Indicate "don't let ring" in guitar tab

• Sep 27, 2020 - 10:30

In fingerstyle guitar playing it is most common to let notes ring beyond their scored duration, particularly for bass notes, (which could ring through more than a single bar.) I am working on an arrangement where this type of sustain should be avoided.

Is there any visual way to remind the player to release a note? A rest would often be usable but in this case there are notes continuing in the same voice.



Fingerpicking this pattern would normally let the initial bass F ring beyond its scored duration, (for 2 or 3 beats.) This sustain would be incorrect in this piece and the note duration should be stopped after its actual scored duration.


Not that I know of. Doesn't the stems/beams indicate it? But if it's really necessary to visualize it more, I would add the rest in another voice or explain it in a staff text.

In reply to by kuwitt

Maybe an explanation is best, perhaps with some sort of symbol. I just thought that there might be something standard but I guess that it only applies to instruments that naturally sustain.

The stems/beams don't really indicate this because notes are often left to ring in fingerstyle guitar. That bass note would normally be left to ring for 2 or 3 beats rather than the indicated quaver. Introducing another voice can overcomplicate tab and is unexpected by readers.

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