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Best Beginning Guitar Book

Updated on July 26, 2017

The Best Basic Guitar book

One Basic book that consist of 4 beginning books.
One Basic book that consist of 4 beginning books. | Source
This my book, it may look the same but it is not the same. Mine came in spiral binder form. I can turn the pages more easily. I would sugesst this book, it is much easier to use.
This my book, it may look the same but it is not the same. Mine came in spiral binder form. I can turn the pages more easily. I would sugesst this book, it is much easier to use. | Source
The first book is one of the best beginner books available, Book one can be purchased from your music store and sells for$10.99. The first book is not a boring book. After the first two lessons the student is playing short single note songs.
The first book is one of the best beginner books available, Book one can be purchased from your music store and sells for$10.99. The first book is not a boring book. After the first two lessons the student is playing short single note songs. | Source

Beginning Guitar Book 1

Why is the Happy Traum Basic Guitar book the best? After teaching beginners for years I can tell you the book works. I have a lot of contact with people who I have taught this book to and I would say over 95% still play the guitar. The unique thing about the book is that you will not only learn all different types of music but you will learn all the different styles of playing.

The Omnibus Edition book consist of four basic guitar books put together and sold as one big book. My students usually start out by buying the first book and then if they keep going they will buy the big book that contains all four books. With 49 years of playing, and 34 years of teaching beginners, and a wonderful success rate with Happy Traums book I will stick with what works.

The first book is 47 pages long. The student is playing little songs by the second lesson. After playing single notes on the first three strings the notes are combined into simple three string chords. Chords add a new approach to a fuller more satisfying song.

After the second lesson, the student is introduced to more single note songs. These little songs really hold the kids attention. I have not had one child that didn't like this page. The fifth or sixth lesson introduces notes into chords. The songs become much more fulfilling and are fun to play. The single note and three note chord songs bring real satisfaction to the new student. Some of the songs in book one are:

Little Brown Jug

Pretty Polly

Scarborough Fair

Soleares - A Flamenco Dance

Country Vamp

Brown Eyes

Wildwood Flower

Walking The Basses

There are many more songs along with duets, blues and classical music. What I love about Traums book is he touches on everything.

Happy Traum is a wonderful guitar player, performer, and teacher. I started using his books in 1980 because they were interesting not only for the kids but also the adults I really have not found anyone that does not like the books. I tried some others but Happys worked much better.

Basic Guitar Book 3

Book 3 is my favorite book it opens a whole new world for the guitar student. This world of music they will either keep it and play both styles of music, pick and finger style, or chose to play one style or the other. I believe a well rounded player should be able to play both styles. This type of music is very rewarding.

The book touches on classical music and the techniques used for playing this music. One of my favorite pieces of music is Farruca arranged by Alan de Mause, Flamenco music. Book 3 has plenty of blues, duets, and many different solos.

Book 3 will make a well rounded guitar player and should help you decide what type of music you most enjoy. Some of the songs the kids really enjoyed doing are:

Greensleeves with accompaniment

The Three Ravens

Hey, Ho, Nobody Home

Fifties Rock

The Greaser

Free Bird

Amazing Grace

You Are Tall And Slender


Fingerpicking Rag

Theme From Bouree

Lute Piece From The Renaissance

Book 3 is a real turning point if you continue and master each page. Only you can put the time and effort needed to reach this level.I would say only about 30% of the students will finish book 3. If you finish the book you will have a wealth of knowledge.Book 3 will give the student the confidents he needs to play all kinds of music. You must be serious and put the time and effort in and you will succeed. This takes serious work. There is no instant anything on the guitar. This is nothing like a computer or a cell phone it takes lots of commitment and hard work. Nothing will happen instantly, you will need a lot of patience.

Which Guitar Book Is Your Favorite?

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Basic Guitar Book 2

I am totally in agreement with Mr. Traum students learn faster and practice more when they like what they are playing. This second book helps to develop technique and create a repertoire.

The first part of the book is a simple review and summary of book one. Some of the songs are:

Hard Ain't It Hard

Old Rosin The Bow

Scales C,G, and F Major

Minuet in F

Turkey In The Straw

Jesu,Joy Of Man's Desiring

There are many more songs in book 2.

The student will learn Major scales and Minor scales

Basic Guitar Book 4

Book four is an review of everything you have learn in this course. This book should reinforce what the students learned in book 1, 2, and 3, plus add new material that will be both pick and finger style music.

The student works with movable chords, capo, and the barre. One of my favorite songs the kids play are La Bamba. Three chords two movable and the song is a hit. This song uses the G chord in the movable position. Seventh Chords are also introduced to the students.

Harmonizing and ear training open up so many possibilities for the student. Finally relating scales to songs and why we need them. Its like everything clicks in this book and it all comes together.

Guitar is forever you will never know everything, there is always something new to learn. Some of the songs I like in book 4 are:

Theme From Etude in B minor

Going Fishin'

Buddy Bolden's Blues


La Perla

She Moved Through the Fair

October Song

E Train Shuffle

As an update I would like to add, I am still teaching the book and it continues to be just as useful today.

Basic Guitar is that Good

5 stars for Omnibus Edition Basic Guitar

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Submit a Comment

  • ladyguitarpicker profile imageAUTHOR

    stella vadakin 

    3 years ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

    Thanks for reading. I am overjoyed when I can teach someone how to get started playing the guitar. The joy is seeing their face when they play that first song. I had a 72 year old today play his solo and he did a great job. I teach only a few now because of my illness, but will play as long as possible.

  • Au fait profile image

    C E Clark 

    3 years ago from North Texas

    A wonderful review for people wanting to learn the guitar and having a million questions, and needing a little guidance from someone like yourself. I think it's so nice of you to share your knowledge and by doing so help other people get a start with the guitar and expanding their love of music by doing so. Voted up!


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