Curriculum Overview

Lead Guitar has developed a carefully scaffolded, classroom-based learning method that engages every learner. Using music from a broad range of traditions, and differentiated materials like Adaptive and Spanish-language curricula, Lead Guitar’s Guitar Ensemble Method books and digital resources guide students in their first year of music study from basic musicianship to playing multi-voice ensembles and solos. Students that continue through the four-year arc of the curriculum can reach a level appropriate for college auditions. Learning is first focused on core music competencies before broadening to include composition, improvisation and increasing student choice.

For accessibility accommodations to any of the below materials, schools should reach out to for assistance.
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Lead Guitar Digital website on a laptop

Lead Guitar Digital

Lead Guitar Digital is a state-of-the-art online learning system for classroom guitar teaching, as well as the portal through which Lead Guitar partner teachers access all curriculum-related links and resources. It features more than 200 instructional videos, lesson plans, extension activities, and a large library of guitar ensemble sheet music. Full PDFs of the books shown here are also accessible at Lead Guitar Digital. Watch an overview of Lead Guitar Digital.

Method Book I

Now in its 7th edition, Method Book I begins by building core music competencies like understanding pitch and rhythm, note-reading, ensemble playing and ergonomic technique while using music of composers from Isaac Albéniz to Zitkala-Sa. The curriculum features addenda that make it customizable for classrooms with multiple skill and experience levels and is available en español.

Method Book I en español

The 7th Edition of Method Book I en español is now available on Lead Guitar Digital.
Method Book 2 cover

Method Book II

Method Book II introduces more challenging techniques and concepts, such as position-playing, barres, transposable major and minor scales in three octaves, and the circle of fifths. The book concludes with first concert repertoire suitable for a college audition.
Adaptive Method Book cover

Adaptive Method Book

Inspired by the Chord Buddy–an assistive device which attaches to the guitar and, by pushing a single color-coded button, allows the user to play chords—Lead Guitar created an Adaptive Curriculum that works in lock-step with Method Book I. From warm-up routines to the concert hall, the curriculum is designed so that our Chord Buddy users are wholly integrated into all aspects of learning.
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Ensemble Library

This ever-expanding library of graded ensembles arranged by Lead Guitar Teaching Artists houses an inspiring collection of rock, jazz, blues, world music, and classical repertoire. It includes music for single and mixed skill levels aligned with the learning levels in Method Books I & II as well as ensembles that expand the single line melodies in Levels 1-3 to include more advanced players.

Teacher Resources

Additional resources available to our teaching partners include information on ordering discounted guitars and creating home-made footstools, age-appropriate Milestones to set quarterly progress objectives, and evaluation materials.
Lead Guitar meets National Arts Standards in the areas of General Music, Ensemble and Harmonizing Instruments.
Download the Arts Standards and Lead Guitar PDF here.