Style Notes

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.


The 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