The 10 Best Method Books for Learning Classical Guitar

A method book teaches you how to play classical guitar through explanations, pictures, exercises, music, recordings, and more. Almost every classical guitarist uses a method book at one point or another.

Below, I made a list of the 10 best method books for learning classical guitar so that you can easily compare them and decide which ones you might want to buy:

A Modern Approach to Classical Guitar

A Modern Approach to Classical Guitar by Charles Duncan is an incredibly popular method book for guitarists of all ages and skill levels. In my opinion, this is one of the most progressive and easy-to-understand methods every written. If you buy just one guitar method, I recommend you get this one.

Duncan's method consists of three separate volumes, but now you can buy all three together (with the CD's) for a discounted price:

A Modern Approach to Classical Guitar look inside A Modern Approach to Classical Guitar (Composite Book/CD Pack). For classical guitar. Guitar. Learn To Play. Instructional book (spiral bound) and 3 example CDs. Introductory text, instructional text, instructional photos, illustrations and standard guitar notation. 208 pages. Published by Hal Leonard (HL.695119)

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Classic Guitar Technique

Classic Guitar Technique by Aaron Shearer is another popular method book... so popular that it has now developed into its own school or guitar playing. Like Duncan's book, this method goes from beginner to advanced in a very progressive way.

Shearer's book consists of two main volumes with several supplemental books:

Classic Guitar Technique - Volume I look inside

Listen!

Classic Guitar Technique - Volume I For classical guitar. Classical Guitar Method or Supplement; Method/Instruction; Technique Musicianship. Shearer Series. Instructional and Method. Beginner. Instructional book. Introductory text, instructional text, illustrations, instructional photos, musical examples and standard guitar notation. 82 pages. Published by Alfred Music Publishing (AP.FC01937ACD)

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The Christopher Parkening Guitar Method

Made by the legendary guitarist, Christopher Parkening, this a great method book for beginners. If you are a fan of Christopher Parkening and his playing style, I highly recommend that you get this book.

The Parkening Method consists of two separate volumes:

The Christopher Parkening Guitar Method - Volume 1 look inside

Listen!

The Christopher Parkening Guitar Method - Volume 1 (The Art and Technique of the Classical Guitar Book/CD Pack). By Christopher Parkening. Arranged by David Brandon and Jack Marshall. Guitar Method. Softcover with CD. 112 pages. Published by Hal Leonard (HL.696023)

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Pumping Nylon

Pumping Nylon by Scott Tenant has almost reached a cult status for guitarists... I think every classical guitarist that I know has this book on their bookshelf.

That being said, this book is NOT a progressive method book for beginners. This is more of a "resource book" for experienced players to further develop their guitar technique:

Pumping Nylon (Book and DVD) look inside Pumping Nylon (Book and DVD) (The Classical Guitarist's Technique Handbook). Edited by Nathaniel Gunod. For classical guitar. Classical Guitar Method or Supplement; Method/Instruction. National Guitar Workshop. Technique. Instructional book and instructional video: DVD. Introductory text, instructional text, illustrations and standard guitar notation. 95 pages. Published by Alfred Music Publishing (AP.20417)

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Modern Classical Guitar Method

Mel Bay makes an instructional book for just about every instrument of every style. The Mel Bay's Modern Classical Guitar Method is very logical and easy-to-understand, with many great musical examples:

Modern Classical Guitar Method Grade 1 Book/CD Set look inside

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Modern Classical Guitar Method Grade 1 Book/CD Set By Stanley Yates. For Guitar (Classical). Methods. Modern Guitar Method. Classic. Beginning. Book/CD Set. 88 pages. Published by Mel Bay Publications, Inc (MB.21548BCD)

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The Hal Leonard Classical Guitar Method

This method is good for beginners. It teaches you all the basics of classical guitar technique, with fun arrangements of popular songs by Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, and more:

The Hal Leonard Classical Guitar Method look inside

Listen!

The Hal Leonard Classical Guitar Method (A Beginner's Guide with Step-by-Step Instruction and Over 25 Pieces to Study and Play). Guitar Method. Softcover with CD. 80 pages. Published by Hal Leonard (HL.697376)

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The Complete Carcassi Guitar Method

This is the guitar method of the renowned 19th century guitarist, Matteo Carcassi. If you are a beginner, I don't recommend starting out with this book... 19th century guitar technique is a bit archaic compared to modern technique. However, this is a wonderful reference book for more experienced guitarists:

The Carcassi Method is available in English translation, and comes with Carcassi's famous "25 studies for guitar:"

The Complete Carcassi Guitar Method look inside The Complete Carcassi Guitar Method Edited by Mel Bay and Joseph Castle. For Guitar (Classical). Methods. Editiones Classicae. Classic. Multiple Levels. Book. Text language: Spanish. 112 pages. Published by Mel Bay Publications, Inc (MB.93611ENSP)

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Emilio Pujol Guitar School

The Emilio Pujol Guitar School is one of the most famous guitar methods ever written. Written in the early 20th century, it gives us an ideo of Francisco Tarrega, Emilio Pujol, and other famous guitarists from that era might have played. Like with other historic guitar methods, I do not recommend this method to beginning guitarists.

The Emilio Pujol Guitar School consists of three volumes. For a long time, this method was only available in Spanish, however, it is now available in English translation:

Guitar School - Book 1 look inside Guitar School - Book 1 (A Theoretical-Practical Method for the Guitar, Based on the Principles of Francisco Tarrega). By Emilio Pujol Vilarrubi (1886-1980). Edited by Matanya Ophee. For Guitar. Instructional method. Standard notation. 71 pages. Published by Editions Orphee (PR.49400311A)

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Metodo Completo Per Chitarra

Another famous historic method by the 19th century guitarists, Ferdinando Carulli. Unfortunately, this method is only available in Spanish:

Metodo Completo per Chitarra look inside Metodo Completo per Chitarra By Ferdinando Carulli (1770-1841) and F Carulli. Arranged by Benvenuto Terzi. For classical guitar. Guitar Method. Classical Period and Studies. Guitar studies book. Standard guitar notation, fingerings and instructional text. 93 pages. Ricordi #RER2474. Published by Ricordi (HL.50013250)

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Aguado New Guitar Method

Aguado's New Guitar Method is one of my favorite 19th century guitar methods. Aguado has many fantastic ideas about playing technique, and thousands of self-composed musical examples. I recommend this book to all experienced guitarists:

Aguado New Guitar Method.

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