I am learning Guitar on my own so far I have learnt everything basic.

Song I want to play was Pusher - Clear ft. Mothica

I searched for acoustic guitar chords everywhere but only thing that came up from numerous search results was this Piano cover .But how do I convert that for my guitar playing ?

Edit :- He has uploaded the piano chart for the songs on this Google Drive link.

3 Answers 3


My main instrument is guitar. I have found that many popular songs that were written on piano (or keyboard) where the keyboard arrangement is the backbone of the recording - the guitar charts (guitar chords or tab) available online - often do not sound correct at all.

As a composer and songwriter myself (who can't sight read standard music notation) I create almost all of my music using a guitar. I can play enough keyboard to understand that the instrument lends itself to creating arrangements that sound very different than what the guitar leads a composer to produce. For more detail on why this is true check out the answers to This Question on Stake Exchange Music.

When I want to learn to play a piano based song on guitar and there are no decent guitar tabs or guitar chord charts available online, I create my own arrangement. Below I will describe the process I use.

If piano sheet music or standard notation music is available for the song, I start with the key signature. Many piano based songs are written in keys that are not commonly used in guitar playing (because they contain few open chords or chords that are more difficult to play) so I might have to transpose everything to a guitar friendly key for the chord set and then use a capo if I want to play in the same key the piano music is written in. The key signature will narrow things down to one minor and one major key. Other clues will allow me to determine if it's major or minor. This Link will describe how to use the Key Signature together with other elements in the sheet music to determine if the key is major or minor. Once I know the key the sheet music was written in - I can transpose all the notes into my guitar friendly key so I can have a set of notes to work from. Most of the time, any chords used in a song will be comprised of the notes used in the song.

Once I have a key, I know what chords I have to work with that are common to that key. A good guess for the first chord would be the I chord (one chord) which is the chord that corresponds to the key. If that chord does not sound correct, I will try others. The notes in the melody or in the bass line, are usually good clues as to which chord is played over that section of the song. Even if you can't immediately identify what chords are being played in the recording, you can tell when the chord changes occur and make a note of it. It's mostly a trial and error process for me, trying different chords to see what sounds correct.

If I have transposed to a guitar friendly key, and I am listening to the original recording as a guide, I will use a capo to put my guitar friendly chord set in the key I am listening to so I can play along with the recording. I have found that it's often more obscure less common (diminished, suspended, augmented, etc) chords that best replicate what I am hearing the keyboard play on the recording.

If the song has lyrics, I will print (or create a word document on my computer) the lyrics in a format that matches the various measures found in the sheet music or recording. Then I can make a mark wherever a chord change occurs and as I discover the correct chord, write it above the corresponding words in the lyric sheet.

It's a process, there is no shortcut - but one does not have to be able to become proficient with standard music notation or develop the ability to sight read and play from sheet music to do it. Below I have pasted examples of some tools I use as a "cheat sheet" while working it out.

Below is a Key Chord Chart for major keys. You can find similar charts online for minor and other keys as well. This chart shows the most common chords used in an arrangement written in a major key and will help identify which chords are used in the piano based arrangement. It will also help when you transpose those chords to a guitar friendly key when needed and makes it clear which keys are not guitar friendly.

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This next chart will make it easier to find a capo/guitar friendly chord set combination that will match the key the piano based sheet music is in if not in a guitar friendly key.

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This chart (below) is an example of a transposition chart that can be used to quickly transpose notes (and chords) from the original to a guitar friendly key.

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Finally, this Chart from TrueFire.com is an example of a chord chart that (in addition to the common chords) shows how to play some of the less common chord types (suspended, augmented, diminished) that you may need in order to match a guitar chord to one used in a piano based arrangement.

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  • Worth pointing out, on the final chart, that strings with no 'O' or filled in 'O' are not generally played. Usually, these are notified with 'X'. 'The key sig. can tell me if it's major or minor'? Interesting! But surely by listening, it's a better clue?!
    – Tim
    May 12, 2020 at 7:03
  • @Tim Good to clarify the fact that the chart from TrueFire.com does not use the X but instead simply omits the O. I included the chart as an example of the type chord chart one might use to find some additional potential chords to use to match what is played on piano. There are probably other similar charts available. But this one is fine as long as one is mindful of what you mentioned (no O above open strings = X meaning not played). As to your other comment, I will edit my answer to clarify the major v minor in the key signature. Thanks as always. May 12, 2020 at 19:04

To transcribe piano sheets such as this you'll have to learn to read music. The bass clef will basically reveal the chords that are played - although the sheet shown is very basic.

Or, you could do what most of us did in the '60s - learn to listen to the track, and recognise which chords are being used. It takes a lot of practice, but it means eventually you won't have to rely on stuff on the 'net - some of which is unreliable in any case.

By knowing which chords are likely to feature in a key, having established what that key is, it's not too difficult to come up with a chord chart for a lot of songs.


If you really want to do this you will need to become familiar not only with sight reading on guitar but also the grand staff. You will need to become familiar with arranging and orchestration, perhaps some music theory. I arrange piano music for classical guitar all the time. At the very least you need to be able to convert the music on the bass clef to the treble clef so it can be read by a guitarist and played, or at least attempted.

The piano has a lot more range than a guitar so you will find that once you convert the bass to treble clef some notes may overlap, or bass lines may pop above the mid range. You will need to be capable of making some decisions about what's important, what parts can be eliminated or altered to make it playable for a guitarist. Keep in mind that in theory the piano player could conceivably play 10 notes simultaneously across 8 octaves and this is just not possible for a guitar.

If you are looking to make some modern pop tunes playable all you really need is to identify the chords being played and then pick an appropriate version of that on the guitar. You will lose the harmony and voicing intended by the composer or whoever arranged it for piano but that isn't really important. If you are trying to arrange a piano concerto or other piece intended for piano on the guitar you will need to find a way to respect the musical content of the piece since you want to preserve the main features of the music. This is not an easy task.


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