That sounds "Polly Wolly Crappy!"
May 31, 2009 4:17 PM   Subscribe

Guitar teacher filter: What's the best contemporary guitar method book for beginning (younger) guitar students?

I'm gearing up to give pro bono guitar lessons this summer to elementary through high school aged children. Now, I imagine that most of the time I'll be teaching practical applications, (ie how to play such and such a song), but it would be great to have a method book that provides interesting and contemporary examples of techniques and musical theories for students who are interested in pursuing that route.

Nothing against the Mel Bay etc books of the world, but I know I got bored really fast learning the tunes in those books when I was coming up and I imagine that someone must have authored a more up to date, fun, and practical instruction book by now.

Can you recommend the book that you use for your lessons? Or alternatively if you're a student, a cool book that your teacher uses.


PS Online resources are great but I'm looking specifically for a physical book.
posted by hector horace to Education (4 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I learned from A Modern Method for Guitar

I really liked it, my teacher recommended it, and uses it with all his students. I'm an adult, so I'm not sure about age appropriateness, but I'm sure it will be fine.
posted by teabag at 5:38 AM on June 1, 2009

That being said, getting to the practical stuff, we supplemented that book with an artist I actually wanted to learn (Clapton, in my case). I was in Guitar-Center the other day (or the supermarket, as we like to call it), and saw some Rock Band music books, maybe "the kids these days" will warm to that.

Good luck... convince them to be drummers, we need more drummers :)
posted by teabag at 5:46 AM on June 1, 2009

I'm not sure what you're looking for in a method book. I teach guitar full-time. The purpose of a method book, as far as I'm concerned, is to teach the student to read music by presenting new concepts one at a time in pieces of increasing complexity. I mostly use Hal Leonard, although I've used Mel Bay as well. Both books do the trick just fine, but they certainly aren't the entirety of the instruction.

I really like A Modern Method for Guitar, which contains all original music, but the difficulty level is not appropriate for a young beginner with no musical background.

If you're looking for simplified transcriptions of popular songs, try the easy pop melodies series.
posted by ludwig_van at 11:23 AM on June 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: ludwig_van, I'm looking for more of a framework to work from. For example if we were working on a song that had some interesting syncopation, (or even something as simple as common chord progression etc), it would be handy to have a bunch of other examples to draw from. I have a few drum method books like this, (I'm studying the drums myself), but I now realize that drum beats don't fall under the same copyright laws as say chord changes and melodies of popular songs, ie you can transcribe the drum beat for "Stairway to heaven" by Led Zeppelin without having to get permission or paying to use it. I guess I'll just have to come up with something on my own!

I'm going to head down to the music store soon and check out A Modern Method for Guitar.

posted by hector horace at 4:36 PM on June 1, 2009

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