Online Sheet Music?


Ever wondered if you can get sheet music online for free? Well you can LEGALLY find partial music content, public domain sheet music, online instrumental lessons and guitar TABs.

Obviously, musicians earn their living from their music. We want to support that without breaking copyright rules. And we all know the internet has blurred some of these boundaries. For me, the internet is a great place to sample what music’s out there and if I like it, I go out and pay for it. That way I get better audio quality, a CD booklet with it’s information and art, and sheet music that is more accurate. But remember, it’s not against the law to play someone else’s music. It is only against the law to make a profit from their music or obtain their music illegally (this usually means without paying).

So with that out of the way, there are some good music sites with some good information. It is not illegal to post partial pieces of music, as long as it’s not considered “substantial”. With a little musical talent you can fill in the blanks and perform the music just like (or better) than the original artist. Here’s a list of sheet music, music lesson and guitar TAB sites I found on my travels…

  • 8notes.com – pick your style, artist and song. Go to “riff lesson” and you will see the song’s riffs with music notes, audio examples and written explanations. There are also guitar and piano chords down the bottom of each page that you can even transpose! A great way to start jamming out some tunes!
  • Free Piano Music – mostly classical. All music here is public domain (that means no copyright). The best thing here is you can view the sheet music (PDF) and then listen to the audio (MIDI) to hear how it sounds! Awesome!
  • Guitarnoise.com Lessons – click one of the light blue buttons. Each lesson has heaps of explanations, music notes and plenty of audio examples (podcasts). He’s not the best guitarist but he’s not bad. Best of all, these lessons are free!
  • MXTabs.net – unfortunately there’s lots of advertising! But you can choose from guitar, bass and drum TABs! You can also see user comments to help you decide if it’s a good TAB or not.
  • Ultimateguitar.com – enter your song or artist details straight into the search box. Nice, clean site. I love the “Auto Scroll” function, you can play your guitar infront of the computer and the screen will gradually scroll down so you can keep on playing! Cool!

How to Read Guitar TAB by John Heussenstamm

Once again, if you find any good sheet music, online lessons or guitar TAB sites please post a comment.

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6 Responses to “Online Sheet Music?”

  1. George Urbaszek Says:

    Thanks for providing this resource. Although it might appear small, the resource becomes HUGE after following the links you provided … and beyond.

    Another related resource is beginner bass lessons online providing a complete step-by-step course of over 100 bass guitar lessons.

  2. Andrew Says:

    Thanks for the sites!

  3. Celia Richards Says:

    Hello Mr Clare

    My name is Celia Richards and I am the owner of the top image that you have used in this post.

    I am glad that you liked my work, however I am an emerging artist and the image used is released with a Creative Commons license, which means the work is allowed to be distributed as long as credit is given.

    Could you please either remove the image, or place a prominent link to my website giving me credit for the work? Thank you.

    Kind Regards

    – Celia

  4. Devon Curbow Says:

    This is a very cool article, I could not have agreed more.

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