Reading my tabs/sheet music

There are a few things that I do in my tablature and sheet music documents that may throw some people off, and hope this page answers all your questions.

Tablature

My text tabs are pretty standard. On the top I write the name of the piece, the author, and below a legend of the special “tricks” used on the piece. Of course, if you are unfamiliar with tab or any of these terms, you will need to find out what they mean. I talk about these terms in the video lessons, so just by watching them you should see what these terms mean. I write my tabs in a way that follows the way the sheet music for the piece is written.

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||
||.
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This, believe it or not, is supposed to be a “repeat” symbol from the sheet music. I actually don’t write repeated parts all out again. I do this so that both the tab and sheet music I provide will be congruent with one another. Again, following along with the videos will let you know that a certain part is meant to be repeated, so listen closely.

|——————–
|——————–
|–Q—————–
|–R—————–
|——————–
|——————–

This is supposed to be a “quarter rest”, hence the letters “QR”. This is explained in the legend at the top of the tab. There is also a “HR” half rest, “WR” whole rest, and so on. I include rests in the videos.

Sheet Music

The sheet music documents I provide have the normal sheet music of the piece on top, and below it the tablature version. I write up these files using the Powertab software, which looks great. You can open these files as pictures. These documents have many things written on them, which I will explain:

PIMA

On the tablature part, I write the letters P I M A. They represent the fingers of the right hand.

P = Thumb
I = Index finger
M = Middle finger
A = Ring finger

These letters are for those who are using fingerpicking to play the piece, which is the classical way of playing the guitar. If you don’t use fingerpicking to play, then these markings don’t apply to you. However, you will have a hard time playing these pieces with just a pick. Unfortunately, I DO NOT TALK ABOUT RIGHT-HAND FINGERINGS ON MY VIDEOS. It would make the videos much longer and complex. However, just following the sheet music markings should be more than enough. Look in the “Technique” section for videos explaining these terms.

Bars

My bars are pretty standard, nothing too complex. Bars are written in ROMAN NUMERALS. The roman numeral represents on what frets to place the bar.

I = one, II = two, III = three, IV = four, V = five, VI = six
VII = seven, VIII = eight, IX = nine, X = ten, XI = eleven, XII= twelve

On the video lessons, I will tell you when these bars occur as well. However, on the video lessons I mention how many strings to press down with these bars. Usually, not all the strings need to be pressed when doing a bar, and many times pressing down all six strings may interfere with what follows. Follow the instructions on the videos at all times.

Free stroke/Rest stroke

In many pieces you will need to change from playing free stroke to rest stroke, and vise-versa. Look in the “Technique” section for videos explaining these terms. Unless written differently, all pieces tend to start with free stroke. If I want a certain part to be played in rest stroke, I will write a (reststroke) marking over the note that I want you to play in rest stroke. It will stay in rest stroke until I write a (freestroke) over a note, which means you will go back to playing in free stroke. Of course, these markings are my suggestions. You are free (no pun intended) to use these hints or not.

Powertab Files

Every piece comes with it’s own Powertab file. These files need to be openned with the Powertab software, which is free. These files are a great additional study tool. Read “Powertab Tutorial” on the “Editorial” section of the site for more information on how to use this software. Look in the “Guitarist’s tools” section on the front page of the site for a link to download the free Powertab software.

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