Beginners: Guitar Sheet Music

by Kristy Annely

As you take guitar lessons either on your own or with a help of a professional guitar player, you are most likely to encounter guitar sheet music. Guitar sheet music is a printed musical notation for guitar. If you are serious in learning how to play a guitar like a pro, you have to learn what guitar sheet music is, what it does and how it is used as early as now.

There are basically two types of musical notations for guitar: standard notation and tablature. These notations tell you which notes to play on your guitar.

Standard Notation

In this kind of notation, the notes are written in a five-line musical staff. You must be able to identify the notes in the staff and locate the equivalent note on your guitar. Each kind of note has its own duration — for instance, a quarter note lasts one beat; a half note, two beats; and a whole note, four beats.

Mnemonics are usually used to identify and remember the notes in the staff easily. Notes that are found in the spaces between the lines form the word FACE while the notes found in the lines form EGBDF, which can be easily recalled by the mnemonic “Every Good Boy Does Fine.”

The note located at the ledger line below the staff is called the middle C. On the guitar, the middle C lies on the fifth string.


This kind of guitar notation tells you exactly where to position your fingers on the guitar. It consists of six horizontal lines that represent the six strings of the instrument. If you look at the staff closely, you will see numbers on the lines. Each of these corresponds to a fret in the guitar.

Since a guitar tablature or a tab shows a clear-cut illustration of the fretboard, it is much easier to use. Also, a guitar tab avoids confusion since notes in a standard notation can be played in different strings and frets.

However, a tab may only be used for guitars while a standard notation is applicable to many kinds of instruments. Moreover, you cannot identify the rhythm of the song if you are using only a tablature. For better appreciation of the music, it would be better to get a guitar sheet music with both standard and tablature notations.

Sheet Music provides detailed information on Sheet Music, Free Sheet Music, Piano Sheet Music, Guitar Sheet Music and more. Sheet Music is affiliated with Music Education Theory.

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