Dansm's Musical Notation for Guitar
Welcome to Dansm's Musical Notation for Guitar! My name is Dan Smith, I'm a first-year grad student at Harvard, and I've been playing guitar for about 5 years. Before I picked up guitar, I played trumpet for 8 years, so I knew something about musical notation. It is not imperative for a guitarist to be able to read a piece of music just from the notes, but it is sometimes helpful to pick out some notes quickly. This page is designed so guitarists can have a reference for reading standard musical notation without a big headache. This page will discuss note names, key signatures and time signatures, note lengths, and repeats & codas. It should tell you exactly what those strange symbols you see in tab books mean, in a simple and clear manner. I hope you find these pages useful! If you have any questions, e-mail me!
Musician's Friend Homepage

Introduction to Tablature Notation
an explanation of tab and the symbols found in tab

Introduction to Standard Chord Notation
how to read standard chord notation (like x32010)

Introduction to Standard Musical Notation
here is a little background on standard musical notation: key signatures, note names, etc.

Notes on the Fretboard
this will help you associate standard musical notes with notes on your guitar--this is very helpful

Measures and Meter
an explanation of measures and time signatures for guitar: 4/4, 6/8, etc.

Key Signatures
flats, sharps, and keys in standard notation

Repeats and Codas
you've seen these in tab books, but what do they mean?

Symbols Used in Music
a rundown of symbols appearing in musical notation, with pictures so you can identify them

Terms Used in Music
unless you speak Italian, check this page out for an explanation of terms like ritard and moderato


Dansm's Guitar Scale Lessons
scales are very important for mastering guitar, and these lessons will help you understand and learn them

Dansm's Guitar Chord Theory
this page contains music theory lessons regarding guitar chords
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1997 Daniel E. Smith. Last updated 7-20-97.