Here is a concise list of some of my favorite books that I believe help better illuminate the rich history and performance of fingerstyle guitar. 

  1. Bruce Conforth and Gayle Dean Wardlow, Up Jumped the Devil: The Real Life of Robert Johnson (Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2019).

  2. Benjamin Filene, Romancing the Folk: Public Memory & American Roots Music (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2000).

  3. Elaine Gould, Behind Bars: The Definitive Guide to Music Notation (London: Faber Music, 2011).

  4. Claudio Guerrieri, The John Fahey Handbook with a complete illustrated discography and labelography of Fonotone & Tacoma Records, Volumes 1 & 2 (Claudio Guerrieri, 2013/2014).

  5. Philip Gura, C.F. Martin and His Guitars, 1796-1873 (Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 2003).

  6. Colin Harper, Dazzling Stranger: Bert Jansch and the British Folk and Blues Revival (London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2000).

  7. Steve Lowenthal, Dance of Death: The Life of John Fahey, American Guitarist (Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2014).

  8. Jeffrey J. Noonan, The Guitar in America: Victorian Era to Jazz Age (Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2008).

  9. Philip R. Ratcliffe, Mississippi John Hurt: His Life, His Times, His Blues (Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2011).

  10. Lorene Ruymar, The Hawaiian Steel Guitar and Its Great Hawaiian Musicians (Anaheim Hills, CA: Centerstream Publishing, 1996).

  11. Robert Sacré, ed., Charley Patton: Voice of the Mississippi Delta (Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2018).

  12. John W. Troutman, Kīkā Kila: How the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Changed the Sound of Modern Music (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2016).

  13. Stephen Wade, The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2012).

  14. Elijah Wald, Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues (New York: Amistad, 2004).

  15. Ian Zack, Say No to the Devil: The Life and Musical Genius of Rev. Gary Davis (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2015).