This guide will show you the best electric guitar books for beginners. It’s important when learning guitar to have quality learning materials as it speeds up the learning process.

Quick-Look: Best Electric Guitar Books for Beginners

#1 Best Beginner Electric Guitar Book: How to Write Songs on Guitar


When I was first learning guitar, there were several books that I worked through which helped me gain skills on guitar. I used them to supplement my guitar lessons. The books listed here will help any beginner electric guitar player.

What Makes a Great Electric Guitar Book?

Some books are specialized, such as a cord or a scale book, While others cover several different topics. It’s a good idea to have a wide range of different books that you can refer to while learning to play guitar.

electric guitar book for beginners

The books listed below are all excellent options for any beginner electric guitar player. They can also help you if you’re intermediate or even advanced because some sections cover some complex materials.

Types of Electric Guitar Books

Listed below are various types of electric guitar books for beginners. I have chosen the books that you should have on your bookshelf, which will help you get better at the instrument.


Your bookshelf should contain at least one reference book on chords. A good chord encyclopedia is going to be your best bet. This will cover all of the basics, and you can refer to it at any time.


Another book you should have is an electric guitar book on scales. It should cover the basic scale such as the major scale, modes of the major scale, pentatonics, and other common scales that guitar players use.


You may want to have a lesson book on an individual style. For example, if you like rock guitar, you may want a book that helps you play this particular musical style.


You also want to have a book that teaches you various guitar exercises. Exercises help you learn various techniques such as strumming, finger tapping, soloing, and so on.


It’s also a good idea to have a book on music theory. Learning how music is constructed will go a long way to help you get better on the guitar. By learning just the basics of music theory, you will have a good foundation.

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10 Best Electric Guitar Books

The books listed below will help you learn electric guitar. I have used a lot of these books myself and found them to be excellent reference material.

man playing on electric guitar, stage light, musical concert close up view

They cover a wide range of different topics, helpful no matter what style you like.

1. How To Write Songs on Guitar

  • Author: Rikky Rooksby
  • Length: 240 pages
  • Style: Any
  • Material Covered: Songwriting, progressions

As a complete beginner on electric guitar, you can learn how to write your own songs with this book. How To Write Songs on Guitar is one of the best reference materials that will help you write your own song.

The book covers the basics of chord progressions. It also shows you how to write progressions in different styles. There’s a section on it that shows you how to put lyrics together to write your own song.



2. The Guitar Handbook

  • Author: Ralph Denyer
  • Length: 256 pages
  • Style: Any
  • Material Covered: Guitar basics, chords, scales, theory.

The Guitar Handbook is an excellent reference book for learning about the electric guitar. It covers the basics such as chords, theory, and scales. It starts with the student at the very beginning.

This book covers artists that have made the guitar popular. You get information on guitar maintenance, performance, technique, and other information that you need to advance on electric guitar. There is even a section on acoustic.



3. The CAGED System and Licks for Blues Guitar

  • Author: Joseph Alexander
  • Length: 100 pages
  • Style: Blues
  • Material Covered: CAGED system and blues licks

This electric guitar book teaches a system called CAGED. This is a way of viewing scales and chords on the fretboard, making learning a lot easier. While the emphasis is on blues, you can use this system for any style.

The book covers other materials such as basic scales like the pentatonic and the various positions. By the time you finish this book, you will have learned the CAGED system, basic scales, and licks go along with them.



4. Guitar Rhythm and Technique for Dummies

  • Author: Desi Serna
  • Length: 216 pages
  • Style: Any
  • Material Covered: Rhythm guitar techniques

The Dummies series of guitar books are standout reference books. The Guitar Rhythm and Technique for Dummies book covers everything that you need to know about rhythm guitar. You will learn various techniques and strumming patterns in the book.

This book covers a lot of material and takes the student from the very beginning to an advanced level. There’s also a nice section that teaches techniques from various artists. You will have all you need to know about rhythm.



5. First 50 Songs You Should Play on Electric Guitar

  • Author: Hal Leonard
  • Length: 104 pages
  • Style: Rock/various
  • Material Covered: Playing popular songs

When learning how to play guitar, it’s important to have a solid foundation of songs that you know. This book does just as it teaches you the first 50 popular songs that you can play on electric guitar.

You get a combination of tablature, chords, and song lyrics. The songs themselves are done in a simple format, so it won’t be confusing for the beginner to pick up on as long as they understand the basics of tablature.



6. First 100 Guitar Chords

  • Author: Hal Leonard
  • Length: 104 pages
  • Style: All styles
  • Material Covered: Guitar chords

First 100 Guitar Chords book teaches the student their first 100 guitar chords. It provides a solid foundation and plays basic chords, and it’s an excellent reference book that you can use anytime you want.

As the student learns chords, they are given basic progressions that they used to practice the chords. This gives the player and not only a foundation in playing chords but chord progressions as well.



7. Guitar Grimoire

  • Author: Adam Kadmon
  • Length: 111 pages
  • Style: All styles
  • Material Covered: Guitar scales and modes

The Guitar Grimoire is my favorite guitar book. This is the reference book I used to teach myself guitar scales. I learned how to solo by working through this excellent book.

Once the student finishes this guitar with a book, they will have an excellent guitar scale foundation. This is one of the best electric guitar books of all time, in my opinion, especially if you want to solo.



8. Modern Theory For Guitarists

  • Author: Joseph Alexander
  • Length: 11 pages
  • Style: All styles
  • Material Covered: Music theory

Modern Theory for Guitarists book teaches guitar theory in a simplified manner. The beginner guitar student will have a solid foundation in music theory and apply it to their guitar.

It covers many different concepts such as scales, chords, arpeggios, key signatures, common chord progressions, and other music basics that the guitar player needs to know.



9. Heavy Metal Guitar Bible

  • Author: Ron Thorpe
  • Length: 278 pages
  • Style: Heavy metal
  • Material Covered: Music technique/scales/chords

Heavy Metal Guitar Bible book will teach the student what they need to know about the heavy metal style. Topics covered include songwriting, scales, chords, rhythm, picking, and how to get a good guitar tone.

I like this book because it starts the student out slowly. They learn the basics of the style and then learn other advanced topics such as soloing and finger tapping.



10. Guitar Aerobics

  • Author: Troy Nelson
  • Length: 114 pages
  • Style: All styles
  • Material Covered: Exercises

Guitar Aerobics book takes the guitar student through a full 52-week course of guitar exercises. It starts the player off with easier exercises and then advances level as they get better.

This is by far my favorite book on guitar exercises. There is a wide range of different techniques covered in this book. The student learns things such as finger-picking, playing solos, rhythm guitar playing, finger tapping, etc.



Beginner Electric Guitar Books Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about guitar books. The answered questions below should make it easier for you to make an informed decision before you buy a book.

close up of an electric guitar on a dark background

What Music Books Do I Need?

Here is a listing of some basic books that I think all beginner guitar players should have on their bookshelf. This will give you a solid foundation, and you will have reference material that you can refer to.

  • Chord encyclopedia
  • Scale encyclopedia
  • Music theory book
  • Rhythm guitar book
  • Basic soloing book
  • Basic guitar techniques
  • Your preferred musical style
  • Artist transcriptions and tablature

At a minimum, I think students need a good chord, scale, and rhythm guitar book. You can add other books such as soloing or various guitar techniques as you get a bit better.

You should also pick up a couple of transcription books of your favorite artists. This will give you a broad range of different materials to work on.

What is the Best Way to Learn From a Guitar Book?

You may feel overwhelmed when you first open a guitar book. To get the most out of the material, you should digest it in small chunks. Don’t try to do too much all at once.

If you don’t understand something, ask another guitar player for your guitar teacher if you have one. You’ll avoid frustration if you do things slowly and methodically.

Should I Learn Music Theory?

While it can be fun to learn guitar songs, I recommend getting a good music theory book. You want a solid foundation in how music works. By learning the language of music, you can play easily with other musicians.

I also recommend that you learn to read actual music and not rely on the only tablature. Learning how to read music will give you an excellent foundation throughout your musical career.

Should I Buy Song Books?

It is a good idea to buy song books of your favorite artists. A lot of the music and tablature that you find online is not correct. These books are the official transcriptions of the songs, so they are going to be more accurate.

Some books are what we call “fake books.” These are usually easier or stripped-down versions of a song. This type of book is also perfect for a beginner because you learn the basics of the song.

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In Conclusion

Thank you for reading our guide to the best electric guitar books for beginners. You can learn a lot about music through a good book. Try to have a wide range of different books on your bookshelf.

Don’t try to do too much at once. Work through the book at a slow pace, and if you don’t understand something, speak to a guitar teacher or someone who knows a lot about music.

Please comment, like, and share this article. Feel free to leave us a comment at any time. Now, pick up a guitar book and learn something new.