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Learning How to Play Music

Updated: Jul 6, 2021

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This training guide will lead you through the ins and outs of learning the Guild Wars 2 instruments. As well as provide you with tools to help you grow from beginner to pro! This guide was brought to you by Lunar Melodies [Song] and was intended for players wanting to play by hand, manually. If you wish to learn more about [Song] please use visit for more information. Thank you!

Table of Contents:

Rules of the Music Community

The Basics

  • Knowing Your Instruments

    • How To Obtain

    • Instrument Descriptions

  • Introduction To Music

    • Musical Terms and What they Mean

    • How to Keep Tempo

    • How to Read Notes

  • How to Read Notation Optimized for Guild Wars 2

  • Finger Placement

  • Intro to Chords

    • Playable Chords in Guild Wars 2

Rules of the Community

We can’t teach you music without first teaching you proper etiquette on how to carry yourself as an individual playing music within the world of Guild Wars 2.

  1. Be Yourself.

  2. Don’t play over others that are playing. Ask first before joining in.

  3. Respect music in all its forms. Including Macros.

  4. Do NOT beg for tips. They are appreciated, not solicited. It is up to the person(s) listening if they want to donate/ tip.

The Basics: Knowing Your Instruments

The first thing you'll need to know is what instruments there are available to you. For Guild Wars 2 instruments, we have up to four octaves available on certain instruments while others only have one or two. Here's a breakdown of the instruments you can get in order of what's obtainable with gold, gems, and legendaries. The links are provided to each wiki page as well as explain what each instrument can do with a separate table.

The best starting instrument would be Magnanimous Choir Bell as it’s not only bought with a handful of coins from the Trading Post but offers the same versatility of the Musical Harp with one less octave. If you want to purchase an ‘upgrade’ so to speak the next best option would be Musical Harp or Musical Lute. Although Lute has a softer sound compared to Harp.

List of Instruments available

Unbreakable Choir Bell - C major - three octaves - bought with gold

Magnanimous Choir Bell - C major - two octaves - chord capable - bought with gold

Musical Harp - C major - three octaves - chord capable - 800 gems

Musical Lute - C major - three octaves + preset chord octave - chord capable - 800 gems

Musical Bass Guitar - C major - two octaves + preset octave - 800 gems

Flute - E major - two octaves - 800 gems

Musical Frame Drum - one octave + looping octave - 800 gems

Mariner's Horn - E major - three octaves - 800 gems

The Minstrel Harp - C major - three octaves - chord capable - legendary

Musical Verdarach - C major - three octaves - legendary

The Basics: Introduction to Music

Are you unfamiliar with music theory? Fear not as this section will teach you all there is to know about music and creating a foundation of knowledge needed to grow.

Musical Terms and What they Mean

Here is an overview of musical terms that does not limit itself to Guild Wars 2 and that is the fundamentals of music as a whole.

How To Read Notes

This section will demonstrate each note playable for Guild Wars 2 instruments. There are no flats or sharps on the instruments in C major. Think: white keys on a piano. However there are sharps present with the instruments in E Major. There are two key signatures for Guild wars 2. One being C major and the other being E Major. For GW2 the keyboard hotkey 1 and 8 are the same note as we have a full octave (1-7) + one (8).

How to Keep in Time

Timing is everything but sometimes it can be challenging when you start out to keep a consistent pace. When playing a song it’s okay to go slower to accommodate for your ability. The more you practice the better you will be and the faster you can play.

Let’s start with some audio to get you familiar with understanding how to keep tempo. Using a metronome is the easiest way of keeping time. You can even search google for a free widget where you can set the BPM yourself. Typically 80-120 bpm is standard for most songs.

Most music is set to four beats a measure. So you’re repeatedly counting: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4, along with the beat of the metronome. Some people tap their foot along with the beat to keep tempo although others are not so coordinated a metronome helps staying true to the tempo.

The Basics: How to Read Notation

This is optimized for songs tailored to Guild Wars 2. There are many ways of writing tabs and each individual may have their own style but this table will outline Lunar Melodies [Song]’s notation with examples.

The Basics: Finger Placement

There are a few different ways to go about finger placement, as well as where to play on your keyboard. This section will demonstrate various styles you can try to develop your own way of playing the instruments. These are just a couple of options to start with, you may choose which options that will be most comfortable for you. There are many cases where people use other methods to their liking, but we recommend using these two methods.

There is no right or wrong way, as long as you are comfortable.

Ultimately the best method of developing your play style is testing out the instruments and learning to play, gradually memorizing finger patterns and placement.

Top Row Style: This option would be the top row of numbers on your keyboard above ‘QWERTY’ or the default Guild Wars 2 skill bar. This will be similar to playing piano and will make multi-octave chords easier to play.

Numpad Style: The numbers on the Numpad will be covered with right hand from 1-8 and left hand on octave switches which will be 9 and 0 on top row numbers for most. You will need to set numpad up in your hotkey settings in the secondary controls. You can also select where your octave switches will be but keep in consideration of other hotkeys.

Here is an example of what Luna uses for her top row placement. We will use the example of the C chord, (1/3/5/8) for default placement, as well as positioning on the octave switches for each note corresponding on the keyboard. The ‘X’ is a finger that is unused.

The Basics: Introduction to Chords

One way to drastically improve your ability is to add chords.

Here is the list of chords playable in GW2 that contain no semi-tones. Sorted by the ending note of the chord.

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