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New and Best-Rated Books to Begin Guitar

Choosing the right guitar method is pivotal for beginners. In this guide, our contributor BP explores the latest in top-rated books tailored for beginner guitarists. From the newly released New Guitar School and bestselling Hal Leonard Guitar Method to transformative A New Tune A Day, each method offers a unique approach for learners to progress from basics to playing impressive songs. Whether you’re a first-time player or looking to refine your skills, these new and best rated books to begin the guitar promise an enriching and rewarding start to your musical journey.

The New Guitar School

One of the most popular guitar methods ever published, now available in English! The New Guitar School for absolute beginners provides a brilliant introduction to playing melodies, solos, fingerstyle picking, and accompanying. Written by Heinz Teuchert and revised by Michael Koch, this edition includes access to online audio demonstration tracks.

Concepts include: 

The New Guitar School
  • Recommendations for buying a guitar 
  • Tuning the guitar 
  • Accompanying 
  • Playing melodies 
  • Solo and duet playing 
  • Right-hand fingerpicking techniques: Tirando and Apoyando 
  • Chord studies 
  • Fingerstyle picking
  • Technical exercises 
  • … and much more!
  • Suitable for both individual and group lessons

The Hal Leonard Guitar Method

Drawing on global expertise, The Hal Leonard Guitar Method is one of the most trusted and used guitar instruction series for beginners on acoustic or electric instruments. “Book 1” covers tuning, playing position, musical symbols, first-position notes, and essential chords like C, G, G7, D, D7, A7, and Em. Rhythmic intricacies, strumming, picking, and over 80 songs, riffs, and examples enrich the curriculum. A diverse range, from rock to classical, folk to jazz, blues to fingerstyle, is covered.

Hal Leonard Guitar Methods

In a UK-special edition for children, Hal Leonard’s Guitar for Kids, adapted by guitarist Chris Woods, offers a fun, easy course. Songs like “Yellow Submarine” and “Every Breath You Take” keep children engaged, while simple page layouts maintain focus. Suitable for electric or acoustic guitars, it’s ideal for use with or without a teachers. The online audio provides over 30 tracks for demonstration and play-along. The Hal Leonard “Kids” series extends to bass guitar, drums, and piano, creating a comprehensive resource for young musicians.

The Hal Leonard Method is also available for a variety of other instruments. You can learn more about this teacher-approved method here.

Justinguitar.com Beginner’s Course

Justin Sandercoe’s Justinguitar.com Beginner’s Course is hailed as the most comprehensive and complete guide for novice guitarists. Covering everything from purchasing a guitar to basic improvisation, Sandercoe guides you through the fundamental aspects of becoming a guitarist, from absolute basics to playing impressive songs.

Justinguitar Beginner's Course

The course includes audio packed with content, providing demonstrations of essential chords, scales, rhythm strumming, and picking techniques. Justin Sandercoe, recognised as one of the most influential guitarists in history, has garnered 100 million viewers through his online videos and is a teacher at the Guitar Institute. The course, 20 years in the making, incorporates often overlooked aspects like music theory, aural training, and carefully chosen songs to reinforce learned techniques. Topics covered range from choosing equipment to mastering chords, rhythm techniques, and lead playing, making it a must-have resource for anyone picking up the guitar. For more songs, check out the Justinguitar.com Beginner’s Songbook.

A New Tune a Day

Since its debut in the 1930s, the best-selling A Tune A Day series has transformed music education in classrooms with its concise and clear content. The A New Tune A Day books maintain the series’ logical, gentle pace, and meticulous attention to detail, introducing several innovations. The access to audio support featuring live performances and backing tracks enhances the practice experience, adding an element of fun and excitement.

A New Tune A Day

Included in the series are three beginner methods for electric, acoustic, and classical guitar which maintain the series’ logical pace, incorporating innovations. Clear diagrams and photographs guide students toward perfect technique and tone, offering advice on equipment, effective playing, and comfortable posture. Featuring fresh and inspiring music, the series ensures engaging practice hours. Accompanying tests, explanatory pages on music, and pull-out charts add to the comprehensive learning experience.

The Rockschool Guitar Method

The Rockschool Guitar Method will give you everything you need to know to get started playing the Guitar, learn the essentials so you can get seriously good, seriously fast. With over 100 audio tracks, quick guide videos and 12 lessons in 6 different styles, you’ll be playing before you know it. You’ll learn the basics of music notation & your instrument, simple chords, melodies and riffs, and much more.

Rockschool Guitar Method

Book Features:

  • Over 1 hour of downloadable video and audio content.
  • Instrument quick guide – what everything’s called, how it works and everything in-between!
  • How to read music – learn how to read music quickly and simply.
  • 12x lessons in 6 different styles – each lesson includes audio and video tuition.
  • 6 pieces, 6 varying styles – put your skills to the test with 6 kick ass pieces.
  • Play – Rock, Pop, Indie, Metal, Hip Hop and Country.
  • 120 audio tracks – supporting audio for every musical example and piece.
  • Video lessons – on getting started and key techniques,
  • Quiz – put your skills to the test with the interactive quizzes.
  • Dropcard – instantly download the accompanying audio and video hassle free!

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