Piano Tablature /
Piano tablature is really called a "staff." Piano players usually read two staffs as they play -- one for high notes (treble staff, for the right side of the piano keyboard) and one for low notes (bass staff for the left side of the keyboard).
Only one staff is needed for guitar players, the treble (or top) staff. The 3 charts below show how the treble staff matches up with guitar tabs notation.
What about the sharps and flats?
This set of notes does not show accidentals; only the plain notes. For showing your students sharps and flats, use the file below...
Won't my guitar students be stuck forever reading guitar tabs if I start them that way?
Although I write up songs for my students with guitar tablature notation, my GOAL is for them to become standard notation -- treble staff -- readers. I have found that my guitar students (who ALWAYS prefer to play by ear or with "tabs"/tablature, without fail!) will plug along through their notereading book without too much complaining, as long as they have guitar tablature music to play.
The method books typically add staff notes slowly...
Months go by, with the notereading book carefully adding one note after another, starting usually with the open G or B string and branching out from there. Finally, two-thirds of the way through the book, the kids are reading down into the ledger notes below Middle C.
Yay!!! They have really come a long way!
But how solid is their note-reading really?
Suddenly, the book's authors remember that we haven't visited treble B, C, and D for while, so, out of the blue, we have songs thrown at us again populated with these old notes as well as the newer notes. And my students stumble around and say, "I've forgotten what that note is!"
Oops! We should have been reviewing. This is definitely my fault, not the student's fault!
Just one OLD song a week will help
So now, I try to build one review song from earlier in the book into each week's lesson, and their knowledge will stay more solid.
...and these notation charts!
But also, I keep these piano tablature/guitar tablature notation sheets handy for students, at the beginning or end of their music notebooks, along with a piano keyboard sheet.
These are only the basic or default frets for the notes
These charts show the most usual guitar tabs for each piano staff note. Initially, one of the tricky things about playing guitar comes from the nature of overlapping notes from string to string; 2 or 3 adjacent strings can all play the same note, though on different frets.
Do you have a story or a question about teaching guitar? Do you think it is a hard instrument for beginners, or easy? What have been your challenges?
Just wanted to express my overwhelming joy in finding your web site! :D Lots of good info!! My wife and I own our own teaching studio in Texas and I am always looking for new songs to teach my beginner guitar students. You've done a wonderful job of providing great tunes with ACCURATE sheet music/TAB! Your web site is wonderful! Thank you so much!! Many blessings...
Lori, homeschool mom, songwriter/musician and private music teacher:
Just wanted to say "thank you" for this site and for all of your dedication and hard work! I have literally combed the internet for months on end to find free and "doable" resources for my young students and for my own children, whom I have homeschooled for nine years. I will be returning to this site over and over again from here on out and am excited to present some of the tools I found today on here to my voice and piano students later this week! My thirteen-year old son is happily, as I type, working with the guitar chord sheets I just printed for him! Wish I'd found you earlier! Thanks a million, and God bless--
Thank you so much for this site! I have just started teaching some really keen Y6 boys who want to play Scarborough Fair, and your version is perfect. I will now go and look at what other goodies you have!
Guitar & Music Sites I Like
Thanks for a great web site and a very useful tool for us teaching guitar.
THIS SITE IS AMAZING!!I've been teaching guitar for about 5 years now, and I've only just found your website! (I could really have used it 5 years ago) :-) I teach at primary schools every week day for about 4 hours, so the beginner tabs you have are ideal. Thank you so much for your hard work getting these on the web, you have made many children very happy!!
A thousand thanks for your beginning piano and guitar songs. I've already printed several for my children, including the Pretty Little Horses TAB and Carol of the Bells for piano. What a wonderful resource!
...got offered a great opportunity this year to become a secondary music teacher in an international school... Before I get to the secondary level though (next year), I sort of have to prove myself as a primary music teacher. Hasn't been easy, but I love the work. I found great ideas for my guitar unit on your site, as I didn't know where to begin. Thanks to you I will survive my next 6 weeks. I also teach choir to middle school, and I love your little morning warmups. Looking forward to more of that in the future. Keep up the great work, it is very inspirational for us beginner teachers.