Japanese Guitar Sheet Music Finger Abbreviations


I recently bought a back issue of a Japanese guitar magazine (since it has a lovely solo guitar version of 薔薇は美しい散る, the opening to The Rose of Versailles in it.

The sheet music is standard sheet music, but (with my limited kanji knowledge – must improve!) I was confused by some of the characters I saw printed under the bars of the sheet music. I’ve looked them up, and they indicate what finger to use for fretting with your left hand.

For reference, in case others are attempting to decipher these:

人 – Short for 人差し指 (hitosashiyubi, index finger, 1)
中 – Short for 中指 (nakayubi, middle finger, 2)
薬 – Short for 薬指 (kusuriyubi, ring finger, 3)
小 – Short for 小指 (koyubi, pinky finger, 4)

Right hand notation seems to be the same as it is in Western music – p, i, m, a, and the strumming up and down notations.

Categories Japanese, Guitar


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