There are many ways to notate music on the guitar. You can use sheet music easy to understand when you have learned to read sheet music. To learn to read sheet music on the guitar is however not so easy for many students.

What different ways are there to notate guitar melodies?

1. You can use guitar sheet music. The advantage is that it is universal, meaning that other instrumentalists will understand the notation.

2. You can use guitar tablature. A tablature staff consists of six lines representing the six strings on a guitar. Number on the lines indicate what fret to press down. Guitar tablature is very common on the net and is a widely used.

3. Use another system.

4. Describe with words how to play the melody on the guitar.

In this article I will use an easy system that doesn’t need a staff and I will also describe how to play the melody on the guitar with words. We will learn to play the melody Happy Birthday To You.

How to read the guitar notation

The first number tells you what fret to press down. The second number what string to play on. An example:

1/2

This means, press down the first fret on the second string.

Let’s play Happy Birthday To You. We can divide the song into four parts:

1. Start by playing the open third string twice. When you play a string without pressing down a fret is called to play an open string. Then you press down the second fret on the third string and the open third string. Play the first fret of the second string and the open second string. It will look like this:

0/3 0/3 2/3 0/3 1/2 0/2

2. Play the open third string twice. Play the second fret on the third string and the open third string. Play the third fret of the second string and the first fret on the second string. It will look like this:

0/3 0/3 2/3 0/3 3/2 1/2

3. Play the open third string twice. The third fret on the first string and the open first string. The first fret string two and open second string. Second fret on the third string. It will look like this:

0/3 0/3 3/1 0/1 1/2 0/2 2/3

4. We finish the song by playing the first fret first string twice. Open first string and first fret second string. Third fret second string and first fret second string.

1/1 1/1 0/1 1/2 3/2 1/2

Learning to play the song Happy Birthday To You on guitar is a good investment. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, “Happy Birthday to You” is among the top three most popular songs in the English language.