A Modern Method for Guitar


by William Leavitt

A Modern Method for Guitar by William Levitt is certainly the most complete book series on the guitar ever published.

It covers pretty much everything any student OR teacher may want to learn or teach (at any stage in the developement). ...and I'm not saying this lightly! The three volumes of A Modern Method for Guitar go in depth on all the following topics:

Theory, picking techniques, strumming techniques, scales, positions, improvisation, chord forms, voice leading, triads, chord melody, rhythmic styles for comping, reading (and sight-reading), tune playing, arpeggios, composition, and the list goes on!

The three volumes in the series are arranged in such a way that the difficulty level is progressively harder from page to page. It is appropriate for guitarists of all levels and styles.

I've been using the three volumes for years in my studying and teaching; it's a true classic for me! William Leavitt's A Modern Method for Guitar is a genuine method that is still in widespread use today.

It is also interesting to note that this comprehensive method is used as the basic text for the guitar program at the prestigious Berklee College of Music.

a modern method for guitar

Volume One builds a solid foundation for beginning guitarists and features a comprehensive range of music fundamentals.

It shows the newbie guitarist open position scales and reading, some position playing and great chord forms/shapes. It also contains several duets and solo pieces.

This one is great place to start for anybody who's just starting out jazz guitar (or that is really starting guitar from scratch.) Most of my students used it to this day with great results.


a modern method for guitar

Volume Two is an intermediate-level book that builds upon techniques found in the first volume. It goes deeper on: melody, scales, positions, arpeggios, chords and begins to cover the entire fingerboard.

New topics are introduced such as: intervals, solo guitar, voicings, improvisation and rhythm guitar techniques.

If you've ever wondered where to find out how to play 7 to 12 positions for ANY scale (like jazz guitar masters do), the answer lies in Volume 2, that's for sure!


One of the solo pieces in the second volume. Solo in D, watch video :




a modern method for guitar

Volume Three is where guitarists will take their skills to a more challenging level. Get ready!

After mastering volume 1 and 2, you will learn more on : technique, scales in positions, arpeggios, rhythm guitar and chord/scale relationships.

The new topics in this volume are : chord construction and voicings, advanced chord melody, tune playing, improvisation, advanced position playing (in all aeras of the fretboard) and other more advanced topics.


One of the solo pieces in the third volume. Solo in Bb, watch video :



Volumes 1 2 3 Complete

a modern method for guitar

This method is also published in a practical 1-2-3 Complete edition. It is exactly the same text and formating as the three separate volumes.

That's the edition that I personnally own. I decided to get the whole thing after several years of teaching and studying from all three volumes. This complete volume is definitely a great deal if you plan on spending some time with the three volumes in the series. The bundle costs just a little more than the 3rd volume by itself!