100 books like Music Reading for Guitar (The Complete Method)

By David Oakes,

Here are 100 books that Music Reading for Guitar (The Complete Method) fans have personally recommended if you like Music Reading for Guitar (The Complete Method). Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Starting at Zero: His Own Story

Tobias Hurwitz Author Of The Total Rock Guitarist: A Fun and Comprehensive Overview of Rock Guitar Playing, Book & CD

From my list on for rock guitar philosophers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been immersed in playing and teaching guitar and in rock culture all my life. Since graduating from The Guitar Institute of Technology in 1987, I’ve been a full-time guitar professional. So, I’m known in my hometown of Baltimore as the go to guy for rock guitar chores of all kinds. I play for companies like Johns Hopkins, Center Stage and The Baltimore Ravens. I taught Guitar at The Gilman School for thirteen years. I’ve played every venue from the biggest stadiums to the smallest clubs. My publications include fifteen guitar books internationally distributed by Alfred Publications and features in most major trade journals. Endorsements: Paul Reed Smith Guitars, Ernie Ball Strings and Fractal Audio.

Tobias' book list on for rock guitar philosophers

Tobias Hurwitz Why did Tobias love this book?

This is the coolest Hendrix book ever because it is all written by Jimi himself! Peter Neal has transcribed all know statements, letters, lyrics, interviews, audio clips or quotes into chronological order and makes it read like an autobiography. The lyrics and letters are included where they belong in the timeline. I learned more about Hendrix from this very personal account than from anything else. It’s a brilliant idea and a one of a kind read!

By Jimi Hendrix,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Starting at Zero as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It took just four years in the spotlight for Jimi Hendrix to become an international cultural icon. The sheer impact and originality of his music and his unique mastery of the guitar placed him for ever amongst musical giants. But what of the man behind the public image?

Modest and intensely private by nature, Jimi was shrouded in intrigue from the moment he first came into the public eye, and the mystery has only grown with time. Much has been written about him by experts, fans and critics, some of it true and some of it not. He did, however,…


Book cover of I'm with the Band: Confessions of a Groupie

Laurie Kaye Author Of Confessions of a Rock N Roll Name Dropper: My Life Leading Up to John Lennon’s Last Interview

From my list on rock and roll cool talented creators.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a music fan–especially pop and rock and roll–since I was a toddler, thanks to my dysfunctional family upbringing that led me to spend the bulk of my time attached to my transistor radio! Not only did I listen to rock radio stations, but I also learned about musicians, including the Beatles, thanks to magazine articles and books once I started to read at an early age–I went to my local library daily and continued to do so all the way through my school years!

Laurie's book list on rock and roll cool talented creators

Laurie Kaye Why did Laurie love this book?

Pamela Des Barre's incredible history as rock and roll’s number one famous groupie helped her create her incredible memoir! Her extremely well-written book features many super cool personal stories about her involvement with several famous musicians/rockstars that nearly all of us women who are rock fans would have loved to have been in close, loving contact with ourselves! 

Pamela was definitely my biggest inspiration when it came to memoir writing. She digs my book as well, writing a complimentary comment that appears on its back cover!

By Pamela Des Barres,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked I'm with the Band as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Pamela Des Barres was a regular on the Sunset Strip, where she knocked on rock stars' backstage doors and immersed herself in the drugs, danger, and ecstasy of the freewheeling 1960s. Over the next 10 years she had affairs with Mick Jagger, Jimmy Page, Keith Moon and Jim Morrison, among others. As a member of the GTO's, a girl group masterminded by Frank Zappa, she was in the thick of the most revolutionary renaissance in the history of modern popular music. Warm, witty, and sexy, this kiss-and-tell-all stands out as the perfect chronicle of one of rock 'n' roll's most…


Book cover of Zen Guitar

Tobias Hurwitz Author Of The Total Rock Guitarist: A Fun and Comprehensive Overview of Rock Guitar Playing, Book & CD

From my list on for rock guitar philosophers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been immersed in playing and teaching guitar and in rock culture all my life. Since graduating from The Guitar Institute of Technology in 1987, I’ve been a full-time guitar professional. So, I’m known in my hometown of Baltimore as the go to guy for rock guitar chores of all kinds. I play for companies like Johns Hopkins, Center Stage and The Baltimore Ravens. I taught Guitar at The Gilman School for thirteen years. I’ve played every venue from the biggest stadiums to the smallest clubs. My publications include fifteen guitar books internationally distributed by Alfred Publications and features in most major trade journals. Endorsements: Paul Reed Smith Guitars, Ernie Ball Strings and Fractal Audio.

Tobias' book list on for rock guitar philosophers

Tobias Hurwitz Why did Tobias love this book?

This book hit me hard and fast. It validated what I previously thought were my private ideas. I’d never met the author, but it seemed to be written about me… for me… or was it written for and about the other 100k plus readers who must have felt the same? I don’t know. Maybe you’re next.

By Philip Toshio Sudo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Zen Guitar as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Each of us carries a song inside us, the song that makes us human. ZEN GUITAR provides the key to unlocking this song - a series of life lessons presented through the metaphor of music. Philip Sudo offers his own experiences with music to enable us to rediscover the harmony in each of our lives and open ourselves to Zen awareness uniquely suited to the Western Mind. Through fifty-eight lessons that provide focus and a guide, the reader is led through to Zen awareness. This harmony is further illuminated through quotes from sources ranging from Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix…


Book cover of Analog Days: The Invention and Impact of the Moog Synthesizer

Nick Prior Author Of Popular Music, Digital Technology and Society

From my list on popular music, technology, and society.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Professor of Cultural Sociology at Edinburgh, UK, and have written extensively on contemporary culture and particularly technological mediations of popular music. I have undertaken empirical research on cultures of popular music in places like Iceland, Japan, and the UK, and I have supervised around 25 doctoral students to successful completion. My work is widely cited in the field of cultural sociology, and I am regularly interviewed by national broadcasters and the press. I’m also an amateur musician, making homespun electronic music in my bedroom and releasing it under the monikers Sponge Monkeys and Triviax.

Nick's book list on popular music, technology, and society

Nick Prior Why did Nick love this book?

This book will change your idea of the place and importance of synthesizers in music history. I had the privilege to be taught by Trevor Pinch as an undergraduate and have followed his work closely since. His passing in late 2021 left a massive hole in the field of Science and Technology Studies and he is sorely missed.

The book is based on primary research on the genesis and development of the Moog synthesizer, perhaps the most important instrument in electronic music history. Unlike most texts on the instruments of electronic music, which dig into the technical details of synthesis, I love the fact that this book gives you the human stories and socio-technical processes behind how an iconic synthesizer was designed, circulated, and adopted by rock musicians from Rick Wakeman to The Beatles.

There is delight in the details, such as how salesmen packed the unwieldy Moog synth into…

By Trevor Pinch, Frank Trocco,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Analog Days as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Though ubiquitous today, available as a single microchip and found in any electronic device requiring sound, the synthesizer when it first appeared was truly revolutionary. Something radically new--an extraordinary rarity in musical culture--it was an instrument that used a genuinely new source of sound: electronics. How this came to be--how an engineering student at Cornell and an avant-garde musician working out of a storefront in California set this revolution in motion--is the story told for the first time in Analog Days, a book that explores the invention of the synthesizer and its impact on popular culture.

The authors take us…


Book cover of Libba: The Magnificent Musical Life of Elizabeth Cotten

Lisa Tolin Author Of How to Be a Rock Star

From my list on children’s books for future rock stars.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am not a rock star but I do play a mean (computer) keyboard. My debut picture book, How to Be a Rock Star, was inspired by my musical children and our endless hours jamming as a family band. I was always on the lookout for books to inspire my little rock star, and because they were hard to come by, I wrote one! These books will inspire your budding musician, or just help you embrace a spirit of creative play in any way they want to rock.

Lisa's book list on children’s books for future rock stars

Lisa Tolin Why did Lisa love this book?

When my son was a rocking toddler, he needed everything just so—a twisted guitar strap could ruin his gig. We both drew inspiration from Elizabeth Cotten, who managed to play guitar despite being left-handed and teaching herself upside down and backwards. By the age of 11, Cotten had written “Freight Train,” one of the most famous folk songs of the last century. Take that, perfectionism.

By Laura Veirs, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Libba as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Elisabeth Cotten was only a little girl when she picked up a guitar for the first time. It wasn't hers-it was her big brother's-and it wasn't strung right-she was left-handed. But she flipped that guitar upside down and backwards and taught herself how to play it anyway. By eleven, she'd written "Freight Train," one of the most famous folk songs. And by the end of her life, everyone from the California beaches to the rolling hills of England knew her music.

This lyrical, loving book from acclaimed singer-songwriter Laura Veirs and debut illustrator Tatyana Fazlalizadeh tells the story of the…


Book cover of Dangerous Curves: The Art of the Guitar

R.M. Mottola Author Of Building the Steel String Acoustic Guitar

From my list on building stringed musical instruments.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been building guitars and related instruments since 1994. My enthusiasm for guitar construction led me to deeply explore all aspects of the art and to share as much information as I can with others via my lutherie information website, writing for American Lutherie, published books, and my research publications. I am fortunate to count myself among those that consider building stringed musical instruments to be one of the best things one can do.

R.M.'s book list on building stringed musical instruments

R.M. Mottola Why did R.M. love this book?

There is nothing that enhances the process of building guitars more than having a solid foundation in the history of the instrument.

Although there are a number of excellent guitar histories available, few offer as clear and accessible information as this book does. The book is the catalog of a traveling museum show about guitars that was curated by the author at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

It is lavishly illustrated, and contains just the right amount of text on the subject to keep the reader engaged. No builder of stringed musical instruments should be without this book.

By Darcy Kuronen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dangerous Curves as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"The guitar and the dog, in order not to be separated from man, have submitted themselves with resignation to the worst alterations of size and appearance." Andres Segovia


Book cover of The Complete Blues & Ragtime Guitar Player

Jamie Akers Author Of Christmas Carols for Guitar

From my list on to help you be great at guitar.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been playing the guitar since I was ten years old. From then until now it has been my life’s focus, my friend and delight, my consolation, companion, and frustration. While I am reconciled to never being the world’s most famous guitarist, I still have a career, make a living, and, hopefully, contribute positively to the Universe. I have recorded albums of previously unheard music, performed throughout the world, and edited and published books for guitar. In spite of decades of study and practice, I find my enthusiasm undimmed and enjoy nothing more than sharing my expertise and guiding those less experienced to discover the delights of playing music.

Jamie's book list on to help you be great at guitar

Jamie Akers Why did Jamie love this book?

When I started playing guitar, all I wanted to do was play the blues. Why a working-class Scottish boy would be so entranced by music so culturally and geographically remote is curious even to me but this book gave me a way in, a key to unlock the skills required to emulate the sounds of the blues greats I loved to hear. As an autodidact, clear explanations, technical advice, and background information were essential to my development and I still use this book with students to this day. 

By Russ Shipton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Complete Blues & Ragtime Guitar Player as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

(Music Sales America). Covers the whole spectrum of this exciting area of guitar playing. Careful grading enables beginners to progress through this course playing well-known songs, as well as learning the technical aspects. Songs: A Basic Blues * 'a' Simple Blues * 'a' Twelve Bar * Alice's Restaurant * Bounce Blues * Candyman * Candyman Blues * Cocaine Blues * Come Back Baby * Deep River Blues * The Entertainer * Extension Blues * First Time Blues * Gee Rag * Good Morning Blues * Half-way Rag * Harmony Blues * Hesitation Blues * Horizon Rag * How Long How…


Book cover of Guitar School

Jamie Akers Author Of Christmas Carols for Guitar

From my list on to help you be great at guitar.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been playing the guitar since I was ten years old. From then until now it has been my life’s focus, my friend and delight, my consolation, companion, and frustration. While I am reconciled to never being the world’s most famous guitarist, I still have a career, make a living, and, hopefully, contribute positively to the Universe. I have recorded albums of previously unheard music, performed throughout the world, and edited and published books for guitar. In spite of decades of study and practice, I find my enthusiasm undimmed and enjoy nothing more than sharing my expertise and guiding those less experienced to discover the delights of playing music.

Jamie's book list on to help you be great at guitar

Jamie Akers Why did Jamie love this book?

Madame Sidney Pratten is a unique figure in the history of the guitar and sadly neglected by history. She was well known and well connected in her day and taught many notable members of Victorian London society to play guitar, including Princess Alexandra. Her real name was Catharina - in her public work she used her husband’s name, as was common at the time - and she published her Guitar School after many years of teaching, to great acclaim. It is the most informative, wise, and practical guitar book I know, full of useful information, beautiful music, and insight into the learning process.

This book is not currently available.

By Madame Sidney Pratten,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Guitar School as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of Hand Made, Hand Played The Art and Craft Of Contemporary Guitars

Richard Mark French Author Of Acoustic Guitar Design

From my list on people interested in guitars and guitar making.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been making guitars for about 30 years now and love it. I’m mostly self-taught and there were some pretty rough instruments early on, but I got better with every one. I’ve lost track of how many I’ve made and my favorite is always the next one. I learned my craft from people who took the time to write about it. I’ve now written dozens of articles and three books on guitars. As a professor, I run a guitar-making lab and teach classes on stringed instrument design and manufacture. I hope to do my part to help new builders the way others have helped me.

Richard's book list on people interested in guitars and guitar making

Richard Mark French Why did Richard love this book?

We’re probably in a golden age of guitar making. The internet has made information on how to make guitars, once rare indeed, free to anyone who wants to learn. New builders need to see what the very top luthiers (makers of stringed instruments) are building. This book is full of beautiful pictures – more pictures than words – that show the highest levels of design and construction. When I want to dream about how my next guitar might look, I go here.

By Robert Shaw,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hand Made, Hand Played The Art and Craft Of Contemporary Guitars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Feast your eyes on more than 300 of today's most creative, imaginative and gorgeous hand-made guitars - all illustrated in full colour and featuring information about the innovative artisans who created them. Meet guitar-making legends, such as C.F. Martin, Les Paul and Leo Fender, who revolutionised the instrument's design. Discover why the past 25 years have seen an explosion of craftspeople who build guitars by hand, employing an attention to detail factories can't afford and using higher quality materials and more technical skill than in any previous era. Explore the various guitar styles used in a range of musical traditions,…


Book cover of Asturias: 55 Classical Masterpieces from 5 Centuries Guitar

Jamie Akers Author Of Christmas Carols for Guitar

From my list on to help you be great at guitar.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been playing the guitar since I was ten years old. From then until now it has been my life’s focus, my friend and delight, my consolation, companion, and frustration. While I am reconciled to never being the world’s most famous guitarist, I still have a career, make a living, and, hopefully, contribute positively to the Universe. I have recorded albums of previously unheard music, performed throughout the world, and edited and published books for guitar. In spite of decades of study and practice, I find my enthusiasm undimmed and enjoy nothing more than sharing my expertise and guiding those less experienced to discover the delights of playing music.

Jamie's book list on to help you be great at guitar

Jamie Akers Why did Jamie love this book?

Classical music is often seen as being unapproachable, demanding, and difficult, the domain of geniuses and prodigies not for ordinary mortals. This delightful book makes available some of the greatest guitar music ever written in a form that is accessible yet recognisable. It enables the intermediate-level guitarist to advance their abilities while playing pieces that will transfix any audience, impress friends and family and render great satisfaction to the performer. 

By Martin Hegel (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Asturias as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

(Guitar). This collection of 55 well-known masterpieces of classical music offers arrangements that are well suited to the guitar, while remaining as faithful as possible to the original setting. This includes widely known classical melodies through to South American tangos - music for entertainment that suits the guitar particularly well. Some historical arrangements by prominent musicians of their time such as Mertz, Coste and Tarrega are a valuable addition to this collection. This collection is a treasure trove for tuition purposes, concert performance and just for fun, with pieces presented in order of increasing difficulty.


5 book lists we think you will like!

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