Justin's Singing Lesson

I just watched Justin’s singing lesson and it’s helpful but I have a question that I can never really seem to get a answer too that I can understand.

I have read that sheet music is written and octave higher for guitar. Is this true? So let’s say I have sheet music to a pop song and a note is written as the open high E string. That is a E note. So am I singing that open E string or am I singing an octave lower which is the D string 2nd fret?

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"Guitar notation is typically written an octave higher than it sounds at concert pitch compared to the piano (and other standard instruments). This means that the guitar is a transposing instrument, because its notes sound one octave lower than they are actually notated on a score.

The reason for this practice is because if the guitar was written on sheet music as actually pitched, then the pitch of middle C would be written in the bass clef ! (Second space from the bottom to be precise.) And the bottom string E would be one ledger line below the entire bass clef."

shamelessly stolen from:
Following this logic:
That’s probably why staffs are labelled with the instrument name and indeed, it is actually an octave lower than what you read on the sheet music.


Appreciate the reply. One thiing I’m still not sure of though. Maybe im just dense! If the sheet music is showing a note that is the open high e string on guitar is that the note you sing or an octave lower? I don’t think it can be because some of the songs I see would be so low to sing they would not sound good.

Hi Tom,

Could you please post/link an example?

Cheers :slight_smile: