Here you will find music symbols, signs and notation found in the Trinity grade books.
Use ctrl-f to find what you’re looking for.

D.S al Coda

D.S al Coda (Dal Segno al Coda – go to the sign and then the Coda) – D.S means go to the sign. When you get this instruction, you must find this symbol in the music and start playing from there:

After the sign, look out for this:

to Coda

When you come to the to Coda instruction, skip everything and go to the Coda, which is usually found at the end of the piece of music:


Dotted Notes

If you see a dot directly after the note, you must add half of the duration of the original note.

Whole notes (semibreves) are equal to 4 quarter notes. A dotted whole note are equal to 6 quarter notes:

Half notes (minims) are equal to two quarter notes. Dotted half notes are equal to 3 quarter notes.

Quarter notes (crotchets) are equal to two eighth notes (quavers). Dotted quarter notes are equal to 3 eighth notes.

Dynamic Markings

fff  – fortississimo (very very loud)
ff   – fortissimo (very loud)
   – forte (loud)
             mf – mezzo-forte (moderately loud – {Normal})
mp – mezzo-piano (moderately quiet)
p     – piano (quiet)
pp   – pianissimo (very quiet)
ppp – pianississimo (very very quiet)


The fermata, usually found at the end of a piece, instructs you to hold on to the chord or note you are playing and let it fade out naturally.

Slur (Legato)

Notes are played smoothly and connected. No silent gaps between the notes. Hammer-ons and pull-offs help with this.

Repeat Signs

Music in between these signs is to be played again. If the left sign is not present, go to the very beginning of the piece of music.
Some repeat sections require you to play multiple times – look for the number of times at the end of the section.


Notes are played shorter than written, so a silent gap occurs after the note.


An accented note is to be played with a stronger pick attack to give it more emphasis.


In this example, we have two whole notes. Each whole note is worth 4 beats. Play the first note only, but make it last as long as the two notes. The result should be one single note that is 8 beats long.

(The notes must be the same – you cannot tie two different notes.)

Time Signatures

Time signatures (the two numbers at the beginning of a piece of music) tell you how many notes are in a measure (top number), and what type of note it is (bottom number):

4 quarter notes

3 quarter notes

12 eighth notes

Treble Clef

A clef tells you which notes are going to be used on the staff.
The notes on the guitar are mainly treble clef notes, so we use the Treble Clef:

Volta Brackets

Some repeat sections have different last bars. They are labelled 1 & 2 (sometimes more). The first time you play the section, the last bar will be the one labelled 1. When you repeat the section, the last bar will be the one labelled 2.


If you find any, let me know and I’ll correct them.