Guitar
 
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
 
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
 
Dulcimer: Hammered 7371
 
Chord 12994
 
Method 12995
 
Solos 12996
 
Dulcimer: Mountain 7375
 
Chord 12998
 
Method 12999
 
Solos 13000
 
 
Harmonica
 
Harmonica: Chromatic 7516
 
Blues Harp 13082
 
Method 13062
 
Solos 13063
 
Harmonica: Diatonic 7517
 
Blues Harp 7518
 
Method 13065
 
Solos 13066
 
Tunebooks 13067
 
 
 
 
Piano
 
Method 13124
 
Organ 13123
 
Solos 13125
 
Songbooks 13126
 
 
Method 13143
 
Solos 13144
 
Tunebooks 13145
 
 
Ukulele
 
 
Other
 
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
 
 
 
 
 
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)