Do you have to read the notation differently?

  • You should edit your question to clarify sheet music vs. tabs, at least. Jul 13 '18 at 12:18

Obviously the notation says what notes are to be played. That's what you play. On any guitar tuned any way. What can't happen is that you assume the guitar is in standard tuning, and play where the notes would have been found. Because they won't be there!

For example, if the guitar is tuned down by a tone for each string, then all the written notes would have to be fretted two frets higher than normal. If it's completely different, each note will be found on a different fret/string compared to standard tuning.

It certainly wouldn't be read differently - the notes won't alter, but it'll be fingered differently.

  • I should have asked it like "do you have to play it differently depending on how the guitar is tuned" to which the answer appears to be yes. Jul 13 '18 at 7:28
  • It gets played so it sounds the same. The difference will be where on the guitar it actually gets played. Which might make a difference to tones, pedal bass notes (which may originally have been for open strings), etc. And - some things may be easier to play, some harder. If it's tab, it'll be played exactly as writ., but tuning will be displayed at the beginning.
    – Tim
    Jul 13 '18 at 7:36
  • The only caveat I would suggest is if the sheet music was written for classical guitar it may have fingering, fret, and string, markings which need to be ignored. The beauty of SMN is that it expresses the same information regardless of the instrument or tuning.
    – user50691
    Jul 20 '18 at 0:03

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