how to read guitar tabs

How To Read Guitar Tabs

Guitar tabs, also called tablature, is a easy to understand form of song notation or writing music, so guitar players can easy recognize the notes and music. They are being used for many other instruments along with the guitar, such as drums, banjo, bass and a selection of others.

The reason it’s great to learn how to read guitar tabs, is that it will enable you to read and write music your self.

To begin with we are going to take a look at this empty guitar tablature

A empty guitar tab – Image 1

Blank guitar tabs.

Currently you will notice the six horizontal lines, this is the six guitar strings. The underside in a tab begins with the low E string, after that come strings A, D, G, B and then the high E string is on top of the staff, just as in image 1 above. Now we’re gonna place numbers over the tablature lines.

The figures let you know what frets you are required to position your finger at. A 1 shows you are required to place your current finger on top of the initial fret of the suitable string, 2 means the 2nd fret, 3 the 3rd… A 0 on the guitar tab means an open string. Now let us observe the way you #go about# learning guitar tab for beginners.

Here’s an example to make it more clear for you: the guitar tab for the C chord:

c chord guitar tab
C Chord represented in a tab

The picture above is the Chord C ,using traditional type of notation. While the same can be represented by a chord diagram seen below.

c chord guitar diagram
C chord represented with a chord diagram.

This is representing the Strum

Within the above notations the photographs represents a Strum. All the numbers have been written on top of each other. Whenever you see that, it means all the indicated notes should be played together at the same time. This is known as a strum, they are strummed together.

One note after another

Within the next instance (picture below), you will see the numbers follow each other. Because of that the notes follow one another in time, and ought to be played after each other as you play.

scales of notes
One after another.

In the example above, you pick the 5th fret on the low E string first. After that the 3rd fret on the same string, and now the 5th again, then move to the 3rd fret on the A string and so on.

Now this is the actual theory of understanding tabs at its most fundamental. Now let us look at a couple examples of some more sophisticated components in understanding tablature.

The Pull off

Here you play the second note of the tab by pulling your finger of the 7th fret, and keep the other finger on the 5th fret. It’s this movement as you pull your finger off that makes the sound.  The pull off is shown on the tabs with a little ‘p’, as you can see on the tab below. Check the video above which will explain it much better.

pull off
This is the pull off.

The Slide

The next guitar technique is called the slide. You do this by sliding your finger from the 5th fret to the 7th fret without lifting your finger. This is shown on the tab by a sloping line between the numbers and a little “s” beneath that line.

slide note
This is the Slide.

For the most part guitar tabs does not notate rhythm in any manner, therefore in the event you have not listened how a guitar piece for the music you might be playing goes, you don’t have any method to knowing how to exactly carry every note. Some guitar tablatures will make an effort to add in rhythms by placing stems of rhythm at every figure.

Learn more about reading guitar tabs in these videos

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