I've asked a question here: What is a string skipping exercise?.

A follow up question: Are there some good free exercise books available on-line for the post-beginner stage? A link to a good non-free one would be very much appreciated too.

  • Is this a real question with answers or is it looking for items, ideas, or opinions? Commented Jan 19, 2011 at 4:05
  • 2
    I'd say it's a real question. For clarity, these might be better: "What are the best exercise books available online? Are there any free ones worth looking at, or should I buy one from a pay site?" I'd love to see some answers with justification for this, since I have exactly the same question.
    – Anonymous
    Commented Jan 19, 2011 at 22:11
  • Nothing that good comes free :) Go get some books!
    – Jimi Oke
    Commented Jan 21, 2011 at 17:39
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    It might be helpful if you could relate what style of guitar you want to focus on. A beginner book for learning rock on electric guitar would be different than a beginner book for fingerstyle acoustic.
    – Avalanchis
    Commented Jan 21, 2011 at 18:50
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    For left-hand dexterity, and right-hand fluidity, I'd recommend Carlevaro and Giuliani. Will post a proper answer, soon. Although these are primarily for nylon, they have excellent all-round fretboard application (even to bass). What sort of instrument do you have? A nylon/acoustic/electric? What are you into? Whichever, Carlevaro/Giuliani have really some of the best methods out there. My teacher used these for all his students in all styles and on all sorts of guitars.
    – Jimi Oke
    Commented Jan 21, 2011 at 21:47

4 Answers 4


This doesn't directly answer your question (sorry about that!) but personally, I don't use exercise books much these days. There are so many useful videos on YouTube for various techniques that it tends to be my first stop. It's personal preference of course but, for me anyway, watching someone play something is better than trying to pick it up from a book.

A couple of example links:

Clawhammer on the acoustic

Will Fly's channel

Rab Zen Ari's channel (metal)


As corny as it sounds, your local library will have books that you can take out, photocopy or plain steal (just kidding!!!)

Here is an example link, but look in your own region: http://catalog.nypl.org/iii/encore/search/C%7CSguitar+tab%7COrightresult%7CU1?lang=eng&suite=pearl


About.com has a good series on beginning guitar:



I don't know where to find it, but the absolute best set of exercises is Steve Vai's 10-hour workout, from Guitar World, circa early 90s. But I lost my photocopy, backissues are in storage, and the last time I tried searching for it I was met with little success.

But anyway, he goes through a set of exercises with specific targets:

  • Stretching
  • Scales
  • Alternate Picking
  • Sweep Picking
  • Chord building
  • Transcription

He doesn't actually give an example of transcription, but it is vital. If you can write down what you hear (perhaps with the aid of a rewind button), it's much easier to write down what you hear in yur head.

Somebody's got to have one, right? Somebody?

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