Piano Tablature /
Guitar 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. 

Piano tablature guide for guitar

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

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, print out the PDF file farther down the page...

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 also have guitar tablature music to play.

The method books typically add staff notes slowly... and months go by, with the notereading method 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.

Page 1 of a "notes with sharps & flats" guide:

Tablature guide for guitar with piano staff notes

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

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 a 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!

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.

Page 2 of the notes with sharps & flats:

Piano and guitar tablature chart with sharps and flats

Please scroll down the page for the download links.

These are only the basic or default frets for the notes - 

These charts show THE MOST USUAL guitar tabs for each piano staff note- what is known as FIRST POSITION (where the left hand's 4 fingers naturally lie when finger 1 lays in fret 1, finger 2 in fret 2, etc.).

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, but these different fretted or open "sounds" will all be represented by the same note on a staff!  

That's one nice thing about tablature - it tells you exactly which fret best accomplishes that sound, in that situation!





The links for the tablature / staff notation charts:


Piano tablature/guitar tablature notation 


Treble staff with sharps and flats with tablature notation








Interested in songs from the Bible for your students or church?  Check out my other website, SingTheBibleStory.com!

SingTheBibleStory.com clickable logo link

Recent Articles

  1. Deep In The Heart of Texas Sheet Music, Lyrics, Chords & Tabs

    Deep in the Heart of Texas, sheet music for piano duet partners. EASY primo and accessible secondo with bouncy chords make this a VERY FUN DUET!

    Read More

  2. Beginner Piano Songs - Found a Peanut!

    Beginner piano songs for young kids are even EASIER when the tune is familiar, and the words are fun or even silly! "Found a Peanut" fits the bill.

    Read More

  3. God is Good Lyrics and Sheet Music

    God is So Good lyrics and sheet music, now with two new versions. This simple and sweet hymn is perfect for beginning musicians.

    Read More

  4. Ants Go Marching Lyrics & Sheet Music

    The Ants Go Marching lyrics & sheet music for beginning piano. This lead sheet is EASY to read, with a single melody line and chord symbols. Very fun!

    Read More

  5. Chopsticks Music for Piano - Easy Duets and Solos!

    Chopsticks music is easy to play by rote - incorrectly! Sharpen up your students' abilities with duet & solo sheets showing chords & accurate melodies.

    Read More

  6. Storybook Love - "The Princess Bride" Movie Soundtrack Music

    Storybook Love - Mark Knopfler's "The Princess Bride" movie soundtrack music is one of the prettiest movie themes ever. Now in the key of Am/C as well as Bm/D!

    Read More

  7. Printable Piano Music What Do You Do With a Drunken or GRUMPY Sailor

    What Do You Do with a GRUMPY (or Drunken) Sailor, now with an EASY lead sheet! Free printable piano music that may be your student's favorite for a long time!

    Read More

  8. Raggle Taggle Gypsies

    The Raggle-Taggle Gypsies is an exciting song for your singers! Your piano players will like it too. It is an old song, with a catchy melody easy to learn.

    Read More

  9. Easy Piano Sheet Music Free for Kids The Snake Charmer with Chords

    Easy piano sheet music FREE, The Snake Charmer, now with an easier-to-read arrangement just for young, socially distant students! Mysterious-sounding & FUN.

    Read More

  10. Social Distance in the Life of a Music Teacher

    A journal of adapting day by day to social distance as a music teacher - how to easily teach piano, voice, guitar by phone or laptop?

    Read More

The Story of Esther - a Bible opera!

Queen Esther in the Bible

This beautiful song book for piano & voice "Esther, For Such a Time as This",  available as a digital downloadtells the riveting story of the attempted genocide of the Jews in ancient Persia, and the brave young queen who risked her life to change the king's mind and save her people.

A good choice for a singing story-teller, an operatic group, a short theatre production, or a class of Sunday School children!

This book is also available from Amazon as a paperback.


Just the Black Keys, a piano song book for young beginners.

Just the Black Keys

This book is available as a digital download  from this site.  Visit this page to see some free examples from the book.

It is also available from Amazon as a paperback!

This is the perfect easy start for little pianists.

And when they start reading white-key notes on the staff, this is a fun easy resource to say each week, "Choose a new black-key song at home this week and figure it out to show me next lesson!"  They will be spending more time at the piano.

The Adventures of Tonsta, Volume 1, is a book about a young boy travelling over mountains and fjords from village to village, encountering trolls and helping folk in distress.

The Adventures of Tonsta

A perfect read aloud storybook
for little boys or girls. 

The Adventures of Tonsta highlight the travels of a very young boy with a good heart, who goes about helping folk in trouble.  

With a red cap on his head and a sack of tools slung over his shoulder, Tonsta seems to meet people in distress wherever he goes.

Lots of trolls in this book - including one who gives him a Christmas gift!

Available at Amazon

Guitar Picker's Fakebook - melodies and chords

Matt:
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!!

FJH Progressive Guitar method book

Christine:
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!

Rise Up Singing music book

Comments

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?
Please note that all comments are moderated, and will not appear until I have approved them. Also, IF YOU ARE ASKING FOR MUSIC THAT IS NOT IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN, YOUR REQUEST WILL BE IGNORED. That's pretty much any music written in the last 75 years...

Sign up for "Take Note!" to see what's new every month.


About the Author

Dana Thynes

Hi, I'm Dana!  (Say that like "Anna".)  I'm the owner of Music-for-Music-Teachers.com, and a newer site, SingTheBibleStory.com.

Like some of you, I've been playing the piano since early childhood, and have added a few other instruments along the way, plus an interest in arranging and composing music.

You can find out more about me and the reason for this website at my About Me page.