Best Guitar Books for Self-Teaching and Theory for 2021

If you are someone who is very keen to learn a guitar, the theory is something that you should not miss out. You just start experimenting then end up getting somewhere while self-teaching. Well, this is the time when you start finding the best guitar theory books. So keeping this in mind, today we will be discussing the best guitar books for self-teaching.

First things first, you should know that music theory concepts are more or less similar among all the major instruments. Things like Chords, intervals, scale, etc can be applied in any instrument. However, if you are a Guitarist, you would like something that is tuned for a Guitar.

So, this is where the best guitar books for theory help. These self-teaching books will help you understand the theory that is important and the concepts that are actually relevant for you and your guitar.

How do Self Teaching Theory books help?

At the end of day, you will have to learn your instrument according to your own pace. So, guitar books for self-teaching help you by keeping your progress self paced, interesting and Simple.

So, this time guitar books for theory help you by understanding the basic concepts, along with your own style of learning.

However, if you try and skip guitar theory, you will not be able to progress much in the long run and as a result, you will not be able to cover really helpful concepts and tricks.

Best Guitar theory Books

Teach Yourself to Play Guitar: A Quick and Easy Introduction for Beginners

Best Guitar Books for Self-Teaching

This book is extremely simple and is made for people who donā€™t have any musical background. This makes it extremely easy and simple to understand.

Teach Yourself to Play Guitar has been created specifically for the beginners and people with no music-reading background. With lesson examples presented in today’s hottest tab format, which also incorporates simple beat notation for accurate rhythm execution.

Teach Yourself to Play Guitar offers the start guitarist not only a comprehensive introduction to essential guitar-playing fundamentals, but a fast, effective, uncomplicated and practical alternative to the multitude of traditional self-instructional method books.

What It covers:

  • Power chords, barre chords, open position scales and chords (major and minor), and single-note patterns and fills;
  • Includes lesson examples and song excerpts during a sort of musical styles rock, folk, classical, country and more;
  • Familiarizes the students with fretboard organization, chord patterns, hand and finger positions, and guitar anatomy by way of easy-to-interpret diagrams, photos and illustrations;
  • Provides complete, concise explanations while keeping text to a minimum; and prepares the student for the choice of further guitar instruction.

So, to sum it all up this book is a treasure for a beginner. Undoubtedly, one of the best guitar theory books out there.

The Guitar Handbook : Best Guitar Books for Self-Teaching

best guitar theory books

This Handbook by Ralph Denyer is definitely the best guitar book for self teaching. This single book can provide resource available for beginning and experienced guitarists alike, whether acoustic or electric. Completely redesigned and with more full-color photos than the first, this remake surveys recent models and profiles current masters includes an expanded lesson section and encompasses 10 years of technological change in recording and amplification.

This book has not failed to highlight some of the much-needed concepts which many books miss out.

Highlights of the book are:

  • History of the guitar
  • Memoirs of acclaimed/persuasive guitarists
  • How guitars are made/how they work
  • Music hypothesis and how it applies to guitar
  • Fundamental aptitudes or Basic Concepts of Guitar
  • Procedures for various music styles

Now you might be asking who was Ralph Denyer?

RALPH DENYER was a vocalist and guitarist for Blonde on Blonde, a psychedelic rock band that formed in Newport, South Wales in 1967. Their group disbanded in 1972.

The author has excelled in explaining the core concepts. It touches on the unique styles of guitarists, construction or anatomy of guitars, influential guitar players etc.

What most readers will appreciate is the ā€œPlay Guitarā€ section, where voices, technique, scales, chords and much more are explained in detail.

Hal Leonard’s Music Theory

This book is suitable for all levels of Guitarists and they will find a lot of musical knowledge in this book. It also comes with online audio access. Tom Kolb has successfully displayed the long undiscovered music theories by using extremely simple and easy to understand terms and diagrams.

The accompanying recordings provide 94 tracks of music examples, scales, modes, chords, ear training, and much more!

The Hal Leonard Corporation is notable for distributing a wide range of sorts of music books, particularly ones that are intended to tell beginners or kids the best way to play the guitar.

They have gained notoriety for quite a long time in helping individuals begin on their guitar venture, and regardless of having a few unique writers for each sort of book, they offer predictable quality.

Tom Kolb composed this specific book on guitar hypothesis, and keeping in mind that this wasn’t my first regarding this matter or even Hal Leonard asset, I’ve perused this one and felt that this one is an absolute necessity have for players of all ability levels.

Due to the creator’s capacity to clarify the ideas in an unmistakable and succinct way. At the point when I originally began finding out about music hypothesis, the book that I initially looked at was tangled, and it wasn’t intended for guitarists. It was to a greater degree a general hypothesis book, so I didn’t get any of the fretboard models like you would in this one.

I think the blend of meaningfulness and having important models are pivotal for permitting music hypothesis amateurs to get a handle on these new thoughts.

Basically, in light of the fact that it’s normal for individuals to be scared by music hypothesis from the outset, you need an asset that shows you the essentials you have to know without being domineering or too confounding to even think about following alongside. It also tells you the kind of instrument you should use like lightweight guitars, best bluegrass guitars, etc.

What’s more, the best guitar books for the hypothesis will consistently incorporate sound models, and this one does. Rather than a CD, Hal Leonard transfers their delineations on the web so you can track with your book anyplace you go, without the need to fly in a plate.

Overall, to sum it up, this is a resource suitable for beginners, intermediates and advanced that is spread over 240 Pages which is huge in itself.

The Practical Guide to Modern Music Theory for Guitarists

best guitar book for beginnners self-teaching - The Practical Guide to Modern Music Theory for Guitarists

This is the 3rd Edition of this book and has been one of the most selling music books of all time. This book is like a medal to this list of best guitar books for self teaching for beginners.

The Practical Guide to Modern Music Theory for Guitar is unique. Rather than exhausting and inane guitar hypothesis expositions, it makes music wake up. Truth be told, you’ll rapidly figure out how to play the hypothesis you’re being instructed.

Go from meaningless data to staggering guitar performances and songwriting.

Guitarists are frequently liable of ‘gathering’ melodic hypothesis without setting aside the effort to figure out how to apply the data on their instrument.

Modern Music Theory for Guitarists consolidates bleeding edge, state-of-the-art melodic data with more than 200 activities and guides to assist you with disguising and ace the most significant ideas in present-day guitar playing. There are likewise bespoke, proficient support tracks from Guitar Techniques Magazine’s Quist.

This is what you’ll realize:

  • The most effective method to develop major and minor guitar scales
  • Step by step instructions to orchestrate a scale and use harmonies to compose melodies
  • The total manual for naming harmonies on guitar (know your C9 from your Cadd9!)
  • A breakdown of each significant sort of harmony, and where they originate from
  • Step by step instructions to compose harmony movements to make extraordinary melodies
  • Step by step instructions to change key easily (tweak) and how to utilize guitar harmony characteristics to make your music inventive and remarkable
  • Find how to shape guitar modesā€¦ and how to utilize them in your performances.
  • Find the mystery of sets of three, arpeggios and pentatonic scales you can use to make rich-sounding performances that will stun your companions
  • A total deconstruction of all the 3-note, 4-note and 5-note soloing approaches covered up in each scale.

There are such huge numbers of wellsprings of data out there nowadays it’s difficult to tell where to start and what’s significant with regards to applying music hypothesis to the guitar. This book has been intended to take you on an excursion from basic first standards through to unpredictable, energizing melodic thoughts while all the time showing you the melodic use of every idea.

Best Fingerstyle Guitars

The Complete Guide to Modern Music Theory starts with the development of the Major scale and manufactures consistently from the ideas educated in the initial not many parts to enable you to ace, hear and apply all the basic hypothesis utilized today.

Overall, a tight set and one of the best guitar theory books.

Guitar Aerobics by Troy Nelson

one of the best guitar theory books is guitar aerobics

This book is designed to make you master guitar in just 52 weeks while at the same time helping you develop the necessary Guitar techniques and tricks.

This is a daily dose of vitamins to keep your chops fine-tuned for a full 52 weeks. The guitar exercises cover several musical styles including rock, blues, jazz, metal, country, and funk.

Techniques taught include alternate picking, arpeggios, sweep picking, string skipping, legato, string bending, and rhythm guitar. These exercises will increase your speed and improve your dexterity and pick- and fret-hand accuracy the more you practice them.

Its day-by-day structure helps easily-distracted players keep a schedule. It will quickly become useless if you miss days, skip exercises, or try to use it irregularly. You COULD try to use it as a source for guitar licks, but that’s not what this is meant to be and there are better books for that.

If one’s serious about using this as the skeleton to their practice method, as I have, you actually have to develop an advancement system on your own. They don’t provide one.

daily exercises of guitar aerobics in notation

You have the daily exercise in notation and tab, a couple short paragraphs on what it’s teaching and a quick tip on how to properly play it, or how to get a little more out of it (such as switching up the picking style, etc.), the bpm speed range that the rhythm CD will provide, and a couple other small tidbits of information. Unless you’re an extremely gifted player, you’re not going to master even the first lick at its top speed of 112 bpm on the first day.

You need to keep coming back to it for a while. Also, by the time you get to the first Friday’s exercise, there’s no way you’ll master it the first day–I still goof it up. Plus, rushing through each one to max out the speed is not useful. You need to spend time with each one at slower speeds before cranking up the metronome. Such is basic practice knowledge.

So in the end, this is a great book if you use it exactly how they suggest. Don’t make it your only book or source–be sure to throw in some scale sequences, chord progressions, exercises to memorize the note structure of the fretboard, music theory study, and get some tab or something for some songs you like, too–but this book can easily be your daily motivation.

Overall an enjoyable experience, although requires a good amount of patience and the best guitar book for self teaching.


These are some of my favorite guitar books which I used when I was first starting to play guitar.

The fact is that you donā€™t need a lot of guitar theory books to start learning. Most of the time one would be enough and some cases, two.

The reason that some times 2 books can be needed can be because some particular author could not explain you a concept in a specific way you wanted them to. In those scenarios, having more than one book actually helps. These theory books are much cheaper than actual guitar lessons and so investing money on them is not at all a bad idea.

However, if you get too many good guitar theory books, you will be overwhelmed and ultimately confused on which one to follow. It will also result in you paying attention too unnecessary details that is often a waste of time. Ultimately, this can result in a waste of time and money so I would recommend you to choose wisely.

If you have any doubts or suggestions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below.