How To Read Guitar Tablature
By Rich Freeman
Guitar tablature (tab) is the guitarist's way around learning how to read musical notation. For most guitarist's, tablature seems to be a simpler method for understanding and playing pieces of music, as opposed to musical notation. In this article, I will explain how to read guitar tablature on a beginner level. Guitarist's should learn how to read both tablature and standard musical notation because both systems have unique ways of delivering beneficial information to the guitarist.
Above you see a combination of numbers & lines. What does it mean???
- Numbers - The numbers represent which fret you need to put your finger on.
- Lines - There are 6 horizontal lines in tablature, each line represents one of the 6 strings on the guitar.
- Listed below is exactly how the string names are written in tablature. It may seem odd at first, but the thinnest string is shown as the top string in tablature. The lines are arranged from thinnest (highest pitched) to thickest (lowest pitched). The picture to the right is how your guitar strings line up with the tablature.
Now Let's Look At Our Example Below
To make sure you understand how to read the tablature, I have explained how the first 4 notes are read and which strings they correspond to.
Hear The Tab Sample Below
In conclusion, I hope that you have benefited from this article and will begin to understand guitar tablature much clearer. Try to search for one of your favorite songs and then implement the tips taught in this lesson and see if you can start playing some music! Good Luck!