Classical Guitar Method Book (Free PDF)


Classical Guitar Method – Volume 1 by Bradford Werner – Free PDF Download (102 pages) – Beginner classical or fingerstyle guitar. This book teaches classical and fingerstyle guitar skills with a focus on the rich pedagogical tradition of classical guitar. Most learning objectives are covered through pieces and duets allowing students to perform full pieces from the first lesson. A qualified teacher and the lesson videos should provide students with a healthy start. This is the 2019/2020 edition. Also see Volume Two to continue learning. If you like the book you can support the site here.

Download the Free PDF Method 

Hardcopy Print Editions

Free Video Lessons for this Method

Video lessons and helpful articles are an essential part of using my method book. Follow the lessons in the order below. Also see the list of additional tips and lessons at the bottom of the list. You can start the technique routines anytime.

  • Welcome
  • Orientation & Welcome Video – A quick welcome and word about using the method.
  • What Gear & Guitar Will You Need? – Article coming this week.
  • Chord Accompaniment Section
  • Chord Accompaniment Section (p. 73-82) – Coming Soon
  • Fingerstyle Accompaniment Section (p. 83-87) – Coming Soon
  • Blues & Jamming Fun (p. 88-91) – Coming Soon

Visit the Lessons Page for more videos that compliment this book. I have a dedicated beginner lesson page as well. The above video lessons are for the 2019/2020 edition.

Student FAQ

What’s new in the 2020 edition? It’s the same pieces and page numbers as the 2019 edition. I’ve added some extra tips and explanations to help students understand the directions more clearly and updated a bunch of the video lessons. But it’s essentially the same book but just a bit more clear for students.

What is a good daily routine for a beginner? I recommend a technique warmup (included in the back of the book), some review of previous easier material, some sight reading, and then dedicated work on the few pieces that you are currently working on. 15-20 minutes of solid uninterrupted practice everyday is a good goal for a beginner. Anything beyond that is a bonus. As you become more advanced you can increase the practice time. You might also want to watch some lesson videos before you begin to remind you of a few things you might have forgotten or just to pick up tips for the future. Even watching videos that are more advanced than where you are at or something you are not working can still help you learn. You can find tons of lesson at the lesson page. Watching so pros play daily would be good too, absorb the culture and technique just by observing. See my dedicated lesson: How to Practice Music and Organize Your Practice Session

What books can I use along with your method? My method should have everything you need for now but if you want additional materials at this level I would recommend: Sight Reading for the Classical Guitar by Robert Benedict for extra reading practice. For theory knowledge I recommend the Berklee Theory Book 1 which is pretty good and has an answer key at the end and audio samples to download for listening and musicianship.

Should I memorize the pieces and should I keep them in my repertoire? Although I’m not strict about memorization with my students, I do believe that we play better when the piece is memorized. Also, our brains seem to get used to it as a habit and memorizes more efficiently if we do it regularly. So, I highly recommend you memorize your pieces but don’t be too hard on yourself, just do a little bit of memory work everyday and see how it goes.

When should I move onto the next piece? Aim for a confident playing of the piece. As a basic check you might put a metronome on and be able to play through it as that is a common issue. Aim for an even rhythm, nice tone, arched phrases, and a prominent melody. I encourage students to stick with pieces for awhile to see how they ‘settle’ into the piece in terms of relaxation. It’s important to dive deeper into musicality after you have accomplished the basic physical movements. A large part of what teachers do is to just raise the musical bar and get students to strive for higher levels of musicality so you’ll want to push yourself in that regard to ensure you are not just settling for a past standard (up your personal level every piece). In the end it’s up to you but try to feel confident and happy with your performance.

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