These are recommendations for classical guitar books. All links go to Amazon.com. For books related to sheet music for guitar technique & workbooks see the sheet music section.
Classical Guitar Books – Discussion, Lessons, Info
- Playing with Ease: A Healthy Approach to Guitar Technique by David Leisner – I haven’t read this yet but I’ve heard great things and Leisner is good.
- Ricardo Iznaola on Practicing: A Manual for Students of Guitar Performance
- A great but little book on how to practice well. Many students of guitar are not going to read a huge book so this concise little booklet is perfect for getting a grounding in good practice habits and philosophy. Highly recommended.
- On Competitions: Dealing with Performance Stress by Denis Azabagic
- via publisher: “advice that relate to guitar performers and their specific ideas concerning competitions and repertoire, but mainly the book focuses on how to deal with the issue of stage fright, self control and how to deliver to the best of your abilities. Self doubt is part of all of us and enclosed are ways to control it, not to eliminate it.”
- Classical Guitar Answer Book by Sharon Isbin
- Isbin gives advice and answers on a variety of topics. Not my favourite book but still of interest.
- Classical Guitarists: Unlock Your Potential! by Jean-Francois Desrosby
- Need some tips on good, ergonomic, playing? Check out Jean-Francois Desrosby’s little handbook.
- The Art of Classical Guitar Playing by Charles Duncan – An informative book with good ideas on ‘functional tension’ and more…
- Reaching The Next Level A Method for the Experienced Classical Guitarist by Martha Masters
- GFA winner Martha Masters gives excellent tips in this book. I don’t much care for the sheet music aspect of the book and there are a number of misprints in the notation but the text is great educational info for students.
Classical Guitar Books – History & Modern/Historical Techniques
- The Techniques of Guitar Playing by Seth F. Josel & Ming Tsao
- A fantastic book on modern and historical guitar techniques geared toward composers. Read My Full Review Here. Highly recommended.
- The Contemporary Guitar by John Schneider
- One of the most in-depth and knowledgeable books about the contemporary concert guitar and its literature. Read My Full Review Here. Highly recommended.
- Performing Baroque Music on Classical Guitar by Peter Croton
- Solid advice from both a guitar perspective and universal music perspective. Tons of quality period sources. You can read my Review of this book here.
- A Tutor for the Renaissance Lute (Poulton)
- Fantastic! Learn how to read Renaissance lute tablature and the techniques and performance practices that go along with it.
- Guitar and Its Music (Oxford) by Tyler/Sparks
- Expensive, academic, but excellent…the best history and overview there is (except for the contemporary section)! Highly recommended.
- The Early Guitar: A History and Handbook by James Tyler
- Great book as the above one as well but dives into early music.
- Concise History of the Classic Guitar
- Very brief overview of the composers…nice reference, enough for some people but not for others.
- The Guitar in History and Performance
- History and Performance Practice from 1400 to Today: A University Textbook for the Historical Study of the Classical Guitar. Nice Pictures, diagrams, etc. Highly recommended.
- The Classical Guitar: Its Evolution, Players and Personalities Since 1800 (Summerville)
- Coffee table reading and flipping through. Interesting but not a text…which is good for some people.
Classical Guitar Books – Biography and Interviews
- Practicing: A Musician’s Return to Music by Glenn Kurtz
- A touching story of a musician from childhood, to studying at New England Conservatory, to a Euro concert career, to giving up, to returning to music later in life. Excellent!
- Classical Guitarists: Conversations
- Talks with famous guitarists such as John Williams…
Music Books – Other Books (Non-Guitar Specific)
- The Inner Game of Music by Barry Green
- A must have. At times it might seem fluffy but put the exercises to actual use in practice or lessons and it really does work. It’s all about getting in tune with yourself.
- Musical Excellence: Strategies and Techniques by Aaron Williamon
- “Musical Excellence offers performers, teachers, and researchers, new perspectives and practical guidance for enhancing performance and managing the stress that typically accompanies performance situations. It draws together, for the first time in a single collection, the findings of pioneering initiatives from across the arts and sciences.” (via publishers)