The 5 Best Guitar Books: Must Have Books For Every Skill Level 2021

I’ve looked at 25 of the most popular books in today’s market and stripped it down to 5 of the very best guitar books in each skill area.

I spent the first 15 years learning guitar from books. Simply because there wasn’t a youtube back in the 90s. I didn’t have the money for a teacher, so books or listening were the only way to learn.

Learning by book is still a popular way for many. I see it as an ideal, non-stressful way of learning at your own pace. Regardless of the modern-day methods online.

I realize, we all have different tastes in music and various reasons for playing. So I’ve selected the 5 best guitar books that will safely see you through to where you need to be. Whatever your reason for studying may be.

Read on to begin your journey towards Rock God!

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

Best Guitar Book For:  The Complete Beginner to Intermediate Guitarist

I remembered back when I was first starting out. The book that helped me, was one that was clear, precise, and had diagrams with a clear route to the next stage.

So with this in mind, the ‘Teach Yourself to Play Guitar’ is exactly that.

Comes with big bright chord diagrams. A clear and easy set of instructions will aid the complete beginner.

A logical step-by-step guide into how to get started. Easy fingerboard diagrams-hand and finger placement-picking and playing position-posture, and tuning.

Moving onto open chords in major then the minor scale. Power chords, single-note patterns, riffs, and bar chords. Everything you need to know as a complete beginner.

With so many books out on the market, you really need to buy one that’s actually going to steer you in the right direction. This is it.

I highly recommend the Teach Yourself To Play Guitar by David Brewster.

  • Available In Paperback, Kindle, Spiral Bound & Sheet 
  • Clear And Easily Explained
  • Prepares The Beginner For The Next Stage

2. The Guitar Player Repair Guide

Best Guitar Book For: The Repair, Maintenance and Set Up Guitarist

A step-by-step guide for players of all skill levels. Essentially this knowledge is required by all musicians on how to look after your instrument.

Teaching you the basic fundamentals of maintaining your guitar. Repairing both electric and acoustic guitars. Gives you the tools and know-how to set up your own guitar, or copy specifications of leading players.

Check out Authority Guitar 10 Essential Tips For Guitar Care

Now with wider coverage of basic guitar electronics. Including pickup and wiring diagrams.

This is always very helpful if you want to upgrade your guitar or fix a bad connection. You can even charge your guitar-playing friends now that you can fix their guitar.

This is the best book on the market in comparison to the other similar versions I found. It includes interviews and historic facts about BB King and Buddy Guy. Details on how they liked their guitars set up and the tones they achieved. Which is great if you love that kinda music.

The complete manual for all aspects of guitar care.

Comes in Paperback Only.

  • Features An Essential DVD For Tips And Tricks
  • Third, Revised Edition
  • Perfect For Small Projects

3. Creative Guitar 1: Cutting-Edge Techniques

Best Guitar Book For: A Guitarist Searching For Some Fresh Inspiration

A very popular book in the guitarist world. The ‘Creative Guitar Series’ offers you a new direction to explore.

Every player gets stuck in a rut sometimes. This book gives you some pretty awesome avenues to venture into with the accompanying CD.

The CD has some pretty unique pentatonic patterns, minor arpeggios, and some superb backing tracks to test them over. There wasn’t a section on ‘face-melting’ solos though. I was a little disappointed.

This isn’t just a book on lead guitar. It installs the basic fundamentals in a way that’s clear and practical to the reader.

It’s a bible for the guitarist who has many questions about theory and learning good practicing habits.

This would suit the guitarist who has a few gaps in their knowledge. Guitarists who need that fresh inspiration or another rabbit hole to disappear down. That’s basically all of us then!

Clear and easy to understand, i even enjoyed the humor! This book brings a logical and simplistic approach to harmony, fretboard know-how, and improvisation.

A must for every experienced player. Find yourself a new avenue!

  • Guaranteed To Spark A New Light
  • Great Backing Tracks
  • Leaves Out The Fluff of Similar Books

Table Of Contents

4. The Guitar Handbook: A Unique Source Book For The Guitar Player

Best Guitar Book For: The Enthusiast, The Songwriter, The Info Geek

People are calling this the bible. I can see why.

There is no particular level of musical education required to understand this book. All it requires is the love of playing guitar.

You’re given a history lesson on certain artists’ playing styles. Their major influences, and types of guitars they used. I love stuff like this. You can start building your gear towards a certain guitarist you like.

The great thing about the Guitar Handbook is it gives you tips on how to improve your sound, and ideas of what to buy for your next guitar.

Beautiful images and diagrams explaining notes, chords, and their relationship. There’s also a really interesting section on electronics, effects, and amps. This again is great knowledge to have when considering buying new amps or effects.

With a huge dictionary of chords at the end, I really feel this book has it all. It’s a super enjoyable read with some compelling knowledge to whet your appetite.

Paperback Only

  • Comprehensively Useful
  • A Great Book To Get Lost In
  • Will Last You Forever

5. Guitar Aerobics: A 52-Week, One-Lick-Per-Day Workout Program

Best Guitar Book For: Development and Improvement of Technique

If you’ve come to the point where you need to sharpen your skills. Or really hit home with mastering guitar technique, then the very popular Guitar Aerobics is for you.

The great thing about this tutorial book, is you can play along from intermediate skill-right up to advanced guitarist. If you are a newer player, this is definitely a good place to start.

Using the correct mechanics of guitar technique is very important to becoming a more all-round musician. This book should be revisited as much as possible to maintain good solid execution.

The exercises become progressively more difficult. So you won’t be completing Guitar Aerobics anytime soon. There is no particular routine you need to plan for. You simply open the book, complete your current exercise, and only move on when its satisfactory.

You’ll definitely get your money’s worth with this. Progress is meant to be achieved at a manageable pace. If you get into the book most days you be seeing improvement pretty quickly.

Guitar Aerobics is intended to be used quite a lot. So if you’re thinking of dipping in and out a few times a month, you’ll probably end up re-learning what you did the month before.

A superb book for mastering and developing techniques. Every guitarist should at some time throughout their journey own this book.

  • 52 Week, 1 lick per day workout plan.
  • Musical styles include rock, blues, jazz, metal, country, and funk
  • Available on Kindle and in Paperback

The Benefits Of Teaching Yourself From A Book

The obvious benefit to teaching yourself is It’s cost-effective. You may not have the option of hiring a guitar teacher or you might live in an area with a poor internet connection.

Youtube tutorials seem to be anybody and everybody these days. Just because somebody calls themselves a teacher and has a channel on youtube. It doesnt make their methods correct. In fact, some are dreadful!

There’s one thing about a guitar method book you can rely on, and that’s its a trustworthy source of information. A $15 guitar method book can be of use for life.

With a book, you can choose your own route in what you want to study.

Maybe Jazz is your thing, but your local guitar tutor doesn’t play Jazz. You can also choose when you want to study. There is no place you cannot take a book to read.

With this in mind, anybody can learn any style of guitar with the correct book.

Best Guitar Books

What a Suitable Guitar Book Should Be Teaching You:

  • Explain The Guitars Anatomy: You’ll need to know every part of a guitar and what that part does.

  • Musical Theory: Its best practice to know why a piece of music sounded a certain way. And how that sound can be recreated.

  • Clear & Easy To Understand: Everybody learns at different speeds. You need simplicity and clarity from a book at the beginning of your journey.

Guitar Books for Beginners Require

  • How to Hold the Guitar: It’s very important you learn what the proper technique is.

  • Starter Chords (3): Something to get you hooked and quickly

  • Clear & Simple Chord Diagrams: It’s not easy learning any instrument from scratch, so you need the pictures to be clear and easily understood.

  • How to Change Chords Properly: Correct technique is of paramount importance.

  • Simple Songs to Get You Going: This is the stage you’ll really enjoy and never look back.

  • Single String Melodies: 2,4 then 6. Some nice tunes you can learn within the first week to get you buzzing with excitement.

If you’re wondering how long it takes to get to achieve a good standard of guitar, here’s a great chart to get an idea.

Can You Teach Yourself Guitar?

YES! Absolutely. I started off learning by myself for 2 years without any youtube videos or teachers. However, I’m not going to say it’s easy by any stretch of the imagination.

You have to be patient and learn at your own pace. It’s all worth it once you play your first song to your friends or family. You cannot beat that adrenalin rush. This feeling never leaves you.

Best Guitar Books

Trial And Error

Your entire journey of playing guitar will be based on ‘trial and error’.

If you can get through the first six months of learning from a book. You can then take on anything that comes your way. That’s something to be proud of for sure.

The interesting thing about the guitar is, you’ll never ever stop learning. Whether you’re playing it, fixing it, upgrading it, or learning about its history. You can find it all in very affordable music books that will last you forever.

Heres a few of our helpful guides

About Lee

Lee has been playing guitar for over 25 years. In the 1990's he made a few TV appearances in London and supported a few big bands at festivals. He's recently sung on radio and worked as a full-time guitarist/singer. Lee is the founder of Authority Guitar, a site where he wants readers to enjoy every aspect of learning the guitar.