As you learn classical guitar, one of the best ways to develop your playing technique is by practicing studies and exercises. Below is a list of the 6 best books of studies and exercises for improving your classical guitar technique.
The 120 Studies for Right Hand Development by Mauro Giuliani are arguably the greatest studies ever written for guitar. Giuliani famously said that if you could play all of these 120 exercises, then you could play any piece that he ever wrote.
The fantastic thing about these studies is that each one is only 2 measures long and focuses on one specific aspect classical guitar technique (such as slurs, arpeggios). If you buy just one exercise book, I recommend that you get this one.
120 Studies For Right Hand Development
By Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829). Edited by revised and ed. Paul Brelinsky. For guitar. Classical Guitar Method or Supplement; Masterworks. Classical Guitar Study Series. Technique and Classical Period. Instructional book. Fingerings. 20 pages. Published by Alfred Music Publishing (AP.F1887GCX)
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The 25 Melodious and Progressive Studies by Matteo Carcassi makes practicing technique fun and enjoyable. Each study specifically focuses on one or two techniques.
25 Melodious and Progressive Studies, Op. 60 (NFMC)
By Matteo Carcassi (1792-1853). For guitar. Instructional and studies. Early Advanced. Book. Published by The FJH Music Company Inc (FJ.G1013)
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This is a classic book that every classical guitarist should own. 20 Studies for Guitar contains some of Fernando Sor's most beautiful studies, arranged and fingered by the master Andres Segovia.
20 Studies for Guitar
(Andres Segovia Edition). By Fernando Sor (1778-1839). Edited by Andres Segovia. For guitar. Transcribed. Etudes, Studies and Classical Period. Etude book. Guitar notation, introductory text and fingerings. 32 pages. Edward B. Marks Music #M394. Published by Edward B. Marks Music (HL.6363)
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The Villa-Lobos 12 Etudes are some of the best technical exercises ever written for the guitar. They are an important part of every classical guitarists repertoire.
You can get these 12 studies as part of this Villa-Lobos compilation.
Collected Works For Solo Guitar
By Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959). For guitar. Editions Durand. 20th Century. Difficulty: medium. Guitar solo book. Standard guitar notation (no tablature), introductory text and performance notes. 95 pages. Editions Durand #ME0933300. Published by Editions Durand (HL.50560932)
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The Complete Studies for Guitar contains all of Fernando Sor's studies with the original fingerings and annotations. This book has studies for almost every technique and every level.
Fernando Sor: The Complete Studies for Guitar in Urtext
By Fernando Sor, introduction Matanya Orphee, Richard Savino. For Guitar (Classical). Solos. Chanterelle. Classic. Intermediate. Book. 192 pages. Published by Chanterelle (MB.97387)
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The Etudes Simples are a set of 20 very popular exercises by the modern composer, Leo Brouwer. They are great for practicing rhythm, slurs, and various 20th century techniques.
Etudes Simples - Volume 1
(Guitar Solo). By Leo Brouwer (1939-). For guitar solo. Editions Durand. 20th Century. Difficulty: easy-medium. Guitar solo single (no tablature). Standard guitar notation. 4 pages. Editions Durand #ME0799700. Published by Editions Durand (HL.50562479)
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