Welcome to The Smith Method

The Smith Method is a complete approach to guitar study based on the original work and educational research done over 35 years by Doug Smith, cofounder of McNally Smith College of Music.

The Smith Method offers a new approach and a whole new set of guitar repertoire for students — adults and children alike. Whether you are a beginner or advanced student; whether you play by ear or read music; and no matter what style of music you desire to play, you can benefit from the materials and approaches found in The Smith Method.

The Smith Method includes graduated solo literature for guitar — from classic and folk sources, as well as original compositions by Doug Smith — set in various American contemporary styles of music. This literature is placed in a logical and practical sequence (see below) to steadily develop guitar solo reading skills.

To watch more videos, please visit the Video page.


How to purchase the Smith Method

(Needed: Adobe Acrobat Pro to open PDF files.)

  1. Click the Shop tab.
  2. Click the Add to cart tab for desired book(s).
  3. Click Proceed to Checkout.
  4. Fill out the Billing Address required fields. VERY IMPORTANT: You must check the Create An Account box and enter a password and username in order to access your book(s).
  5. Click the Place Order tab to transfer to PayPal. Select your method of payment.
  6. Click the Pay Now tab. IMPORTANT: Note that the transaction will appear on your bill as PayPal *MCNALLYSMIT.
  7. You will see a thank you message with your payment information and a receipt number. IMPORTANT: Click the Return to McNally Smith College of Music link to download your book(s).
  8.  Once back at thesmithmethod.com, click either the View Account Info tab or download your books here links to access your account.
  9. Under Available Downloads on the My Account page, you’ll find the book(s) you ordered. Click on each link to open the PDF(s) of your book(s).
  10. Once you’ve opened your PDF you can print your book(s) or simply view them on your computer.

Progression of Material

Rote Book:

  • Rote Book: Beginning Pieces for Young Children

Reading Books:

  • Reading Book 1: Introduction to the Natural Notes in the First Position
  • Reading Book 2: Beginning Pieces for the First Position
  • Reading Book 3: Beginning Pieces for the First & Second Position
  • Reading Book 4: Intermediate Pieces for the First & Second Position
  • Reading Book 5: Intermediate Pieces for the First & Second Positions

Minneapolis Guitar Books:

  • MPLS Guitar Book 1: Intermediate Pieces for the First & Second Positions
  • MPLS Guitar Book 2: Advanced Pieces for First–Fifth Positions
  • MPLS Guitar Book 3: Advanced Pieces for Each String
  • MPLS Guitar Book 4: Advanced Pieces for Each Position, Third–Eleventh
  • MPLS Guitar Book 5: Concert Pieces for Sixth–Ninth Positions

Concert Etude Series:

  • Concert Etude #1 in the Key of E Major
  • Concert Etude #2 in the Key of C# Minor
  • Concert Etude #3 in the Key of F Major
  • Concert Etude #4 in the Key of D Minor
  • Concert Etude #5 in the Key of G Major
  • Concert Etude #6 in the Key of E Minor
  • Concert Etude #7 in the Key of A Major
  • Concert Etude #8 in the Key of F# Minor
  • Concert Etude #9 in the Key of B♭ Minor
  • Concert Etude #10 in the Key of G Minor
  • Concert Etude #11 in the Key of C Major
  • Concert Etude #12 in the Key of A Minor
  • Concert Etude #13 in the Key of D Major
  • Concert Etude #14 in the Key of B Minor
  • Concert Etude #15 in the Key of F# Major
  • Concert Etude #16 in the Key of D# Minor
  • Concert Etude #17 in the Key of A♭ Major
  • Concert Etude #18 in the Key of F Minor
  • Concert Etude #19 in the Key of B Major
  • Concert Etude #20 in the Key of G# Minor
  • Concert Etude #21 in the Key of D♭ Major
  • Concert Etude #22 in the Key of B♭ Minor
  • Concert Etude #23 in the Key of E♭ Major
  • Concert Etude #24 in the Key of C Minor

Complete Position Studies:

  • The 3rd Position (FREE!)
  • The 4th Position (FREE!)
  • The 5th Position (FREE!)
  • The 6th Position (FREE!)
  • The 7th Position (FREE!)
  • The 8th Position (FREE!)
  • The 9th Position (FREE!)
  • The 10th Position (coming soon!)
  • The 11th Position (coming soon!)

Beginning Lute Lessons: (coming soon!)