1) LCM Grade 8 Classical Guitar Playing – In my opinion the best exam board for choice of pieces at each grade, the layout of book is clear and simple. I think exams offer a satisfying challenge to any player, with 4 diplomas on top of 8 grades. Something here for everyone.
2) The Classical Guitar Compendium Bridget Mermikides – The only book on this list to show tablature as well as notation. There are lots of really beautiful arrangements here to test any player. Well known studies start the book that leads nicely into some classical works not always associated with guitar. The Satie pieces and swan lake are particular phrases of mine. Bridget’s name will be familiar to anyone who subscribes to Guitar Techniques Magazine and is a stunning player and arranger. The CD’s are also incredibly good quality.
3) The Classic Guitar Collection volumes 1-3 by Amsco Music Publishing Company – When learning to sight read volume is as important as quality and all 3 of these volumes helped me improve my reading. The idea was simple, wake up in the morning, open the book to a random piece and start sight reading. The same hold true for building a repertoire of pieces. The pieces here are well structured and well chosen and I have spent many hours either reading or learning the pieces here.
4) Vincent Lindsey Clark Spanish – This collection of beginner and intermediate pieces are part of a series by one of the most respected contemporary guitarists and are very pretty. The Spanish collection is a personal favorite and this book is popular among my students.
5) Villa Lobos – Choosing only one of the many dedicated studies from the likes of Tarrega and Sor was difficult but these challenging pieces by Heitor Villa-lobos are some of my favorite studies for classical guitar. The other 4 books on this list provide many pieces for the beginner and intermediate player but once you have progressed beyond this the Villa Lobos pieces are so much fun to study and a lot can be learned about dynamics, feel and performance. This book shows how beautiful classical guitar playing can be.