Piano Tab:
A Good Way To Get Started

Piano tab is a way for a person who does not yet read music to learn tunes. "Tab", short for tablature, works very well for guitar, as an easy substitution for music notation. But for piano music, it really only works well for simple tunes, as piano music tends to become much more complex, making piano tab more pain than it is worth. The most logical move for the piano player is to learn how to read music.

This website is devoted to helping a piano player build a true foundation of basic piano skills, and so I use my own very basic tab to help the non-music-reader learn a bunch of songs right at the beginning, as an extremely important step in the learning process. By learning these tunes, using piano tab, the beginning pianist develops knowledge of the layout of the keys (I call it "keyboard geography"), a solid confidence in piano fingerings, and the ability to memorize melody on the keys.

The difference between the tab that you find here and the tab that you find with most pop tab websites is that this is just single-layered tab. Use it just to learn to play the melodies with each hand. The multi-layered tab used for learning actual piano transcriptions of pop tunes (or any other piano music) is so complex and esoteric, it would be much to the pianist's benefit to just go ahead and start learning to read music notation. The piano player could just as easily learn all the chords and notation and rhythm as take time to decipher the stacks of letters and dashes, as well as the sharps and flats.

So, my simpler system for tablature includes just the note names, the fingers for right hand (above the letters), the left hand (below the letters), and the lyrics. Your knowledge of the tune and the words will guide you to playing the songs with the correct rhythm.

So, learn as many of these tunes as you can, using the tab. But in the meantime, start your journey towards music reading and the development of all the other basic piano skills, and you will enjoy expanding your piano abilities tremendously.

For a more complete understanding of how to build your piano-playing foundation,  read

"Piano Player... You".

For the most direct, organized, and progressive path to learning to play the piano, start

the Piano Skills Foundation series of piano lessons.

Piano Tab:
The 17 Tunes

Lesson 3: Mary Had A Little Lamb in C, F, & G

Lesson 4: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star in C, F, & G

Lesson 5: When The Saints Go Marching In in C,F, & G

Lesson 6: You Are My Sunshine in C,F, & G

Lesson 7: Down In The Valley in C,F, & G

Lesson 8: Frere Jacques in C,F, & G

Lesson 9: Alouette in C,F, & G

Lesson 10: Yankee Doodle in C,F, & G

Lesson 11: The Water Is Wide in C,F, & G

Lesson 12: Brahms Lullaby in C,F, & G

Lesson 13: Home On The Range in C,F, & G

Lesson 14: Danny Boy in C,F, & G

Lesson 15: Amazing Grace in C,F, & G

Lesson 16: Simple Gifts in C,F, & G

Lesson 17: America the Beautiful in C,F, & G

Lesson 18: The Star Spangled Banner in C,F, & G

Lesson 19: Greensleeves in A-minor, D-minor, & E-minor

-click here for more about tab-

Serious about playing the piano?

Read Piano Player... You

A guide to building a solid and complete piano-playing foundation.

-Click here to learn more about this e-book-

return from Piano Tab to "Free Piano Lessons"

Looking for some piano music?

I have found Sheet Music Plus to be a fantastic resource for piano books & other materials.  And they have instant digital downloads for thousands of individual pieces.

Need A Metronome?

Here's the metronome I prefer to use for practicing the piano:

Seiko Sq50-V Quartz Metronome

(Clicking on the picture will take you to the "Musician's Friend" website. A new window will open.)

3 Ways To Support This Website

If you enjoy using true-piano-lessons.com and would like to help support it:

1. Buy the ebook, "Piano Player... You"

2. Purchase "Piano Skills Foundation"