The “Relaxing with Ragtime” songbook collection
celebrates an important era of American music that dates back more than a century. These solo guitar arrangements recall the syncopated piano style of America’s first truly “popular” music.

Arranged for solo guitar by Ted Hallas

Each songbook of ragtime music features ten compositions that have been arranged for solo fingerstyle guitar. The original piano compositions were published between 1906 and 1913.

The rhythmic style of ragtime piano has been adapted for the guitar by using alternating bass lines characteristic of pattern picking or Travis picking. These guitar arrangements are meant to be played at a slower tempo than the fast pace of ragtime piano. The result is a relaxed guitar style that is fun to play.


"Relaxing with Ragtime Songbook, Vol. 1" is available for sale at Sheet Music Plus.
32 pages. Item Number: S0.197623
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"Relaxing with Ragtime Songbook, Vol. 2" is available for sale at Sheet Music Plus.
30 pages. Item Number: SO.669141
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Sample pages (left click to view)

Demonstration videos (YouTube links)

The demo videos, as a learning tool, present the song sections. The song form (i.e. A-A-B-B-A) and section endings are included in the sheet music.
Coming Soon: demo YouTube videos for Volume 2 Songbook


Style Notes

These arrangements include standard notation, guitar tablature, left-hand fingering, chord symbols, tempo in beats per minute and the song’s form.

The songs are arranged to improve the “playability” for the intermediate-level guitarist:

  • The original piano compositions have been transposed to common guitar keys such as A, C and G to accommodate the use of open strings
  • All arrangements are written in 4/4 time, instead of 2/4 time
  • The four-section structure of traditional rags with a key change has been altered in most arrangements. Some sections have been omitted completely and others have been transposed to the main key signature of the song. Several connecting measures have been rewritten to accommodate these changes.
  • Chord symbols have been added as reference points and as an aid to memorization