Magazine article Guitar Player

Notational Symbols: How to Decode Written Music in Guitar Player

Magazine article Guitar Player

Notational Symbols: How to Decode Written Music in Guitar Player

Article excerpt

The following symbols are used in Guitar Player lessons and transcriptions to notate fingerings and techniques commonly used in guitar music. Certain symbols are found only in the tablature or the standard notation. For clarity, always consult both systems.

* Fretting-hand fingering Is designated by small Arabic numerals near note heads: 1 = 1st finger, 2 = 2nd finger, 3 = 3rd finger, 4 = 4th finger, and Th = thumb.

** Plucking-hand fingering is designated by letters: p = thumb, i = index finger, m = middle finger, a = ring finger, and c = pinky or little finger.

*** Pick downstroke.

V Pick upstroke.

Bend: Play the first note and bend to the pitch notated in parentheses. The equivalent fret position is shown in parentheses in the tablature staff.

Release: Release bent or pre-bent note to indicated pitch and fret position.

B = bend, R = release, and pre-B = pre-bend. B 1/4 = quarter-step bent note with no parenthetical note or fret destination.

Alternative bend/release notation: Play the first note, bend as indicated by arrow, and then release back to original pitch. [This method of bend notation may appear In some GP song and riff transcriptions.]

Hammer-on: From lower to higher note[s]. Individual notes may also be hammered.

Pull-off: From higher to lower note[s].

Slide: Play first note and slide up or down to the next pitch. If the notes are tied, pick only the first. If no tie is present, pick both.

A slide symbol before or after a single note indicates a slide to or from an undetermined pitch. …

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