Help & Frequently Asked Questions
Have questions? Here's a bunch of answers to help you out! If you're still confused about something that isn't covered below, feel free to get in touch by emailing [email protected]
Here’s a few of the most common questions I get about Song Notes, my video lessons, and the PDFs I make.
Do you offer private 1:1 lessons?
No, I don’t offer private lessons (online or in-person) at this time. This may change one day in the future, but at the moment it’s not something that’s practical or feasible for me.
If you want feedback on your playing, I strongly suggest posting a video in the Song Notes community forum (available to members of Song Notes Premium) — where you can get helpful feedback from myself and other members of the Song Notes community.
Do you offer courses, or any kind of lesson roadmap?
As of now, I don’t offer any courses or linear “path” through my lessons.
But — courses are coming very soon. This is something that many folks have requested, and I plan to add my first courses in October 2022. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, you can search my lessons if there’s something specific you’re interested in learning – as I may have tackled it in a previous video. You’re also welcome to email me if there’s a topic you’d like to see covered in a lesson or a course.
What's best way to support you & your efforts?
Thanks for asking! Premium membership on this website (songnotes.net) is the best way to support my efforts – both monthly and annual plans are available. Except for very small processing fees, all of that money goes directly to me — and you get access to all kinds of great content.
Likewise, a donation to my tip jar is a great way to make a one-time donation.
Buying my song sheets from Musicnotes supports me as well, but I collect a much smaller percentage of that money due to licensing fees. I obviously love when people buy my song sheets (and find them helpful), but if the only reason you’re buying my song sheets is to help me out — consider Song Notes membership or a tip jar donation instead.
What guitar / pick / gear do you use?
Acoustic guitar (full size)
- My “main” guitar is a Taylor 310, which I got back in 2001. For almost twenty years this was my only guitar, and it’s continued to do me well since then. As I understand, Taylor has since discontinued this model (I’m not sure why). This is the only guitar I used in all my tutorials from 2013 through 2020. Since then, I use it about half the time.
Acoustic guitar (travel size)
- I finally got a second guitar in summer 2020, taking the leap with a Taylor GS Mini (Koa finish). I was fearful it’d be too small for my big hands, but the size has never bothered me. In fact, it feels “normal” and has me referring to my 310 as my “big” guitar. While it’s only ~15% smaller than the 310, it feels far more easy to pick up, put the strap on, etc. This means I’m much more likely to pick it up & play. I typically keep the GS Mini down in my living room, and my 310 up in my office.
- I added my first electric guitar to the collection in summer 2021. It’s a Fender “Vintera” Telecaster. To be honest, I haven’t played it a ton so far — as electric guitar has been difficult for me to get into, due to my lack of knowledge when it comes to amps, pedals, and all that jazz. Here’s a video I made describing 8 things I wish I knew before starting with electric guitar. I do plan on spending more time with it… one day!
- I’m not incredibly opinionated when it comes to guitar strings. I tend to like strings from Elixir. I usually grab light gauge (12 to 53) with Nanoweb coating.
- I’m ride-or-die with the Dunlop Delrin .46mm. Here’s a video where I go into detail about why I like this particular pick.
For additional info on gear (including the camera and mic I use to record my lessons) – see this post where I go over everything in detail.
How do you make your PDFs?
I use the app Notability which is available for the Mac and iPad. It combines page-based text editing along with handwriting & drawing support. Typically, I’ll start by typing up my notes for each lesson — and afterwards I’ll add diagrams, lettering, and any other annotation using the Apple Pencil.
For more info about Notability, I recommend this video from Ali Abdaal – who at the time was a Cambridge med school student. He describes how he uses an iPad (and Notability, specifically) to take notes during his courses. This is the video that convinced me to get a new iPad (with Apple Pencil support) and give it a try. I’m glad I did — it truly revolutionized my approach to creating my PDFs & song sheets.
I’ve been making song sheets & musical PDFs for a long time. Here’s a video showing the giant binder of “song notes” I made back in ~2003, a few years after starting to play guitar. Even though the tools I used back then were quite different (e.g. MS Word), it gave me a ton of experience working through the editorial decisions necessary to create easy-to-follow song sheets & PDFs.
A quick guide to Song Notes Premium and what membership includes.
How does Song Notes Premium work, exactly?
Song Notes Premium is an online membership program offered here at songnotes.net
Members can login on this site and get immediate access to my entire library of premium content: instructional PDF guides, extended video lessons, jam tracks, and a community forum. Members also get a 50% discount code to use when buying any of my licensed song sheets (which are for sale at Musicnotes.com).
I’ve been building this library of content for years, and every week I add something new. Upon joining, you get immediate access to my existing catalog of Premium content (over 450 lessons). I’ll also email you each time I post a new lesson — once a week — so you’ll always have something new to play.
The cost is just a few bucks each month – and you’re free to cancel anytime. Annual plans are also available. Want to learn more? View additional details about Premium membership »
Where do I find members-only PDFs, videos, and jam tracks?
Simply open any lesson page on this website — and when logged in, you’ll be able to access any members-only content that exists for that lesson. Here’s an example lesson if you want to see for yourself — notice how it has a PDF download and two members-only videos, all viewable on the page.
Example #1: Instructional PDFs
For example, when viewing a lesson with an instructional PDF, a logged-in user will see a “Download” button mid-way down the page. Clicking this button will download the PDF to your device.
If you’re not logged in, you’ll still see the PDF module — but it will include a prompt to log in (or upgrade to Premium).
Example #2: Members-Only Video
Some, though not all, of my lessons have members-only video tutorials and jam tracks. To view these, simply open that lesson’s page on this website. Premium members who are logged in will see the video (or jam track) viewable directly on the page. For example, a logged in member would see this:
If you’re not logged in, you’ll still see placeholders for the members-only videos — but you won’t be able to watch the video you upgrade or login.
Note: if you’re a legacy member on my Patreon page, view this guide to see how to download PDFs on my Patreon posts.
Where do I find the 50% discount code for song sheets?
The members-only discount code for September 2023 is WRKGBMXP7Y. If you have questions on how to use the code when buying my song sheets, see this post.
Members of Song Notes Premium can save 50% when buying my licensed song sheets by using a coupon code I give out each month.
You can always find current month’s coupon code by logging in (here at songnotes.net) and viewing this module on the homepage:
Likewise, each song lesson (with a licensed song sheet available) will display the current month’s code directly below the song sheet module.
Simply copy & paste the code into the coupon field of the Musicnotes checkout screen — and your 50% discount will apply. Note, the discount code will only apply toward purchases of my song sheets on Musicnotes. If you’re buying sheet music created by some other author/arranger, the code won’t do anything.
Do you offer refunds?
Absolutely. If within the first 30 days after signing up, you realize membership to Song Notes Premium isn’t a fit — let me know and I’ll issue a full refund.
Note, I’m unable to issue refunds for song sheet purchases from Musicnotes. If you need assistance with a recent purchase, reach out to their support team — they’re fully staffed and great about getting back to you promptly.
How do I cancel?
Simply login here at songnotes.net, and click the “My Account” link in the top-right corner. Click “View or Cancel Plans” and then “Cancel Subscription” — and you’re done!
After canceling, you will continue to have Premium access for the remainder of the current pay period.
If you’re a Patreon member, here’s a separate guide to canceling your membership.
Buying My Song Sheets
I'm proud to offer over 150 song sheets, all for sale at Musicnotes.com. They're all print-friendly and officially licensed.
What's included in your song sheets?
My “song sheets” refer to print-friendly, multi-page arrangements of all information needed to play a song. Unlike random notes & tabs you might find elsewhere online (e.g. from Ultimate Guitar), my song sheets are meticulously designed to carefully present all information in a beautifully crafted, yet helpful manner. Here’s a gallery of all the song sheets I’ve made so far (I typically add new ones every 1-2 weeks).
What’s included on each page…
On the first page, I’ll include all lyrics, chords, and any other high-level information needed to play the song. This might include tabs (e.g. showing the intro riff), strumming patterns, chord diagrams, etc — it all depends on the structure of the given song.
On the remaining pages, I’ll include any additional notes, tabs, chord/fretboard diagrams, and anything else necessary to help while you’re learning the song in question. While the exact content of each arrangement varies based on context, each song sheet aims to provide genuinely helpful guidance — which supplement my video lessons quite well. Typically, my song sheets are 2-4 pages in length.
A note about copyright…
All of my song sheets are officially licensed via Musicnotes.com, a worldwide leader in digital sheet music. This ensures artists are getting their fair share of each purchase, and likewise protects my business from legal risk. As part of this agreement, my song sheets are exclusively available for purchase over at Musicnotes (via website or app).
Members of Song Notes Premium (the membership program on this website) receive a 50% discount code to use when buying any of my song sheets. But note, membership to Song Notes Premium is not required to purchase my song sheets.
About my non-song “instructional” PDFs…
Note, my licensed song sheets are separate from my “instructional PDFs” — the latter of which are available to download with membership to Song Notes Premium. Instructional PDFs don’t teach songs per se, but do present techniques / exercises / concepts / riffs / theory / etc that will help you when learning any song you might encounter.
To learn more about my instructional PDFs, view this page — it includes a visual gallery of all the PDFs I’ve made. Premium members gain immediate access to this entire library.
How do I buy your song sheets?
1. Find the song you’re interested in purchasing
Browse my list of songs until you find what you’re looking for. When viewing any song’s lesson page — example — you’ll see a big “Buy on Musicnotes” button just below my video lesson. Click it!
2. On the Musicnotes product page, click “Add to Cart”
After clicking the “Buy on Musicnotes” button, you’ll be taken to the Musicnotes product page for that song sheet. Look over the product details. If it’s something you wish to purchase, click the button “Add to Cart”:
3. Either sign in or create a free Musicnotes account
Like any eCommerce website, you’ll need to create a free account linked to your email address. Once you create your account, you can simply save your login information, allowing you to breeze through this step next time.
Note #1: use your own email address at this step. The image shows my email, but you should use your own.
Note #2: your Musicnotes.com login is entirely unrelated from your login here at SongNotes.net
4. Apply my members-only discount code to save 50%
If you're an active member of Song Notes Premium, you have access to the 50% discount code I make available each month. This applies toward any purchases of my song sheets for sale on Musicnotes.
The current month's discount code can always be found on the songnotes.net homepage – just be sure you are logged in.
The members-only discount code for September 2023 is **WRKGBMXP7Y**.
Simply copy & paste the code in this box on the checkout screen.
Once applied, you’ll see the discount in the checkout box to confirm things worked. Note, the 50% discount code will only work when buying my song sheets — it doesn’t apply to arrangements made by from other creators.
Next, continue to the payment screen and enter your desired payment information. Rest assured, Musicnotes is a reputable site that’s been a leader in the online sheet music space since the late 1990s. Their payment system is trustworthy and secure.
5. Purchase confirmation
Now that purchase is complete, your song sheet is ready! First you’ll see a purchase confirmation screen:
You can immediately view your song sheet (digitally) using the Musicnotes website or app. Likewise, you can print out a copy if you wish.
You have the additional option of buying the song sheet in PDF format, which lets you save the file in your own external library (outside of the Musicnotes website or app). Note, buying the additional PDF is not required.
6. Print your song sheet (optional)
Each purchase at Musicnotes gets you one print-out of that song sheet. When you’re ready to print, click the this green “Print” button:
This will open the Musicnotes “Print Center”. Be sure to read their “Before Printing” tips – e.g. make sure your printer is on, is loaded with paper, etc. When you’re ready to print, click the green button to start the process:
This will load your local printer settings. Make sure everything looks good! If things are cut off, look for a “Fit to Page” or “Scale” option to make sure things properly fit:
Now, go make sure things worked okay. Looks good to me!
When finished, Musicnotes will show you this prompt:
Be sure to confirm the print job was a success before continuing! If it printed okay, click “Yes”. If there was an issue, click “No, Try Again” – and you can give it another shot. Musicnotes also has a printer support help center should you run into issues.
And, that’s it! I know this may seem like a lot – but once you go through the process, I trust you’ll find it’s easy to manage.
How do I apply the 50% discount code?
Step 1: Find the Code
First, find the current month’s code. For convenience, you can always always find it on the songnotes.net homepage (provided you are logged in):
Likewise, each song lesson (with a licensed song sheet available) will display the current month’s code directly below the song sheet module.
Step 2: Apply it during Musicnotes checkout
After selecting the item(s) you wish to purchase from Musicnotes.com, proceed to the checkout screen. That is, the page where you add payment information.
Simply copy & paste the code into the coupon field of the Musicnotes checkout screen, which is located in the lower-right portion of the screen:
Once applied, you’ll see the discount in the checkout box to confirm things worked.
Note, the 50% discount code will only work when buying my song sheets — it doesn’t apply to arrangements made by from other creators.
What is a PDF add-on?
When buying song sheets from Musicnotes.com, you will see the option to “Add a PDF Download” on the checkout screen (which costs an extra $2). Only select this option if you need a literal PDF file of the song sheet being purchased.
Otherwise, when buying any arrangement from Musicnotes.com:
- You’re buying one “print” of the song sheet. Printing is done directly from the Musicnotes website. You can print immediately after purchasing, or wait and do it days/weeks later. Additional prints must be purchased, per the norm of sheet music copyright laws.
- You also get lifetime access to view your purchased song sheets using your “Library” section of the Musicnotes website or app. “View” as in view it full screen, scroll through all the pages, etc.
A few other notes:
- As per Musicnotes policy, their “PDFs are not authorized for printing, digital distribution, or sharing of any kind.” So, don’t buy the PDF thinking it legally allows for unlimited prints.
- If your goal is to open a Musicnotes song sheet the popular app forScore, note you do not need to purchase the PDF add-on! forScore can display Musicnotes purchases at no extra cost (more info here)
If you’re not sure about the PDF add-on, I suggest not purchasing it at the time of purchase — since you can always go back and add it later. For more information, see the Musicnotes help article What is a PDF add-on, and what can I do with it?
I need printing help or tech support...
If you require any kind of technical assistance with Musicnotes (involving printing, purchases, billing, etc) — please contact their customer support team. They’re fully staffed and great about helping customers in need.
Likewise, the Musicnotes Help Center has tons of FAQ pages covering just about any question you may have. There’s a good chance you’ll find answers there to any questions I haven’t covered on this page.
I am not a Musicnotes employee, and have zero access to their internal support tools. Similarly, I can’t access any information about customer accounts. Hence, me sharing the links above. Best of luck!
Before launching this website, I offered membership via Patreon (between 2018-2022). Here's a handful of questions to help existing Patreon members.
Do you still offer Patreon membership?
Yes — I will continue to post members-only content (Instructional PDFs, discount code, etc) to Patreon, just as I have since 2018. I obviously want to ensure all existing members continue to receive the benefits they signed up for.
However, I strongly suggest all Patreon members transfer membership to this website instead – as it provides a much superior member experience compared to Patreon. Please view this guide showing how to transfer Patreon membership to SongNotes.net — it takes just a minute!
Note, some members-only content may not be available on Patreon going forward. This includes extended video lessons and Courses (coming October 2022), which require you to be logged in here at songnotes.net to access. For more info, see this page »
How do I transfer membership from Patreon to SongNotes.net?
In case you missed my announcement, I’ve recently added membership directly to this website — which provides a much improved experience for accessing all my premium content. While I will continue to post to Patreon (for existing members), I’m encouraging all patrons to transfer their membership to this website.
Step #1: Setup Free Trial (optional)
Each month, I’m giving all current Patreon supporters access to a free trial of this site (no credit card or payment required). My hopes are this will let you try things out, get used to things, etc before switching over.
To view the free trial invite link for September 2023, view this Patreon post (requires Patreon login)
Step #2: Cancel Patreon Membership
When you’re ready to join this website, you’ll want to cancel your current Patreon pledge so you’re not charged anymore. To quickest way to cancel is to visit patreon.com/pledges and click “Edit” then “Cancel”
If you need a video walkthrough showing this step-by-step, view this guide I made.
Step #3: Join a Paid Plan on This Site
The last step is to join a paid plan on this website — which you can do by clicking here.
Partial Refund for Annual Patreon Members?
If you’re on an annual Patreon plan, I can gladly refund the remainder of your pledge. For example, if you joined my Patreon page 3 months ago, I’ll gladly refund the remaining 9 months. If you’re on a monthly Patreon plan, I can also refund your latest monthly pledge at your request.
To request a Patreon refund (monthly or annual), email me — and make sure you include the email address you use on Patreon.
How much does membership on this new site cost?
For the launch of this site, I’m offering a reduced price to all new members — either $10/month or $79/year.
Compared to many of my peers in the online guitar space (charging $12-20 per month, if not more) — I consider this a true bargain for all the value you receive from my 4+ years of premium content. Joining at these prices locks you in if & when I eventually increase prices.
What if I’m in the “Founder” tier on Patreon?
When I launched my Patreon page in 2018, I charged just $3/month. Even though I increased prices for new members to $5/month in mid-2021 (and to $10/month in March 2023), I kept all “founding” members on Patreon at the $3/month level — where they remain to this day. As I’ve added more and more content over the years (hundreds of video lesson & PDFs) — this $3 rate has become more and more of a bargain.
It’s always been a goal of mine to keep the membership price as affordable as possible, so these lessons can reach the largest audience. But, I also need to be fair to myself as an educator and business operator — and make sure my growing library of content is not woefully undervalued.
If you’re a founding member — please consider, if you can, joining at the $10/month level. This new site offers more than my Patreon page - it’s not a 1:1 replacement. Likewise, that money supports me directly and helps make these lessons possible. If you’re a founding member of Patreon page and can’t simply can’t swing the $10/month cost, email me and I can offer a discount code. Thanks!
How do I download instructional PDFs from Patreon?
1. Find the Patreon Post You’re Interested In…
First you’ll need to find the Patreon post that has the PDF you’re after. You can search all my Patreon posts here, or likewise click the link in any new-lesson email I’ve sent via Patreon.
When you open a Patreon post, you’ll need to be logged in (otherwise you’ll see a “Join Now” prompt). Using this example Patreon post, heres what you’ll see once you’re logged in & the page is loaded:
2. Scroll Down & Look for the Attachment Link…
It’s at the bottom of the post’s body, but above the comment section. It’ll appear like a text link, with a small paperclip icon next to it.
3. Click to Download, and You’re Done!
Once you find the link at the bottom of the post, click on it.
Depending on your browser, this will either automatically download it to your operating system or show it full-screen in your browser window (this all depends on your browser and its settings). If clicking the attachment link shows you the PDF full screen, you may to take an extra step to manually save the file (e.g. right click → “Save as…”, etc).
That’s it! You’re free to print my Patreon PDFs as many times as you want, and of course I recommend you save the file somewhere you’ll be able to reference later. But of course, you can re-download things as many times as you want, so long as you’re an active member of my Patreon page.
How do I find the 50% discount code on Patreon?
Every month, I send Patreon supporters an email with the current month’s 50% coupon code for buying my song sheets at Musicnotes.com
If you can’t find the most recent email, navigate to songnotes.net/discount — which will redirect you to a pinned Patreon post where you can find the current month’s discount code. Note, Patreon login is required since it’s a members-only code.
Note: if you’re a current Patreon supporter, I suggest moving your membership over to this website! It provides a much better end-to-end experience for Song Notes members, and makes the 50% discount code significantly easier to find.
How do I search all lessons on Patreon?
Best way to search my Patreon posts:
- If you’re looking for a post that has members-only content (e.g. a PDF download), use patreon.com/songnotes/search to search all my Patreon posts there. Click on the post you’re looking for, and the PDF will be attached to the bottom.
Other things that may help:
- You can also view this list of all my Patreon posts (on this website), each of which links out to its corresponding post — which may be helpful. For example, if you know the specific lesson number you’re looking for – this page works great.
- If you want to browse all my lessons, use the website you’re reading now (songnotes.net) it has a much faster & easier-to-use search experience. You don’t need to be a member (or logged in) to search my library of lessons.
Note, I encourage all Patreon supporters to transfer their membership to this website, SongNotes.net — which has membership built-in and provides a much better member experience. Click this link to learn more »
How do I cancel Patreon membership?
I am unable to cancel memberships Patreon for you, as their platform literally doesn’t give me permissions to do so. However, it’s easy to cancel using the steps below.
1. Open your “Active Memberships” page on Patreon
The easiest way is to visit patreon.com/pledges – which will take you directly to a page showing all creators you support. You can also get here using the Patreon navigation. Either way, you’ll need to be logged in to Patreon.
2. Click “Edit” next to “Song Notes by David Pots”
Here, you’ll see a list of all your active memberships. Look for my listing (“Song Notes by David Pots”) and then click the “Edit” link:
3. Click “Cancel”
When shown the details of your pledge, look for the “Edit or cancel membership” link:
Click that link, and then confirm you want to cancel:
And you’re all set!