There are two famous versions of “Ave Maria” — one by Bach and Gounod and one by Schubert. Playing the Schubert piece on guitar will give you a chance to see how a dominant seventh chord arpeggio goes well with major and minor arpeggios. Schubert’s piece is made up of mostly major and minor chords, but when the dominant seventh chord arpeggios come in, they almost announce themselves. They hint that the music is going to change, or at least provide something unexpected and interesting.

In the guitar tablature for Schubert’s “Ave Maria,” notice the different arpeggio patterns used — eight different ones in all, including dominant seventh patterns #1, #2, #4, and #5. Almost all the major and minor arpeggios can be played out of chord forms. If you recognize which forms those are (your hand will naturally create them if you simply hold down your 1st finger as a barre), you’re welcome to employ them. Holding down a chord form, or even part of one, helps sustain the notes, which is a desired effect in this piece.

You can use the standard arpeggio patterns to play "Ave Maria", but you can often find alternate ways to play the arpeggios. For example, in bar 7, try fingering the first four notes with the 3rd, 4th, 1st, and 4th fingers, respectively. You just have to move the 4th finger from the 4th string to the 2nd in time to play that fourth note. In bars 8 and 9, you can play both measures comfortably by barring first the 4th fret and then the 5th with your 1st finger. See how many more barring or efficient fingering moves you can find.

Schubert's "Ave Maria"

Click here to download and print this guitar tab.