The Tradition iBook


Stuart's first collection of fingerstyle guitar arrangements, acclaimed by the guitar press and guitar players across the globe.



iPad users can now purchase my acoustic fingerstyle guitar book ‘The Tradition’ as an iBook!

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Legendary fingerstyle guitarist, Thomas Leeb

“An instant classic: Stuart Ryan’s acoustic guitar book is well thought – and laid out – and last but not least, the arrangements are gorgeous!”

Guitarist Magazine

“We urge anyone wanting to get altered tunings under their fingers to invest.”

Why I wrote this book

When I was learning how to play fingerstyle guitar one of the big challenges was finding a collection of pieces that were melodic and accessible whilst featuring a wide range of the alternate tunings that are integral to developing at fingerstyle. Pieces were either too short or too long, too hard or too easy. ‘The Tradition; is a collection that addresses all these issues – this book features a wide range of tunings with arrangements that are pitched at a variety of levels. All of these arrangements make for ideal performance pieces and feature some of the most beautiful traditional music from Ireland, England, Scotland and the USA.

What is in the book?

The book contains eleven solo fingerstyle guitar arrangements in Standard tuning (3 arrangements), DADGAD (6 arrangements), open G minor (2 arrangements). In addition there is an extensive section on how to develop the techniques required to play these pieces and each arrangement features detailed performance notes and both picking and fretting hand fingerings. There are also downloadable MP3s for each arrangement.

Who is this for?

This book is for anyone who is looking to develop, perform or teach as a fingerstyle player. The pieces sit at a variety of levels so there is something for everyone whether you have been playing for one year or thirty! Pieces from this collection have featured on TV across the world and also feature in the London College of Music exam grade syllabus.
Download Example Book Chapters (PDF)

Audio samples:

Planxty Irwin

Black is the Colour

The Mason’s Apron


Track Listing:

  1. Sliabh Russell
  2. Planxty Irwin
  3. Black is the Colour
  4. Cait ni Dhuibhir
  5. Drowsy Maggie
  6. Nothing Can Sadden Us
  7. Eleanor Plunkett
  8. The Mason’s Apron
  9. The House Carpenter
  10. Si Beag Si Mor
  11. The Water is Wide

You can download the audio tracks here The Tradition Audio.


The Tradition Recommended By Acoustic MagazineThe Tradition has made it into Acoustic Magazine’s list of essential Christmas stocking fillers!


  1. JC

    “Just wanted to express my gratitude and admiration for your book ‘The Tradition’ – easily one of the best guitar books I’ve ever bought.

    I’ve been working through the pieces in the book with my guitar teacher and have been hugely impressed with the attention to detail throughout. The way the book is paced to introduce skills and techniques which will be developed in later pieces, along with the copious notes and guidance, has helped my playing a huge amount – at the start of the book it was hard to imagine I’d ever be able to approach pieces like these, but I can already feel my skills and confidence growing.”

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