I realized that when changing the tuning in a tab, the score remains the same.

Here's a example, when I tune 1 step down. The first chord is F, but the score is still telling me it is a G chord:

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Why is it this way? and how can I change the score to tell me the actual notes?


Your guitar is now a Bb guitar = tuned down a major second. The E strings are tuned in D and also all others are a whole tone lower.

The notation is like you would read it if the instrument would be tuned in C. The instrument is transposing these chords from G down to F.

This is quite the same like the music written for all Bb-instruments like trumpet, cornet, clarinet, tenor-saxophone, baritone. All these instruments read normally sheet music notated in C and sounding in Bb. That‘s why they are called transposing instruments.


Deleted the misleading comparison of E-tuning to D-tuning.

  • Interesting calling it a Bb guitar. True enough. Most guitarists probably won't see it like that though!
    – Tim
    Oct 13 '19 at 2:40
  • Always found so confusing how transposing instruments work.. This is also a little annoying for me, because I want to see the actual notes, but I guess it's better this way, because if we try to adapt the score to the tuning then we would have to read in different keys and clefs all this would add an extra difficulty Oct 14 '19 at 1:03

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