A Guide to Classical Guitar Instruction Books
There are lots of instructional books that show you how to play classical guitar. So which one should you use? That depends on your goals with the guitar and your style of learning. Here is a guide to some of the more popular instructional books.
If you are looking for a traditional instructional book you should consider the Carcassi Method. It has been the standard guidebook for generations of classical guitarists. If you want to go the traditional route this is a solid choice. It was written over a hundred years ago and although a bit dated it is still a fine choice. There is a second part to this method called twenty-five progressive studies that are extraordinary in that they give you a solid repertoire of professional pieces to learn.
For a more contemporary guide to playing you should consider the Christopher Parking Guitar Method. It is a modern method for learning classical guitar and it comes in two books. The first book focuses on learning how to play and the second book teaches you all about refining and improving your technique while developing your repertoire. This is an excellent set of books on classical guitar and Christopher Parkening is a world class guitarist who was a pupil of Andres Segovia.
If you are looking for an easy to understand and more relaxed way to learn classical guitar consider Mel Bay’s Complete Method for Classic Guitar. Mel Bay has been publishing easy to follow, and easy to understand guitar books for decades now. And this book follows this formula. It is clearly written and easy to understand. It assumes you know nothing about music or guitar and this book is very well suited for younger players.
If you want the benefits of being able to watch someone play and hear what the guitar sounds like you should consider the Basic Classical Guitar Method books 1 and 2 by Scott Tennant. The first book has a dvd so you can see how the guitar is played and the second book has a CD so you can hear what the exercises and pieces sound like.
As your skill with the classical guitar develops you are going to want to expand beyond the traditional instructional book and choose books in two different areas. They are technique books that improve your technique and repertoire books that give you pieces you can perform. One of the best technique books you can get is Pumping Nylon by Scott Tennant. This book is a practical approach to really improving your playing technique.
If you are looking for an inexpensive collection of music to play I highly recommend The Library of Guitar Classics by Jerry Willard. This enormous book covers classical guitar across centuries, genres, composers and difficulty levels. It has a great variety of works that will keep you learning new pieces for many years. I own this book and refer to it all the time.
If you are interested in getting a better look at the whole subject of music theory I recommend you take a look at a book called: Scales, Intervals, Keys, and Triads. This book is an in depth look at music theory and music composition. It is independent of any instrument and is just a self-taught course on the theory of music.
There are lots of great books that will teach you how to play classical guitar and you can almost not go wrong choosing a book that works with your goals will make the process move much faster and easier.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
For more interesting insights and information about the beautiful classical guitar or to hear pieces played by the author visit his website at: The Classical Guitarist