I am going through this piece. Here i am not able to figure out what does the numbers above the notes mean. Annotated image

1 Answer 1


This is guitar fingering notation. Arabic numbers represent fretting hand fingers, from 1 (index) to 4 (pinky). 0 means open string. Letters is Spanish notation of plucking hand fingers: p - thumb, i - index, m - middle, a - ring.

  • I question why, (2nd bar) when playing the C with index (l.h.) anyone would need pinky for the D.
    – Tim
    Jul 7, 2023 at 10:15
  • 1
    @Tim I suppose it is because you have middle and ring finger on second fret the measure before, so playing the d (3rd fret) with your ring finger would require you change your hand posture, while playing it with the pinky allows you to remain in the hand posture.
    – Lazy
    Jul 7, 2023 at 12:01
  • I can see the rationale for using the 4th finger in bar 2 but in bar 3? Nope, that should be a 3. Jul 7, 2023 at 15:31
  • @JohnBelzaguy why "should"? Note this is a beginner piece and with the proposed fingering it can be played whole with the same hand position. Actually you could play this easy piece whole with any single finger of your choice. Using 3 in that place wouldn't be wrong, but I don't see benefit over 4. Jul 7, 2023 at 20:46
  • @user1079505 Maybe should is not the right word but I do believe that it is better to use a 3 because the 4 makes one scrunch 4 fingers into the span of 3 frets and it is not logical to do that in that particular spot. The previous note is C, first fret first finger with nothing else but an open A. Jul 7, 2023 at 21:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.