Guitar Methods 7447
Fingerpicking 13449
Flamenco 13441
Flatpicking 13443
Latin 13452
Resonator 13445
Rock & Blues 13446
Slide/Bottleneck 13448
Guitar: Fingerpicking 7472
Method 13293
Solos 13294
Tunebook 13295
Guitar: Flatpicking 7422
Method 13366
Solos 13367
Tunebook 13368
Guitar: Latin 7512
Method 13402
Solo 13403
Guitar: Resonator 7432
Method 13400
Solos 13414
Tunebook 13415
Chord 13074
Method 13075
Solos 13076
Tunebooks 13077
Banjo: 5-String 7330
Chord 12923
Method 12924
Solos and Duets 12925
Tunebook 12926
Banjo: Clawhammer 7337
Chord 12936
Method 12937
Solos and Duets 12938
Tunebook 12939
Banjo:Tenor 7340
Chord 12941
Method 12942
Solos and Duets 12943
Tunebook 12944
Dulcimer: Hammered 7371
Chord 12994
Method 12995
Solos 12996
Dulcimer: Mountain 7375
Chord 12998
Method 12999
Solos 13000
Harmonica: Chromatic 7516
Blues Harp 13082
Method 13062
Solos 13063
Harmonica: Diatonic 7517
Blues Harp 7518
Method 13065
Solos 13066
Tunebooks 13067
Method 13124
Organ 13123
Solos 13125
Songbooks 13126
Method 13143
Solos 13144
Tunebooks 13145
Accordion 7308
Concertina 7311
Melodeon 12914
Piano Accordion 7309
Bassoon 7352
Cello 7353
Duet/Ensemble 12952
Method 12953
Solos 12954
Tunebook 12955
Clarinet 7361
Method 12957
Solos and Duets 12958
Tunebook 12959
Flute, Fife and Oboe 7395
Fife 13034
Method 13028
Oboe 13035
Solos 13029
Tunebook 13030
French Horn 7405
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
Tin Whistle 7596
Duets 13162
Method 13163
Solos 13164
Tunebooks 13165
Viola 7611
Method 13195
Solos 13196
Tunebooks 13197
Violin 7612
Method 13201
Solos 13202
Tunebooks 13203

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