Explore this comprehensive guide to advanced guitar books, featuring expert recommendations and book sneak peaks. Unlock new techniques, master complex chords, and elevate your playing with these essential resources.
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We all have a Hal Leonard guitar book or 2 lying around, and it probably caters to a beginner or intermediate guitar player. And since you’re here, you’re probably past that stage of guitar playing.
That’s why in this post you’re going to look at 5 best advanced guitar books that will seriously take you to the next level.
Let’s check them out!
5 Advanced Guitar Books Quick Glance
- Hybrid Picking Lines and Licks for Guitar by Gustavo Assis-Brasil
- Advanced Rhythmic Concepts for Guitar by Jan Rivera
- Pentatonic Khancepts by Steve Khan
- Chord Chemistry by Ted Greene
- The Guitar Book by Pierre Bensusan
Advanced Guitar Books Video
Hybrid Picking Lines and Licks for Guitar
Hybrid Picking Lines and Licks for Guitar is an incredible book for improving your guitar technique.
This book focuses on the technique of hybrid picking, which combines flatpicking with fingerpicking.
Not only do you learn how to hybrid pick with your pick and your middle finger, but you’ll also go deep into learning how to use your ring finger and your pinky finger.
You’ll cover all sorts of styles and theory in the book, too. This includes:
- Pentatonic scales
- Diatonic scales and modes
- Atonal licks
Also, it’s worth noting that Gustavo Assis-Brasil is an assistant professor at Berklee.
Aside from that, he is an incredible composer. I love his music, and his work with polyrhythms is mesmerizing.
Also, if you want to be even more amazed, check out his Giant Steps licks.
Lastly, my favorite exercises in the book are definitely the pentatonic hybrid picking exercises. They are very practical and very easy to approach, so start there if you love the pentatonic scale.
Advanced Rhythmic Concepts for Guitar
Advanced Rhythmic Concepts for Guitar is one of the most advanced guitar books you will ever read. In fact, I can say with confidence that is the most advanced book on this entire list.
Do you think you know rhythm? Well, this book will make you change your mind.
You will learn about metric modulation, ratio polyrhythms, and all the other weird, advanced, contemporary rhythmic music theory.
If you are a fan of bands & artists like Animals As leaders, Gustavo Assis-Brasil, and Tesseract, then this book will definitely help you understand their approach to rhythm.
But here’s a warning:
This book may give you a massive headache. It’s that complex.
Bottom line: You’ll get clear explanations, exercises, and musical examples that will challenge and improve your rhythmic skills, from complex syncopations to polyrhythms.
Pentatonic Khancepts features incredible pentatonic ideas from the mind of Steve Kahn.
You think you know the pentatonic scale until you read this book!
In Pentatonic Khancepts you will learn how to use the minor pentatonic scale to solo over every type of chord, and how to use the pentatonic scale in any type of musical setting. This includes using the scale over:
- Major chords
- Minor chords
- Extended chords
- Altered chords
- And so many more situations!
The book has so many exercises, and it even dives into how to solo over jazz standard changes using the minor pentatonic scale
Seriously, if the minor pentatonic scale is your bread and butter, and you want to learn how to master improvisation, then you’ll want to check out Pentatonic Khancepts.
Also, the book doesn’t only cover the major and minor pentatonic scales; it also dives into the dominant 7th pentatonic scale, which is very unique, and not discussed in many other guitar books, even advanced guitar books.
If you’re ready to take your pentatonic scales to the next level, then definitely check out Pentatonic Khancepts by Steve Khan.
Chord chemistry is arguably the most well-known advanced guitar chord book. It is regularly brought up by guitarists such as Steve vai, I believe that every advancing guitarist needs to know about Chord Chemistry.
Check out this video of Ted Greene and you can see that he is an absolute fiend with guitar chords.
With Chord Chemistry, you’ll find more guitar chord diagrams and guitar chord theory than 99% of other guitar chord books.
You’ll not only learn about standard harmony, but you’ll also dive into:
- Moving chords a 4th
- Polytonal chords
- Dominant 7th chords and their “cycle”
- Voice leading
- Chord melodies
- Lots of unique chord progressions that you won’t find anywhere else.
Definitely look into Chord Chemistry if you want to learn guitar chords from one of the most iconic guitar books in history!
The Guitar Book
The Guitar Book is the coolest guitar book you will ever own.
After all, how many guitar books do you know of that have poetry and recipes inside of them? Yes, legitimate recipes! How cool is that?
Now, the first thing that you need to know about The Guitar Book is the fact that the entire book is in DADGAD tuning.
If you don’t know, DADGAD is a very popular tuning that is generally used for acoustic guitars, and The Guitar Book is definitely centered around the acoustic guitar. And I certainly recommend that you have one, or borrow one, if you’re going to get this book.
However, if you have an electric guitar, or just play electric guitar exclusively, you can still learn so so much from this guitar book!
And as you can see, Pierre Bensusan is a guy that you’d want as an advanced guitar teacher.
His book dives deep into unique techniques and unique music theory from perspectives that you have probably never considered before.
For example, have you ever heard of the harp effect?
And how many guitar books talk about singing as it relates to the guitar? In my experience, not many.
It’s also worth noting that the theory in this book is very classical-centered. The book explains all of the theory in-depth, though, so there’s no need to do any initial preparation!
Overall, The Guitar Book is a timeless resource that will inspire and guide you on your advanced guitar learning journey.
5 Advanced Guitar Books Conclusion
There you have it: 5 best advanced guitar books. You know they’re advanced when guitarists such as Steve Vai, Guthrie Govan, and Tosin Abasi are recommending them.
Remember to choose a book based on your long-term guitar playing goals, because all of these books go in-depth on their core subject, and you could spend many moons reading each of them.
But, if you’re struggling to choose an advanced guitar book to start with, I recommend Pentatonic Khancepts. I believe it’s the first book from this list that I bought, which was like 8 years ago. I guess I’m getting old.
Anyways, keep pushing yourself on your guitar playing journey, and you’ll become the advanced guitar player you’ve always dreamed of becoming.