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The books recommended vary as much as the players in the group! However, there are a number which come out consistently as recommended texts. You can obtain these books through your local music supplier or through online suppliers such as Amazon.com or Sheetmusicplus.com.
Sheet music plus offer $2.99 flat rate shipping program and there is no minimum order size to receive this rate. In addition, the rate remains the same no matter how large the order, so it's an especially good deal for large orders.
See also Where can I get books and videos ...?
In alphabetical order with quotes from posts:
A Modern Method for Guitar - by William G Leavitt. Vol. 1, 2 & 3. This practical, comprehensive method is used as the basic text for Berklee College Of Music guitar program. These books lay a good strong foundation in reading, chord and rhythmic studies. I studied from them myself and have used them for many years in teaching and seen the results. Don't expect to go through the books overnight, to really do the work thoroughly expect to spend at least a year on each volume, along with your other studies. The progressive approach will help develop technique in both hands as you learn to read music. Innovative solos, duets and exercises progressively teach melody, harmony and rhythm. Volume 1 builds a solid foundation for beginning guitarists and features a comprehensive range of guitar and music fundamentals, including: Scale and Arpeggio Studies, Melodic Studies, Chord Etudes, Chord Forms ,Reading Studies.
All Blues for Jazz Guitar: Comping Styles, Chords and Grooves and All Blues Soloing for Jazz Guitar: Scales, Licks, Concepts, and Choruses - Jim Ferguson.
Chord Connections - By Robert Brown. The best book around to learn chords. Shows you how the many different types of chords are formed, how they relate to each other and how to get from one chord to the next in a smooth logical manner.
Complete Book of Theory, Harmony, and Voicing - Bret Wilmott. This book really helps get an initial jazz vocabulary together. Great for anyone moving from rock and blues to jazz since the patterns Lines up more closely with traditional major scale forms than do melodic minor patterns while still incorporating some of the alterations found in melodic minor.
Comprehensive Technique for Jazz Musicians - Bert Ligon. Houston Publishing, distributed by Hal Leonard. An incredible presentation of the most practical exercises an aspiring jazz student could want. All are logically interwoven with fine 'real world' examples from jazz to classical. This book is an essential anthology of technical, compositional and theoretical exercises, with lots of musical examples.
Connecting Chords with Linear Harmony - Bert Ligon. Contains a good explanation about the approaches to improvisation and embellishing devices. Everything you could ever want to know about a "II-V" cadence, based on tons of examples. A study of three basic outlines used in Jazz improvisation and composition, based on a study of hundreds of examples from great Jazz artists.
Creative Jazz Improvisation - Scott Reeves. Predominant focus is on getting commonly used scales and modes into your playing and mastering common chord progressions and forms ie blues, rhythm changes, giant steps. Each scale/mode is given its own chapter with various lines transcribed from classic recordings to help you incorporate the sound of that scale into your playing immediately. In addition each chapter includes an entire solo transcribed from a classic recording which incorporates the scale/progession/form extensively.
European Jazz Guitar - Wim Overgaauw Available at http://www.fretsonly.com
Fretboard Logic SE - Bill Edwards. Learn about the guitar fret board and the relation to chords, positions, the notes.
Guitar Artistry of Martin Taylor
Guitar Comping - Barry Galbraith. There isn't much in the way of instruction. It's a collection of 14 or so comps, and it's mostly left up to you to dissect them and figure out what's going on. Also, it's all in standard notation with no tab. light on analysis, but the CD is very musical and informative. Available at http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/.
Guitar Improvising - Vincent Bredice. Mel Bay.
Guitar Solos - George VanEps was from Plymouth Music, now Mel Bay.
Hearin' The Changes - Coker et. al. If you want to understand the harmonic structure of 90% of what's in the Real Book, read this not-too-thick book.
Jamey Aebersold's Piano Transcription books along with the appropriate play along recordings.
Jazz Guitar Rhythm Chops- Don Mock. A nice instructional video based on the blues changes.
Jazz Harmony on the Guitar: A Linear/Structural Approach - Stan Smith. A little more basic, it starts off with basic three- and two-note voicings and later moves on to slighly more colorful voicings. Very good for building a good solid foundation.
Jazz Improvisation - Garrison Fewell. This skinny handwritten book has all the basics you need for improvising.
Jazz-Blues Studies, Fusion Guitar - Joe Diorio. Actually, ALL of Joe's books. Available at http://www.joediorio.com
Joe Pass Guitar Style - Joe Pass and Bill Trasher. The Pass Books from the early 70's[Guitar Style, Chord Solos,Guitar Chords and JP guitar solos] produced by Carol Kaye are very good material. Guitar style, has very good basic theory info from a jazz perspective and is packed with great lines. However, The solos[etudes] lack rhythm being mostly eighth notes so I'd STRONGLY suggest listening to lots of recorded jazz as a supplement. The harmonic thinking is quite sophisticated in all the examples and learning to play them will go far in enabling a student to begin to transcribe solos from records him or herself. This book is excellent ear training for playing tonal music in a jazz vein[standards, mainstream etc] As an aside, I feel that Joe Pass was an interesting combination of late swing era time feel combined with bop and occasionally post bop lines and/or harmonic thought. His other books from Carol Kaye are very fine too and in fact were all originally one book put together by Joe's friend Bill Thrasher and the great man himself.
L'improvisation jazz par les arpèges pour la guitare - Fabien Degryse.Was for one member THE starting point to, finally, be able to improvise over jazz standards. "The arpeggio method really works for me, unlike the chord/scale approach as tought by Aebersold.Degryse's book explains very well HOW TO start improvising using arpeggios, so very good for self study. But it is in French and no audio CD.."
Melodic Rhythms - William Leavitt. Great for sight reading practice.
Melodic Rhythms For Guitar - William Leavitt. A Great Music Reading Study. A thorough presentation of rhythms commonly found in contemporary music, including 68 harmonized melodies and 42 rhythm exercises. This is also an excellent source for duets, sight-reading and chord studies. The cassette features demonstration duets, as well as recorded rhythm section accompaniments so that the student can play melodies along with the tape.
Metaphors for The Musician - Halberstadt Available at Sher Music www.shermusic.com . good for guitarists as well as others
Patterns, Scales and Modes for Jazz Guitar - Arnie Berle. Excellent fingerboard reference.
Performance Ear Training - Donovan Mixon. useful information to back up good ear training.
Scales over Chords - Wilbur M. Savidge and Randy Lee Vradenburg. Learn to play scales and modes in the CAGED positions. Improves reading.
The Advancing Guitarist - Mick Goodrick. Hal Leonard. Chock full of ideas and reflections that will occupy you for a few lifetimes. You should see his next book!
The Art Of Hearing - Thom David Mason. More useful information to back up good ear training.
The Goal Note Method - Shelton Berg. Lots of info, well paced.
The Guitar Compendium - Howard Roberts and Garry Hagberg. Advance Music
The Guitar Cookbook: The Complete Guide to Rhythm, Melody, Harmony, Technique,and Improvisation - Jesse Gress
The Jazz Theory Book - Mark Levine. Excellent treatise on theory, but the best part is all of the examples. Transcribed solo fragments illustrate concepts throughout this book, so you can see just how the theory is put into practice.
The Jazz Theory Book - Mark Levine. Very in depth book containing most of the theory you'll ever need. Tons of great examples taken straight from the masters.
Thinking in Jazz: The Infinite Art of Improvisation - Paul F. Berliner. This book doesn't teach you how to improvise; it teaches you how to LEARN how to improvise. It goes through the lives of the masters from their first encounters with jazz to their prime. And, it
also gives you the fundamentals of jazz music step-by-step. It opens up so many new doors with your playing and performing. AWESOME!!
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