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Easy Classical Guitar by Giuliani: "Opus 50 No.3" in Standard Notation and Guitar Tab With Audio

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Chasmac is a semi-retired guitar teacher who has taught in various schools in London and elsewhere for over 30 years.

"Opus 50 no.3" by Giuliani in guitar tab, standard notation and audio.

"Opus 50 no.3" by Giuliani in guitar tab, standard notation and audio.

"Opus 50 No.3"

"Opus 50 no.3" by the Italian guitar composer, Mauro Giuliani, is a relatively easy classical guitar piece popular among learners. It's a little more complex than the other pieces by Giuliani that I've posted but well worth that little extra effort required to play it.

In tab and notation, the score can be viewed in the video capsule (along with hearing the audio track). It can also be viewed below the video capsule.

When using the video, view it at full-screen size and at a high playback quality to ensure a clear display.

If you're reading the score below the video, it may be too small to see clearly, so view it in the gallery (click the 'see all photos' link that appears when you hover your cursor over the score image).

"Opus 50 no.3" by Giuliani


Study Notes for Giuliani's "Opus 50 no.3"

Giuliani's "Opus 50 no.3" is in four eight-bar sections, and the form of this piece is theme and variations.

What Makes This an Easy Classical Guitar Piece

  • All notes are played within the first position of the fretboard.
  • All notes are natural 'in-key notes
  • The rhythm is consistent within each section
  • The chord shapes are simple, and there are no awkward fingering issues for either hand.

What Makes This a Not Quite so Easy Classical Guitar Piece

The note durations get shorter in each successive section. The notes aren't any harder to play but have to be played increasingly quickly to fit in the time of each bar as follows:

  • Section 1 - The main theme is played in the first eight-bar section.
  • Section 2 - The theme is repeated but with half-beat fill-in notes played between the melody notes of the theme. This gives the effect of having speeded up. Count them as "1 & 2 & for each bar.
  • Section 3 - The theme is modified, and each bar is composed of triplets. Triplets are three notes played in the time normally taken by two notes of the same duration, so the impression is another increase in playing speed. They are shown in the notation with the number 3 above each triplet group. You can count triplets as "1 - trip - let - 2 trip - let" for each bar.
  • Section 4 - The theme is modified again so that each bar is now filled with eight sixteenth notes, so it's yet another increase in speed.
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Note* The piece sounds like it's going faster from section to section, but the tempo (the speed of the beat) remains the same throughout. It's all those extra fill-in notes that give the impression of increasing speed.

Classical Guitar Fingering

Classical Guitar Fingering


The fingering used in both hands is very straightforward but is shown in a couple of places in the notation. If you're not familiar with classical guitar fingering, here's how it works:

Fretting Hand

The fingers are numbered from 1 to 4 from your index finger. The thumb isn't numbered as it's not used in standard classical techniques. Generally speaking, the fingering plan followed is one finger per fret, but in many cases, it's more practical to use your 4th finger on fret 3 of the 1st and 2nd strings.

Picking Hand

In classical guitar, the convention is to use Spanish abbreviations: p, i, m, a for your thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers, respectively. Your thumb plays all notes on string 4 or lower - except for the last bar of the 3rd and 4th sections where the index finger plays the chord tone E on the 4th string. The upper notes are played with your i, m, and a fingers. It's usually obvious which fingers are the most practical and comfortable to use on the upper strings.

The chords and their chord tones used in Giuliani's opus 50 no.3


C major



G major (G7)

G B D (F)


D minor


Supertonic (pre-dominant)

Key and Chords

This is the part in the Easy Classical Guitar series of articles where, if you're interested, you can learn about how the piece is structured harmonically.

The key is C major, and the chords formed by the notes are C major, G major, G7, and D minor. There are no key changes or even any foreign notes, so from this aspect, it's easier than most of the other Giuliani pieces posted here on Spinditty under my easy classical guitar series.

The Functions

  • Tonic: This is the home chord and the chord that feels most stable and rested. That's why it's almost always the last chord in most Western music.
  • Dominant: As its name implies, this is a very important chord in any key. Its role is to lead directly to the tonic in a 'coming home' kind of move.
  • Supertonic: The function of this chord is to lead to the dominant.

Mauro Giuliani

Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829) was an Italian virtuoso guitarist, composer, and teacher. He was also a noted cellist. His many published works are very popular among classical guitarists and guitar students.

More Easy Classical Guitar Pieces

Here are some more easy classical guitar arrangements that are worth learning:

  • Study in C - This is by the famous Spanish guitar composer Fernando Sor.
  • Ye Banks and Braes - It's not strictly a classical guitar piece, but this traditional melody is arranged in classical style and sounds good on both nylon or steel strings.


The music is composed by Mauro Giuliani (1781-1829) and is in the Public Domain.

Cover image, text, score, and audio track are by chasmac.

© 2014 Chas Mac

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