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: 5-String 7330
Accessories 7331
Chording 7332
Methods 7333
Other 7334
Solos/Tunebooks 7335
Technique 7336
Banjo: Clawhammer 7337
Methods 7338
Solos 7339
Dulcimer: Hammered 7371
Chord/Theory 7374
Methods 7372
Solos 7373
Dulcimer: Mountain 7375
Chord Books 7378
Method/Study 7376
Solos 7377
Harmonica: Diatonic 7517
Blues Harp 7518
Methods 7520
Other 7521
Solos 7522
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
Baritone 7606
Chords 7608
Methods 7607
Songbooks 7609
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

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