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Guitar Chords in Standard Notation

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Active Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 3
Topic starter  

ok,so I just began learning guitar, and with my guitar that I bought came a beginner's guide, and I'm just beginning to learn chords.
My question is how do you read/play chords within standard notation, I know how to read music in standard notation (I've been in the school band playing tuba and baritone and trumpet for the past 6 years, but those instruments can't solo chords) I just don't know how to read and play the chords in standard notation... an example of what I'm seeing is:

____G7__________________ :note1: _____
________________ :note2: _____________
____ :note2: _________________________
__________________ :note2: ___________
_____________ :note2: ________________

An answer to my problem would be deeply appreciated, thanks.

Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5342

What you'll see is the notes you need to play lined up vertically, and standard notation gives you all the timing and duration info you need too.

A :-)

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Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 4921

As Alan said, chords are written on the same stem - one note for each string.

In the example you posted, there's a chord symbol - G7. That's there for a rhythm guitarist to comp over your playing. There's a strong relationship between the melody of a tune and the harmony, so much of the time your notes will be part of the chord.

In a G7 chord you have four notes: G, B, D, and F. If you were strumming an open G7 chord, you'd be playing six notes - you'd have two G notes and two B notes (that's called 'doubling' in harmony, and it doesn't change the chord name). Your melody notes appear to be B, then F (or maybe E*), followed by D, G, and then F. In tab, it would work out this way:


So you'd be playing an arpeggiated G7. If the second note in your example is really E, you'd play it at the fourth string 2nd fret, and it would be a 'non harmonic tone' - a melody note that isn't part of the chord. Sometimes the melody part will have those notes.

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Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1305

This link to free sheet music for guitar has several examples of how chords are written in standard notation.

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Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2415

It's also really kind of hard to see where your notes are falling with the "notes" on the lines there, but yeah, what everyone else said as well.

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