The Popular Music Catalog is a collection of 120 songs, all but a dozen or so of which are based on steel string acoustic guitar arrangements. Those that are not are based on electric or nylon string guitar arrangements that are well suited to steel string acoustic guitar. Most of the songs in the Popular Music Catalog have enjoyed tremendous commercial success, and many are widely considered to be icons of acoustic guitar music. The catalog encompasses a wide variety of rhythm acoustic guitar styles. Very few of the guitar arrangements require more than a high intermediate level of skill, and many are within the reach of players who have barely advanced beyond a beginner level of skill. There is a more or less equal emphasis on flatpick styles of play and fingerstyles. The catalog is a good resource for songs with vocal harmony (72 songs), songs played in alternate tunings (38 songs), and songs played on 12-string guitar (14 songs).
The Popular Music Catalog is comprised of 10 albums of 12 songs each, but they are albums only in the sense that they are groups of songs with a common theme. The first four albums are devoted to the four basic styles of play on the steel string acoustic guitar (flatpick, pick and strum, fingerstyle, and fingerpick). The fifth album consists entirely of songs played in alternate tunings. The sixth through tenth albums cover five of the six decades that have come and gone since the steel string guitar first became widely popularized (1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s, 1990’s, 2000’s). The songs in each individual album are arranged in alphabetical order by song title. The two search buttons at the top of this page allow for searching the Catalog by song title or by artist name. If you are mainly interested in a particular type of song, you can click here to review songlists for 14 additional search categories based on the type of song.
The catalog listing below includes order links in the album title bars that allow for ordering all the charts (CH) or all the chord docs (cho) for that album. You can also order songs individually (chart and chord doc for $1) by clicking on the Twelvemonth cinquefoils () in the album title bars. The PDF files for the charts and chord docs are stamped on every page with the customer name and order number so as to discourage file sharing and better protect the rights of the copyright holders. Every song chart is an exact account of all the chords required for playing the song through from start to finish along with the original recording. The song charts include the correct timing of all the chord changes, and you don’t have to know how to read music to make use of them. About all that is required to start working with the charts is learning how to interpret repeat signs (see the About Charts page of this website), and learning how to read the chord symbols used in the charts and chord docs.
The chord doc for a song is an exact account of the guitar chord fingerings used to play the song on the original recording. In the chord docs as well as in the song charts, the 18 Common Chords are referred to solely by their chord symbols. In the chord docs, the required information for any non-common chords used in playing the song is given in table format, which can be translated into chord diagrams if that is your preference (see the About Chords page of this website).
Please note that the charts and chord docs for songs with duet arrangement contain both arrangements. And be sure to notice that the catalog listing includes seven categories of information for each of the 125 guitar arrangements (120 songs plus 5 rhythm guitar duet arrangements). A careful review of this detailed information will allow you to select songs that are well suited to your playing skills and to your individual learning needs. Finally, you can click on an album title directly below to advance to the catalog listing for that album. Enjoy the music!