For the student interested in gaining a solid foundation in classical technique from the very beginning, I highly recommend Frederick Noad’s “Solo Guitar Playing” as an exquisite, well structured, and balanced instruction book on solo guitar playing.
This book has been popular for decades among classical guitarists and students as a way to learn Classical Guitar. It is one of the best introductory books available on the market.
What sets this book apart from the rest is:
- This book is comprehensive. Noad covers the whole gamut of basic classical technique and basic repertoire. The length of the book makes it valuable since the beginning student will be able to benefit from the book for years.
- It emphasizes constant sight reading. There are no shortcuts here. The student is taught to read music and to use that skill throughout the book to achieve mastery of the musical concepts.
- It teaches basic music theory to the beginning student providing foundations for later studies.
- It has exercises that are generally fun and musically interesting. These exercises are far better than most books with their accompanying etudes and exercises.
- It is rigorous in drilling a new concept. There are generally many exercises with each lesson allowing the student to practice the concept for a sufficient amount of time before moving on to the next concept.
- It contains additional repertoire in the back preparing the student for more complex pieces and provides a context for application of the concepts learned within the book.
Some negatives of this book are:
- More integration of chords and chordal theory would be helpful.
- Additional solo repertoire would have been more helpful.
- The book is not spiral bound. At over 250 pages, this makes it difficult to preserve the binding of the book. Your best bet is to take the book to Office Depot or a similar office store and have them change it to spiral-bound.
This book is one of the best introductions to Classical Guitar on the market. It has proven its worth over decades of use.