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The Piano Tab Method

Technique Exercises for People Who Can and Can't Read Music

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Whenever I see a great musician they look so comfortable playing their instrument. The reason why is they possess great technique and control. There are so many advantages in having proper technique which are speed, accuracy, dexterity, endurance and strength. This book is written to help you develop these attributes.

What is different about this book and other technique books? My purpose in writing this book was to help people who can AND can’t read music play basic to advanced fundamental piano technique exercises. What I came up with was something that parallels guitar tablature. You can follow the piano staves or use my piano tab to learn the notes and fingering. I don’t think it is necessary to have the ability to read music but I always thought of it as a great advantage when you want to learn on your own so you may want to develop your reading as you continue with your studies.

One of the most important things when learning technique is proper fingering. Please follow these guidelines very slowly and accurately. In time you will memorize the fingering and the book will no longer be needed. Always start slow and do not do too much at once. These exercises could take years to digest so don’t think you have to master every exercise in one sitting.

What is included in the book

Individual Notes

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This is a one octave C minor scale ascending. The top row contains the letter names. The middle row has the right hand fingering and the bottom row has the left hand fingering.

The circles indicate a change of position. If we look at the right hand we first play a C with the first finger, we then play a D with the 2nd finger then E with the 3rd finger. We then move our 1st finger or thumb to F which starts our new position.

Chord Tables

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Chord tables are looked at from the bottom to top. The left hand is in the left column, the corresponding note is in the middle column and the right column is the right hand.

In this example the left hand plays a C with the 5th finger, E-3rd finger and G-1st finger. The right hand mirrors the left and plays a C-1st finger, E-3rd finger and G-5th finger. These notes are all played together in both hands to make the chord.


There are many examples that are written in two octaves. Once you get familiar with the two octaves you may want to take your technique to the next level by playing four octaves. You do this by repeating the shaded areas two times or three times total.

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