A beginners list of web sites for guitar chords, lyrics with chords, etc.
This is an ongoing collection of a few links to interesting web site
(and a few books) of guitar chords and song lyrics with chords. Some of
this are more useful for beginners and some for more advanced players.
The web site will be revised from time to time.
- List of interesting guitar web sites: chords, music theory, etc.
- Guitar maintenance - tuning, changing strings
- Lists of song lyrics and chords
- Guitar and song lyrics books
- Guitar cord books
- Books on introductory and advanced fingering and picking exercises
- Skeptical Guitarist (Bruce Emery) books
- The Guitar Grimoire book series
- Miscellaneous useful related sites
- Introductory Piano/Keyboard books
- Books on adults learning music and the nature of music
1. List of interesting guitar web sites: chords, music theory, etc.
- This following is a useful short table of guitar chords by key (pick a
key and you only play the chords or subset of them in the key). Most common
are the 3 principal chords, then you can add some of the minors, and finally
at times the alternate chords.
- Here is an interesting guitar web site with hundreds of songs
with chord names AND chord fingering and great links to other guitar
(suggested by J.L.)
- Many songs with chord names
- Chords fingering using a 6 string fret numbering convention where it
tells you the frets and strings, but you figure out which fingers to use
- A nice set of links to interesting guitar web sites.
- Some of the other interesting links include:
2. Guitar maintenance - tuning, changing strings
Tuning your guitar
Changing Guitar strings
- This is an interactive on-line (or downloadable) guitar tuner (Gieson)
which will play either tones or single guitar strings for each of the 6 strings.
- This is another interactive on-line guitar tuner (All-Guitar-Chords)
which plays single guitar strings for each of the 6 strings by clicking
on the tuning peg.
- This is another interactive on-line (or downloadable) guitar tuner they
offers a number of different guitar tunings for doing alternate tunings
including: Standard, DADGAD, Open C, Drop D, Open G and Open D. It
can play single guitar strings for each of the 6 strings by clicking
on the tuning peg or you can press strum to strum across the strings.
- There are a number of smart phone guitar tuners. Go to Google Play or
iTunes and search for "guitar tuner".
3. Lists of song lyrics and chords
List of many song lyrics with guitar chords (The Guitar Guy)
List of song lyrics with guitar chords (Chordie)
NIEHS list of song lyrics and audio for childrens and other songs:
Guitar chord diagrams organized by the chord root name. Each set of chords
has individual image files that can be used in editing chords into lyrics
(using for example, MS Word). All chords also have a link to variations on
fingering that can be useful when switching chords:
4. Guitar and song lyrics books
A nice overall book for beginners and more experienced guitar players:
The Guitar Handbook by Ralph Denyer (2006 edition).
Some useful books of songs with lyrics and chord names:
Rise Up Singing: The Group Singing Songbook (Spiral-bound)
by Peter Blood
Rise Again Songbook: Words & Chords to Nearly 1200 Songs 7-1/2x10 Spiral-Bound (2015)
byAnnie Patterson, Peter Blood (Editors)
The Folksong Fake Book: (Fake Books) Plastic Comb (2001)
by Hal Leonard
The Blues Fake Book, Plastic Comb (1999)
by Hal Leonard
5. Books of guitar cords
Note that there are many Web sites listing guitar chords (see
1. List of interesting guitar web sites: chords, music theory, etc.).
A book of over 2,000 chords layed out in a useful way:
The Everything Guitar Chords: Rock-Blues-Jazz-Country-Classical-Folk: Over 2,000 Chords for Every Style of Music
by Mark Schonbrun
Another useful chord book with spiral binding:
Guitar Chords: All the Chords You'll Need...and More!
by Paul Roland
6. Books on introductory and advanced fingering and picking exercises
These are useful going from basic introduction to more advanced exercises:
Complete Acoustic Guitar by Arlen Roth.
(From Amazon - several versions of the book,
comment is from earlier version)
"This is a very useful book for beginning/intermediate acoustic guitar students.
It stands well on its own or could be used with an instructor. Great
explanations and examples that build up slowly from basic to more complex."
Guitar Aerobics: A 52-Week, One-lick-per-day Workout Program for Developing,
Improving and Maintaining Guitar Technique
by Troy Nelson.
(From part one of several 5-star Amazon reviews)
"The author spotlights 7 important techniques
(alternate picking, arpeggios, sweep picking, string skipping, legato, string
bending, and rhythm guitar) one for each day of the week, and builds on each
every week. So every Monday is alternate picking day, and builds on the lesson
of the Monday before. It's a great idea. The author says that an intermediate
player can skip to around week 17 and an advanced player can probably go to
week 36. I'd say I'm lower intermediate, after some 10 years of playing both
steel-string acoustic and electric. I've worked my way through the first 10
weeks of lessons in 4 or 5 days. I find some of the skills like string bending,
arpeggios, legato, and rhythm to be very easy, but I've never done sweep
picking and found it to be a challenge. And the string skipping is something
I've never done much concentrated work on, so it's great. I'm sure that when
I get up to week 17 the other skills will get more challenging for me. ..."
Guitar Fretboard Workbook
by Barrett Tagliarino (2008).
(From Amazon) "Navigate the guitar neck better than ever before with this
easy-to-use book! Designed from Musicians Institute core curriculum programs,
it covers essential concepts for players of every level, acoustic or electric.
A hands-on guide to theory, it will help you learn to build any scale or chord
on your own and unleash creativity. No music reading is required."
Hal Leonard Fretboard Mastery Book with CD
by Troy Stetina (2007).
(From Amazon) "Fretboard Mastery a book with accompanying CD helps you to
untangle the mysterious regions of the guitar fretboard and unlock your
potential. Fretboard Mastery familiarizes you with all the shapes you need to
know by applying them in real musical examples, thereby reinforcing and
reaffirming your newfound knowledge. The result is a much higher level of
comprehension and retentionof how to play your guitar."
7. Skeptical Guitarist (Bruce Emery) books
The Skeptical Guitarist at skepticalguitarist.com
(Bruce Emery ) has a series of introductory to advanced
books that cover a range of topics. The books are all spiral bound making
them much easier to use. Some of the entries do not have much in the way of
descriptions, but the reader reviews fill in that detail. Also, there are more
descriptions on his Web site as well as the ability to order the books from
his Web site at
skepticalguitarist.com. Some that might be
8. The Guitar Grimoire book series
Adam Kadmon has a series of more advanced books called the Guitar Grimoire that
cover a range of topics. Some that might be useful are:
GT15 - Guitar Grimoire: Progressions & Improvisation by Adam Kadmon.
(From Amazon) "An exhaustive compendium of chord progressions. Literally filled
with hundreds of exercises and thousands of diagrams accompanied by Kadmon's
unique presentation, this book completely examines the craft and universe of
progressions. Improvisation and compositional technique are explained and
interwoven to create a virtual encyclopedia of melodic and chordal
possibilities, styles, dimensions and potentials."
Carl Fischer Guitar Grimoire - The Fingerpicking Book by Adam Kadom.
(From Amazon) "Starting with chord fingerpicking patterns and expanding to scale (major and
minor) fingerpicking and ostinato bass variations, author Adam Kadmon uses
thousands of charts, diagrams, and musical examples to guide and instruct you
on how to master the technique and the instrument. All the examples are working
and function operations that will lead to the immediate application and
creation of progressions, songs, and compositions."
The Guitar Grimoire: A Compendium of Formulas for Guitar Scales and Modes by Adam Kadom.
(From Amazon) "The most complete book on scales and modes ever written.
An encyclopedia with over 6,000 diagrams, charts and graphs. Complete
explanation of all 5,6,7, and 8 tone scales and modes. The essential volume
for every guitarist's library. This book is a "where to" book, showing you
exactly where to find any scale in any key on your fretboard. It is a
professional reference tool to enhance your music library and playing that you
will use for many years to come."
The Guitar Grimoire: A Compendium of Formulas for Guitar Scales and Modes by Adam Kadom.
(From Amazon) "Every chord of every key and mode is presented with thousands of diagrams and
charts. Includes polychords, chord substitutions, inversions and movable voicings. This
indespensable volume belongs in every guitarist's library. This book is a "where to" book,
showing you exactly where to find any chord in any key on your fretboard.
It is a professional reference tool to enhance your music library and playing that you
will use for many years to come."
9. Miscellaneous useful related sites
Monthly magazine with music, musicians,instruments, videos
Acoustic Guitar Magazine:
Tricks for How to Memorize a Song:
free audio recording and editing computer software: "Audacity"
There are many instructional videos on YouTube and Google you might search for.
A few on-line music stores:
http://www.hmtrad.com/ (House of Musical Traditions)
10. Introductory Piano / Keyboard books
Figuring out chords is sometimes easier to visualize on a piano or keyboard.
Therefore, a few useful books and web sites are listed. A few books emphasize
making your own music (i.e., not sight reading) by understand chords, chord
progressions that make reading and playing music from a fakebook possible.
[From Wikipedia] In a
fake book "A fake book is a collection of musical
intended to help a performer quickly learn new songs. Each song in a fake book
contains the melody line,
- the minimal information needed by a musician to make an impromptu
arrangement of a song, or 'fake it'". For example, here is an Amazon search for
Fake Books for Piano. There are huge numbers of fake books available that
you can find with with a Web search
How to Play Piano Despite Years of Lessons: What Music Is and How to Make It
at Home by Ward Cannel and Fred Marx (1981).
(From Amazon) "This method is a truly entertaining approach to learning how to
play the piano. Written by Ward Cannel of the Piano Consortium, the method
breaks down music theory into visual concepts which are fun and easy to grasp,
so you can learn to play the music you want to play! Perfect for those piano
Piano For Dummies by Blake Neely (2009).
(From Amazon) "Instruct: to provide with knowledge, especially in a methodical
way. That is, in fact, what Phillips and Chappel of Cherry Lane Music do in
this logical, pedagogic introduction to keyboard instruments, music theory,
and piano technique. The chapter on the famous? or is it infamous?? "Part of
Tens" includes information about past and present masters of the instrument,
ways of expanding your interest beyond the scope of the book, and tips on
finding a teacher. Printed musical examples are plentiful, and an accompanying
audio CD is included. This book intends to be fun and funny and succeeds in a
vaudeville sort of way. Students are encouraged "to continue to seek knowledge a
bout your instrument long after you tire of the jokes" and told that
"piano teachers and method books shouldn't be forsaken forever." The
do-it-yourself phenomenon has made the "Dummies" books very popular. This one
is particularly appropriate for school media and public libraries."
How to Play from a Fake Book (Keyboard Edition) by Blake Neely.
(From Amazon) "Ever wondered how to create better accompaniments for the
melodies in your favorite fake books? This "teach yourself" book introduces
you to chord building, various rhythmic styles, and much more, so that you play
the songs you like just the way you want them. Keyboard players with a basic
understanding of notation and sight-reading will be on their way to more fun
with fake books. The relaxed tone of the text and selection of fun songs keep
How to Play from a Fake Book entertaining throughout - perfect for amateur
musicians, or as a supplement for keyboard teachers and their students."
Some useful piano Web sites with chords, sheet music, learning piano/keyboard
11. Books on adults learning music and the nature of music
The Art of Practicing: A Guide to Making Music from the Heart
by Madeline Bruser (Author), Yehudi Menuhin (Foreword).
(From Amazon) "This landmark book enlightens amateur and professional musicians
about a way of practicing that transforms a sometimes frustrating, monotonous,
and overly strenuous labor into an exhilarating and rewarding experience.
Acclaimed pianist and teacher Madeline Bruser combines physiological and
meditative principles to help musicians release physical and mental tension
and unleash their innate musical talent. She offers practical techniques for
cultivating free and natural movement, a keen enjoyment of sounds and
sensations, a clear and relaxed mind, and an open heart and she explains how to:
Prepare the body and mind to practice with ease;
Understand the effect of posture on flexibility and expressiveness;
Make efficient use of the hands and arms;
Employ listening techniques to improve coordination;
Increase the range of color and dynamics by using less effort;
Cultivate rhythmic vitality;
Perform with confidence, warmth, and freedom.
Photographs show essential points of posture and movement for a variety of
Piano Lessons: Music, Love, and True Adventures by Noah Adams (1997).
(From Amazon) "Piano Lessons is Noah Adams's delightful and moving chronicle
of his fifty-second year--a year already filled with long, fast workdays and
too little spare time--as he answers at last a lifelong call: to learn to play
the piano. The twelve monthly chapters span from January--when after decades
of growing affection for keyboard artists and artisans he finally plunges in
and buys a piano--through December, when as a surprise Christmas present for
his wife he dresses in a tuxedo and, in flickering candlelight, snow falling
outside the windows, he attempts their favorite piece of music, a difficult
third-year composition he's been struggling with in secret to get to this very
moment. ... more ..."
A Natural History of the Piano: The Instrument, the Music, the Musicians--from
Mozart to Modern Jazz and Everything in Between by Stuart Isacoff (2011).
(From Amazon) "A beautifully illustrated, totally engrossing celebration of the
piano, and the composers and performers who have made it their own.
With honed sensitivity and unquestioned expertise, Stuart Isacoff—pianist,
critic, teacher, and author of Temperament: How Music Became a Battleground for
the Great Minds of Western Civilization—unfolds the ongoing history and
evolution of the piano and all its myriad wonders: how its very sound provides
the basis for emotional expression and individual style, and why it has so
powerfully entertained generation upon generation of listeners. He illuminates
the groundbreaking music of Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt, Schumann, and Debussy.
He analyzes the breathtaking techniques of Glenn Gould, Oscar Peterson,
Vladimir Ashkenazy, Arthur Rubinstein, and Van Cliburn, and he gives musicians
including Alfred Brendel, Murray Perahia, Menahem Pressler, and Vladimir
Horowitz the opportunity to discuss their approaches. Isacoff delineates
how classical music and jazz influenced each other as the uniquely American
art form progressed from ragtime, novelty, stride, boogie, bebop, and beyond,
through Scott Joplin, Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk,
Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Cecil Taylor, and Bill Charlap. ... more..."
Guitar Zero: The New Musician and the Science of Learning
by Gary Marcus (2012).
(From Amazon) "On the eve of his 40th birthday, Gary Marcus, a renowned
scientist with no discernible musical talent, learns to play the guitar and
investigates how anyone—of any age —can become musical. Do you have to be born
musical to become musical? Do you have to start at the age of six?
Using the tools of his day job as a cognitive psychologist, Gary Marcus becomes
his own guinea pig as he takes up the guitar. In a powerful and incisive
look at how both children and adults become musical, Guitar Zero traces
Marcus’s journey, what he learned, and how anyone else can learn, too.
A groundbreaking peek into the origins of music in the human brain, this
musical journey is also an empowering tale of the mind’s enduring plasticity.
The Power of Music: Pioneering Discoveries in the New Science of Song
by Elena Mannes (2011).
(From Amazon) "The award-winning creator of the acclaimed documentary "The
Music Instinct: Science & Song," explores the power of music and its
connection to the body, the brain, and the world of nature. Only recently has
science sought in earnest to understand and explain this impact. One remarkable
recent study, analyzing the cries of newborns, shows that infants' cries
contain common musical intervals, and children tease each other in specific,
singsong ways no matter where in the world they live. Physics experiments show
that sound waves can physically change the structure of a material; musician
and world-famous conductor Daniel Barenboim believes musical sound vibrations
physically penetrate our bodies, shifting molecules as they do. The Power of
Music follows visionary researchers and accomplished musicians to the
crossroads of science and culture, to discover: how much of our musicality is
learned and how much is innate? Can examining the biological foundations of
music help scientists unravel the intricate web of human cognition and brain
function? Why is music virtually universal across cultures and time-does it
provide some evolutionary advantage? Can music make people healthier? Might
music contain organzing principles of harmonic vibration that underlie the
cosmos itself?" Note, you can see the video The Music Instinct: Science &
Song on Netflix streaming video.
Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, Revised and Expanded Edition
by Oliver Sacks (2008).
(From Amazon) "With the same trademark compassion and erudition he brought to
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Oliver Sacks explores the place music
occupies in the brain and how it affects the human condition. In Musicophilia,
he shows us a variety of what he calls “musical misalignments.” Among them: a
man struck by lightning who suddenly desires to become a pianist at the age of
forty-two; an entire group of children with Williams syndrome, who are
hypermusical from birth; people with “amusia,” to whom a symphony sounds like
the clattering of pots and pans; and a man whose memory spans only seven
seconds-for everything but music. Illuminating, inspiring, and utterly
unforgettable, Musicophilia is Oliver Sacks' latest masterpiece."
Revised: May 12, 2017