weekly lessons, and access to a community of fellow guitar students.

This added value makes the book even more worthwhile for anyone looking to learn how to play the guitar. Overall, Guitar Exercises for Beginners is a valuable resource for beginners looking to improve their guitar skills.

9. Guitar Fretboard: Memorize The Fretboard In Less Than 24 Hours

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Guitar Fretboard: Memorize The Fretboard In Less Than 24 Hours: 35+ Tips And Exercises Included
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Guitar Fretboard: Memorize The Fretboard In Less Than 24 Hours: 35+ Tips And Exercises Included
  • Head, Guitar (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 78 Pages – 05/13/2018 (Publication Date) – CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Publisher)

Another book from Guitar Head, the Guitar Fretboard: Memorize The Fretboard In Less Than 24 Hours is a comprehensive guide to learning and mastering the guitar fretboard. The book uses a variety of techniques, such as mnemonic devices and memory tricks, to help readers quickly and easily understand the twenty-four frets and six strings of the guitar.

By mastering the fretboard, guitarists can improve their playing skills in a number of ways. For example, understanding the fretboard can help players create chords in any key, understand the relationships between different scales, and improvise more effectively.

In addition, a thorough understanding of the fretboard can provide a deeper understanding of how chords work and why certain notes combine the way they do, which can be incredibly useful for songwriting and composing.

The book is structured in a way that makes it easy for readers to follow along and learn at their own pace. It provides clear and concise explanations of key concepts, along with practical exercises and examples to help readers apply what they’ve learned. The book also includes helpful diagrams and illustrations to further clarify key points and make the material more accessible.

Overall, the Guitar Fretboard: Memorize The Fretboard In Less Than 24 Hours is a valuable resource for guitarists of all levels who want to improve their understanding of the fretboard and enhance their playing skills.

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been playing for years, this book has something to offer. It’s a great supplement to a foundational understanding of guitar theory and is highly recommended for anyone looking to take their playing to the next level.

10. Teach Yourself to Play Guitar: A Quick and Easy Introduction for Beginners

And finally, Teach Yourself to Play Guitar: A Quick and Easy Introduction for Beginners is a fantastic resource for anyone looking to start learning the guitar from scratch. Written by David Brewster, the book is designed specifically for beginners who have no prior experience with playing music or reading sheet music.

One of the standout features of this book is its heavy reliance on diagrams and illustrations. Rather than trying to explain complex musical concepts through text alone, Brewster uses clear and concise visuals to help readers understand the basics of chord patterns, finger positions, and other essential guitar skills. This makes the book incredibly easy to follow, even for those with little to no background in music.

In addition to covering the fundamentals of guitar playing, the book also includes lessons on more advanced techniques such as power chords and barre chords. And, to help readers develop their musical ear, Brewster includes lessons on scales and how to use them to create melodies.

While it’s important to note that this book won’t turn you into a guitar virtuoso overnight, it provides a solid foundation for beginners to build on. Whether you’re looking to learn the guitar as a hobby or as a stepping stone to a career in music, “Teach Yourself to Play Guitar” is a valuable resource that will help you get started on the right foot.

Overall, if you’re a beginner looking to learn the guitar, “Teach Yourself to Play Guitar” is a great place to start. With its clear and concise lessons, engaging visuals, and emphasis on the fundamentals, this book will help you develop a strong foundation in guitar playing and set you on the path to becoming a skilled musician.

Some Honorable Mentions

While the books listed above are the ones we recommend, there are so many other popular books out there. Below are a few other recommended guitar books.

Conclusion: Which One Should You Buy?

These books cover a wide range of methods and styles, techniques, and abilities. Each volume’s efficacy hinges on the individual student. However, Bert Casey’s “Acoustic Guitar Primer Book for Beginners” is one of the best. By the conclusion of the book, readers will be confident players with a solid knowledge base to get started with the guide.

Students hoping to master classical guitar techniques won’t do better than “The Christoper Parkening Guitar Method.” While other players can benefit from the book’s teachings, the course focuses on classical practices and techniques. 

Both younger students and absolute novices benefit from Ben Parker’s knowledge in “My First Guitar” The book uses diagrams and illustrations to teach the necessary fundamentals and mold new players.

Every student is capable of learning the basics of guitar, whatever their needs. Make sure you select a course that caters to your strengths and learning style. Additionally, vet books carefully. Some require existing basic knowledge. If you can’t read music, make sure your book uses chords or tablature. Further, ensure the book teaches the method or style you are most invested in. 

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Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.