Learning to play the guitar is now made accessible because of acoustic guitar reviews, especially with a wide variety of online resources to help you out. Aside from burning passion and full commitment, you also need to know how to read music because it significantly reduces the time it takes to learn your song. If you do not own an instrument yet, look for available Acoustic Guitars at your nearest store.

First, familiarize yourself with the following ways of writing music for guitar. Eager learners see them as three different forms of written sheet music:

  • Standard Notation
  • Guitar Tablature
  • Chord Diagrams

Whenever you are ready, check out this guide and skim through the tips below so you can get accustomed to reading music for guitar in no time.

music for guitar

Standard Notation

Standard Notation

Figure 1 Example of standard notation

Often described as a formal process of writing sheet music, standard notation is the most common way musicians read music. One of the basic requirements for decoding this type of written sheet music is knowing what the black dots on the lines and other symbols mean.

Other than the piano and violin, Acoustic Guitars mostly require a basic understanding of the standard notation. The great thing about the guitar is that you are not limited to reading music for this instrument using only the standard notation. Try to buy a sheet music book today, and you will notice the standard notation and guitar tablature detailed on each page.

Guitar Tablature

Apart from standard notation, you may also learn how to read music using guitar tablature, or guitar tab as is commonly known. This type of written sheet music has quickly gained popularity because aspirants have realized that it is easier to write and share guitar tabs than standard notation.

Standard Notation

Figure 2 Illustration of Smoke on Water on Guitar Tab

The most notable difference between standard notation and the guitar tab is using dots and numbers. While standard notation uses an arrangement of dots on staff to let learners know what notes to play, the guitar tab instead features a sequence of numbers on six lines.

Knowing how to read the guitar tab only requires basic knowledge of the numbers and the six lines or strings. The numbers in a typical guitar tab indicate which frets to clip, while the lines with overlapping numbers show you which strings to pluck or strum.

Additionally, the guitar tab uses many additional symbols associated with various techniques, including bends, palm muting, and slides. It even involves rhythm notation that tells you the timing of every note or rest.

Chord Diagrams

There are a few vocalists who know how to play the guitar, too. But to accompany their singing, they only need to know the chords to strum and when to play them. It is in this scenario that chord diagrams come into play.

Chord Diagrams

Figure 3 Examples of chord diagrams

Chord diagrams visually represent varying chord shapes for you to play. Most sheet music books contain the chord diagrams laid out at the start of any song. Afterward, the rest of the sheet music displays the names of those chords.

Truth be told, you don’t need to read music to be a great guitar player. However, knowing how to read music will help you learn the guitar faster and improve in this skill in no time.

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