Guitar
 
Guitar: Classic Guitar and Lute 7412
 
Chamber Music 7418
 
Concert 7413
 
Duo 7414
 
Ensemble 7417
 
Methods 7420
 
Recordings 7421
 
Solos/Studies 7416
 
Technique 7415
 
Guitar: Fingerpicking 7472
 
Blues 7474
 
Celtic 7482
 
Classics 7476
 
Contemporary 7477
 
Methods 7475
 
Other Styles 7480
 
Ragtime 7481
 
Traditional 7479
 
Guitar: Flamenco 7406
 
Methods 7407
 
Solos 7409
 
Technique 7408
 
Guitar: Latin 7512
 
Methods 7515
 
Solos/Ensembles 7514
 
 
Chording 7553
 
Methods/Study 7554
 
Other 7555
 
Solos 7556
 
Technique 7558
 
Tunebooks 7557
 
 
Banjo
 
Banjo: Clawhammer 7337
 
Methods 7338
 
Solos 7339
 
Banjo:Bluegrass 7330
 
Accessories 7331
 
Chording 7332
 
Methods 7333
 
Other 7334
 
Solos/Tunebooks 7335
 
Technique 7336
 
 
Dulcimer
 
Dulcimer: Hammered 7371
 
Chord/Theory 7374
 
Methods 7372
 
Solos 7373
 
Dulcimer: Mountain 7375
 
Chord Books 7378
 
Method/Study 7376
 
Solos 7377
 
 
Harmonica
 
Harmonica: Diatonic 7517
 
Blues Harp 7518
 
Methods 7520
 
Other 7521
 
Solos 7522
 
 
Fiddle
 
Method 7390
 
Other 7391
 
Solo 7392
 
Tunebooks 7393
 
 
Drum Set 7572
 
Ensemble 7576
 
Mallet 7574
 
Snare Drum 7573
 
 
 
Duos/Ensembles 7587
 
Methods 7588
 
Solos 7589
 
Tunebooks 7590
 
 
Ukulele
 
Baritone 7606
 
Chords 7608
 
Methods 7607
 
Songbooks 7609
 
 
Other
 
Accordion 7308
 
Concertina 7311
 
Piano Accordion 7309
 
Autoharp and Chromaharp 7321
 
Methods 7322
 
Solos 7324
 
Tunebooks 7323
 
Bassoon 7352
 
Cello 7353
 
Classics 7355
 
Duet/Ensemble 7356
 
Methods 7357
 
Solos/Tunebooks 7358
 
Clarinet 7361
 
Duet/Ensemble 7363
 
Methods 7364
 
Solos 7365
 
Tunebooks 7366
 
Flute, Fife and Oboe 7395
 
Classics 7403
 
Duos/Ensemble 7401
 
Fife 7396
 
Methods 7397
 
Oboe 7404
 
Solo Collection 7399
 
Tunebooks 7402
 
French Horn 7405
 
Organ 7534
 
Other String Acoustic 7561
 
Bajo Sexto 7562
 
Bowed Psaltery 7567
 
Charango 7563
 
Guitarron 7564
 
Lute 7565
 
Oud 7566
 
Sitar 7568
 
Tres 7569
 
Vihuela 7570
 
String Bass 7592
 
Tinwhistle 7596
 
Instruments 7598
 
Methods/Study 7597
 
Tunebooks 7599
 
Trumpet & Bugle 7345
 
Duos/Ensembles 7350
 
Methods 7346
 
Solos 7348
 
Tunebooks 7351
 
Viola 7611
 
Violin 7612
 
Accessories 7613
 
Classics 7615
 
Duet/Ensemble 7616
 
Methods 7617
 
Solos/Tunebooks 7619
 
 
 
 
 
Country
 
 
 
Gospel
 
 
Jazz
 
 
 
 
Ragtime
 
 
 
French
 
 
Spanish
 

A Tribute to Our Founder

Melbourne E. Bay, 1913-1997


Mel Bay, in 1928 with his National Triolian guitar, his first "good" guitar.


Mel Bay plays an early model D'Angelico guitar. In the 1940's he would have John D'Angelico make a model to his specifications, with a thinner neck and cutaway body.


Mel Bay, Aaron Shearer, and Chet Atkins at the 1996 Guitar Foundation of America International Convention and Competition held in St. Louis.


Mel, with son Bill and grandson Matthew (one of his six grandsons), posing for a catalog shot.

Mel Bay, founder and first president of Mel Bay Publications, Inc., died at age 84 on May 14, 1997. Mel Bay was born in the Missouri town of Bunker and raised in DeSoto where as a teenager he taught himself how to play the guitar and performed regularly with various Ozark region bands. His plans to study engineering in college were brought to a halt by the Depression.

Upon moving to St. Louis, Mel took up the tenor banjo and became a highly sought after musician and teacher. He began writing guitar methods in 1947. His method books grew in popularity worldwide and laid the foundation for most of today's guitar pedagogy. Guitar Player magazine referred to him as "the George Washington of the guitar." It is difficult to find a guitarist worldwide who has not, at some point, studied one of Mel's method books. Sales of his Modern Guitar Method series are estimated to be well in excess of 20 million copies.

Mr. Bay received many awards during his career which include the "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Guitar Foundation of America, "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Retail Print Music Dealers Association, the "Owen Miller Lifetime Achievement Award" from the American Federation of Musicians, "Certificate of Merit" from the St. Louis Music Educators Association, a resolution from the Missouri House of Representatives honoring his achievements, a proclamation by mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. making October 25, 1996 "Mel Bay Day" in the city of St. Louis and a letter of commendation from President Clinton. June 30, 2011, Melbourne (Mel) E. Bay was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame.

Mel Bay established the structure for modern guitar education and by so doing, laid the foundation for the continued growth and advancement of the instrument.

See also the biography of Mel Bay elsewhere on this site. A full biography of Mel Bay in book form is also available, entitled The Mel Bay Story, by Ray Dankenbring.

Here is a video from KETC, LIVING ST. LOUIS in which producer Ruth Ezell profiles the life of Missouri musician, Mel Bay: (courtesy of KETC.org)