The 5 Best Guitar Books for Beginners (Kids)

Looking for a great book to start learning guitar?  This post covers the 5 best guitar books for beginners (kids). It also includes quick links to easily find these books online for purchase.

Best Guitar Books for Beginners with a kid practising classical guitar

The following list of books is great for kids, but can also work well for adult beginners. As a guitar teacher at Royal Vale Elementary school in Montreal, I’ve used all these books to teach children aged 5 to 12 to learn to play guitar and love doing it! Each book uses a different approach that is suited to the different interests, abilities, and personality of each student. The best book is the one the student likes!

Hal Leonard Guitar Method 1

Buy This Book

This is a classic for learning guitar and costs only $9.40.

How this book works

One of the best Guitar Books for Beginners, this book takes a classical approach to reading music. It focuses on reading sheet music and identifying the notes A,B,C,D,E,F,G. The notes are then associated to the corresponding fret on the guitar. Working one string at a time, from the high E string up to the Low E string, this book covers the first 3 frets of the guitar. The student also learns how to play basic rhythms such as whole notes, half notes and quarter notes.

Progressive Approach to Learning Chords

After learning the individual notes on the 6 strings of the guitar, the student goes on to learn simple melodies like Ode to Joy, Yankee Doodle, and Brother John. After, the book covers how to play easy 1 finger chords such as C, G, G7 and then eventually D7. The student learns to play these chords to accompany different melodies, which can be sung by the student or played as a duet with a teacher.

Which type of beginner is this book for?

This is for beginners or kids who have some focus and discipline because it takes some time before they can learn to identify the notes and read music.  The “payoff” of successfully playing a song may take a while, therefore some kids may lose interest.

Follow up books

The nice thing about this series is that it comes with a series of progressive follow-up books.

Hal Leonard Guitar Method, Book 2

Easy Pop Melodies: Correlates with Book 1

Acoustic Guitars

Learning with a classical guitar is perfect for beginners because the nylon strings (gentle plastic) help make pressing the strings easier. 7/8 size classical guitar by Yamaha. Ideal for kids 8-11.

Alfred’s Kid’s Guitar Course 1: The Easiest Guitar Method Ever!

Buy this Book 

for $15.99, this book includes a play-along audio to download to a phone or computer.

How this book works

With pleasing graphics that kids adore, this book begins with a simplified 1-finger C chord to accompany the song 3 Blind Mice. Children can learn this chord quickly, while a teacher or parent sings the melody. The book then covers other simple 1 finger chords such as G7 and G, which serve to accompany fun songs such as Skip to My Lou, London Bridge and Merry Had a Little Lamb.

*Useful Tip: Place a piece of tape on the 4th, 5th and 6th strings of the guitar to make it easier for kids to only hit the top 3 strings.  Or buy a 3-string guitar, designed for children.

What age is this book suited for?

I’ve found that it works best for young kids aged 5 to 7. Older kids might find the songs too childish.

Hal Leonard Guitar Tab Method

Buy this book

For $6.99, this is a favourite and great for getting students excited about learning guitar by creating “quick wins”.

How this book works

As the title suggests, this book uses an approach to learning guitar called Tab (short for tablature). Tab is a modern system for reading music based on numbers. The fret number is associated to one of the 6 strings of the guitar. For ex. a 3 on the second line from the bottom means the student should press their finger on the 3rd fret, 5th string.

Guitar Tab sample from a guitar book for beginners and kids

This is one of the best guitar books for beginners because it covers rock-and-roll songs that students know and love such as Peter Gunn, Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones, Wipeout, Batman theme and much more. The songs are short (usually 2 bars long) and made up of riffs (short repeating patterns) so they are learnt quickly. Power chords are introduced later in the book (2-note chords that are used in rock).

Which type of beginner is this book for?

This book is for kids that are a bit rebellious and like rock music. For example, my student Lucas started to love his guitar lessons after we started working from this book.

guitar lessons for 7 year old: Lucas with Flying V
Guitar student Lucas who is 7 years old.

Ideal for electric guitar

Although these songs can certainly be learned on the acoustic guitar, they sound best on an electric guitar with a bit of distortion (a guitar effect used in rock, which is often included on guitar amplifiers). See a good entry-level electric guitar for kids online.

Easy Guitar: A Complete, Quick and Easy Beginner Guitar Method for Kids and Adults

Buy this book

For only $3.49 (the Kindle version), you can’t go wrong with this one.

How this book works

Focused on accompanying yourself while singing, this book includes 21 classic songs with lyrics and the associated chords. One of the great aspects of this book is that it focuses on strumming patterns, which is so crucial and often overlooked.

Private Online Lessons

I hope this post (Best Guitar Books for Beginners and Kids) was helpful to you! If you are interested in registering with one of our guitar teachers in Canada or online, complete one of our teacher profiles below:


guitar lessons with Elijah downtown Montreal

About the author: Elijah is a university-educated musician with extensive experience in both teaching and musical performance.  Since completing his Bachelor of Music degree at Concordia University in 2010, he has played music across each province in Canada and in more than 20 countries around the world.


About Musiprof

Musiprof is a Canadian music organization that connects guitar teachers to students in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.

Scroll to Top