The 6 Best Music Collections for Classical Guitar

In general, I avoid buying classical guitar sheet music because there are so many free pieces available online. However, some music collections are just too valuable to pass up. These are what I call the "sacred texts" of classical guitar... the books that classical guitarists reference throughout their entire life.

Below, you will find a list of the 6 best music collections for classical guitar. Although you can find many other compilations than what I listed here, I believe these 6 collection are indispensible for every experienced guitarist.

***Please note, these collections are only suitable for intermediate or advanced players.

Bach: The Solo Lute Works of Johann Sebastian Bach

We'll start with the most important collection of all... the Bach lute works. This book is like the bible for classical guitarists. It contains all the solo lute works written by Bach, arranged in standard guitar notation.

Although you can find many different editions of the lute suites, I personally prefer this edition by Frank Koonce. Koonce's transcriptions are very detailed and accurate, and his fingerings are very well thought-out. Also, as an added bonus, Koonce gives historical explanations of each piece, as well as copies of the original lute tablature.

The Solo Lute Works Of Johann Sebastian Bach look inside
The Solo Lute Works Of Johann Sebastian Bach By Frank Koonce. For guitar. Classical Collection. Intermediate Guitar Solo Level piece for the Guitar Events with the National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC) Festivals Bulletin 2008-2009-2010. Classical. Intermediate. Collection. Published by Neil A. Kjos Music Company (KJ.WG100)

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Villa-Lobos: Collected Works for Solo Guitar

Another gold mine for classical guitarists, this collection contains all the important solo guitar works by Villa-Lobos, including all 12 etudes, Choro no. 1, all of the Preludes, and more. And the price is very reasonable!

Collected Works For Solo Guitar look inside
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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Tarrega: The Complete Early Spanish Editions

I was so happy when I first found this book! It contains almost all of Tarrega's music, exactly as it appeared in the original Spanish editions. This collection includes all of Tarrega's classics, like Recuerdos de la Alhambra, Capricho Arabe, and the Preludes. It also has pieces that you can't find anywhere else.

Francisco Tarrega - The Complete Early Spanish Editions look inside Francisco Tarrega - The Complete Early Spanish Editions By Francisco Tarrega (1852-1909). For Guitar (Classical). Solos. Chanterelle. Classic. Intermediate. Book. 352 pages. Published by Chanterelle (MB.ECH1000)

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Segovia: The Finest Pieces from his Repertoire

This is a hidden gem that many guitarists don't know about. This collection contains all of the major Segovia repertoire pieces, with Segovia's original transcriptions and fingerings. If you bought all of these pieces individually from Schott, it would easily cost over $200.

Andrés Segovia Andrés Segovia (The Finest Pieces from His Repertoire). By Various. Arranged by Andres Segovia. Gitarren-Archiv (Guitar Archive). 94 pages. Schott Music #GA520. Published by Schott Music (HL.49010933)

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Brouwer: Works for Guitar

This is a fantastic compilation of many of Leo Brouwer's most famous pieces, incuding all 20 of his Etudes Simples, Dos Temas Populares Cubanos, and Parabola. Also, you can't beat the price.

Guitar Works I look inside Guitar Works I (Guitar Solo). By Leo Brouwer (1939-). Editions Durand. Softcover. 78 pages. Editions Durand #DF15742. Published by Editions Durand (HL.50564795)

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Barrios: The Complete Works of Augustin Barrios Mangore (Volumes 1 and 2)

This is a very hefty and expensive collection, but if you are a Barrios fan, it is well worth the money. This 2 volume set contains every piece composed by Augustin Barrios Mangore, and includes 2 CDs of Barrios playing his own music.

The Complete Works of Agustin Barrios Mangore Vol. 1 look inside The Complete Works of Agustin Barrios Mangore Vol. 1 Edited by Rico Stover. For Guitar (Classical). Solos. Classic. Advanced. Book. 264 pages. Published by Mel Bay Publications, Inc (MB.96308)

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My name is Daniel Nelson, and I am a classical guitar teacher and performer from Los Angeles, California. Click here to learn more.