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Easy Classical Guitar—"Opus 50 no.4" by Giuliani in Guitar Tab, Standard Notation, and 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.

Giuliani - Classical Guitar study opus 50 no. 4 in guitar tab, standard notation and audio

Giuliani - Classical Guitar study opus 50 no. 4 in guitar tab, standard notation and audio

Another easy classical guitar piece by the 19th-century guitar virtuoso Mauro Giuliani for you to try from the growing collection of classical and fingerstyle guitar arrangements that I've posted online. As usual, you can read the guitar tablature or standard notation while listening to a software-generated version of the music in the video capsule. View it in full-screen mode (1080HD quality if possible) to avoid an unclear display.

You can also read the identical version below the video. That's the version you need for learning how to play this piece as it's static on the page (unlike the video, which changes line by line in time with the music).

Playing Tips for Learners

This is a simple enough piece. The only challenge (for some) is in the constant bass arpeggio (played with your thumb) that continues throughout the whole piece. If you've already got skill in that technique from playing similar classical pieces or fingerstyle accompaniments then you're good to go. If not, just spend a little time playing the bass arpeggios without the melody notes. Train your thumb to keep an independent and constant flowing rhythm until you reach a point where you can bring in melody notes without them them interrupting the bass arpeggio's flow.

There are no repeats: it's just a straight-through piece based on a very simple melody over three arpeggiated chords.

Classical guitar finger labels

Classical guitar finger labels


See the chart opposite if you're unfamiliar with classical guitar finger labels.

The bass arpeggio is played with your thumb (p) throughout and I've included a suggested picking-hand fingering just at the start to let you see a typical pattern that avoids using the same finger twice in succession on the melody notes. Try to emphasise the melody so that it will be heard clearly above the arpeggios going on underneath.

I've included the suggested fretting-hand fingering (numbers) in a few places, but choose your own fingering if you find a way that suits your hand better.

Scale DegreeChordsChord Tones

I - Tonic

G major


IV - Subdominant

C major


V (V7) - Dominant

D major (D7)

D F# A (C)

Key and Chords

The key is G major throughout, and there are only three chords, which are G major, C major and D major (sometimes changed to D7). As their roots correspond with the 1st, 4th and 5th notes of the G major scale, these are known as the primary chords in the key of G major. The primary chords of any key, whether major or minor, are built on the same 1st, 4th and 5th scale degrees - often seen written in Roman numerals as I, IV and V in major keys and i, iv & V in minor keys. (Lowercase is used when the chords are minor or diminished as would be the case if the key was G minor instead of G major).

G major is the TONIC or 'home' chord, D major (or D7) is the DOMINANT chord that leads home to the tonic chord G major, especially the D7 that appears as the second last chord leading strongly to the final tonic chord, G major. The chord, C major (called the SUBDOMINANT) doesn't have an important role compared to the other two in this piece but provides a nice but brief tonal contrast wherever it appears.

If you need help identifying the chords played in the arpeggio, just look at the bass note. If G is the lowest note, it's a G major chord in root position. Sometimes it occurs in first inversion, that is, with B in the bass. The D and D7 chords are mostly in first inversion with F# in the bass. So wherever you see F#, that's D major (or D7 if it contains the note C). C major is the least used chord and is always in root position in this piece, meaning the bass note is C.

Mauro Giuliani

The Italian guitar virtuoso and composer Mauro Giuliani (1781 – 1829) is an important name in the world of classical guitar music. In addition to performing and composing, he also had guitar students and wrote a lot of guitar studies and assorted simple pieces like this one with his students in mind. That's why they're still as popular among classical guitar students today. You can read more about the life and musical output of Mauro Giuliani on Wikipedia.


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

The score, audio track and images are by chasmac.

© 2014 Chas Mac