Here a list and mini review of my favourite classical guitar exercise and technique books. I’ve used all these books while teaching my students both at my private studio and the Victoria Conservatory of Music.
My books that include video lessons:
- Classical Guitar Method – Vol. 1, Notation, Video Lessons, 100 pages, Free PDF
- Classical Guitar Method Vol. 2, Notation, Video Lessons, 89 pages.
- Classical Guitar Technique: Essential Exercises, Scales, & Arpeggios – Notation, 122 pages, Gr. 1-9. Video lessons, hundreds of exercises. Start this after my method books and continue with repertoire from grade 1 and up.
- 20 Favorite Exercises, Notation + TAB, Video lessons, Gr.1-6, Great for crossover or a quick boost. A tab alternative to the above book.
- Classical Guitar Repertoire Lessons Grade 1-4 – Coming soon
- Ten Classical Etudes, Gr.4-7, videos lessons, Notation & Notation + TAB
- an educational intent.
Recommendations via Amazon:
- The Bible of Classical Guitar Technique by Hubert Käppel. This book is like Pumping Nylon on steroids. 245 pages of exercises and excellent text advice, photos, explanations, and tons of exercises. This is a huge contribution to the guitar world and I’m only just starting to dive deep into the ideas. Also has great practice tips and general advice about studying music.
- Pumping Nylon by Scott Tennant (new 2nd edition) – Physical workouts to train those muscles and gain finger independence and dexterity. Very popular book and good memorable exercises for warm ups. Highly recommended.
- Pumping Nylon in TAB by Scott Tennant – for you tab junkies out there
- Kitharologus: The Path to Virtuosity by Ricardo Iznaola – Progressive: from beginner to extreme advanced. Very good technique book and the progressive sections are a great idea to help organize students. Covers technique exercises and also a significant amount of fingerboard knowledge. Beware however, although the book starts out super easy (open strings) but it gets very difficult fast. This is not a criticism but you should know that you will not just zoom through the book.
- Iznaola on Practicing: A Manual for Students – 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. It not an exercise book, just text on how to practice.
- Sight Reading for the Classical Guitar, Level I-III by Robert Benedict – Form, phrasing, dynamics, texture and how to sight read. Excellent book for a solid education in music. Beginner but also a good review for intermediates.
- Scale Pattern Studies for Guitar by Aaron Shearer – Sight reading skills and scales..no BS! Nearly 300 pages of scales and sight reading. Learn the scale then learn how to read music using the scale. This connection between reading and scales is very important. Highly recommended.
Shearer Supplement 1: Slur, Ornament, and Reach Development Exercises – Thorough set of exercises and a great workout. The books are well thought out as to not be ignored.
- Giuliani’s complete studies and exercises – This includes his studies but also his exercises and 120 arpeggios.