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How to read tablature

Tablature is a method of writing music played on the guitar without using musical notation. It is very easy to read and is ideal for use on the Internet. Tablature (tab for short) is written using six lines. each line represents a string on the guitar. On the neck of the guitar are ridges called frets. The space between the frets are numbered, starting at the headstock with 1, the next fret is 2..etc.
If we wanted to play the 3rd fret on the the B string (D) we would tab it like this:

 E||----------------||
 B||--3-------------||
 G||----------------||
 D||----------------||
 A||----------------||
 E||----------------||


That's how a single note is tabbed, if we want to tab a chord, it would look like this. All the notes would be played at the same time.

 E||--0-------------||
 B||--2-------------||
 G||--2-------------||
 D||--2-------------||
 A||--0-------------||
 E||----------------||


You will notice that the diagram is upside down in relation to the guitar neck. The top string in the diagram is actually the bottom string on your guitar. Once you understand this, tab is a piece of cake.

Now you know how to play a single note or a chord using tab. You may also see symbols next to the notes or chords. These symbols indicate how to play them. Here are the letters/symbols most often used :

h - hammer on
p - pull off
b - bend string up
r - release bend
/ - slide up
\ - slide down
v - vibrato (sometimes written as ~)
t - right hand tap
x - play 'note' with heavy damping


For example, here is a blues riff using pull offs:

 E||--3p-0--------------|------------3p-0----|------------------||
 B||------------3p-0----|--------------------|--3p-0------------||
 G||--------------------|--2p-0--------------|------------2p-0--||
 D||--------------------|--------------------|------------------||
 A||--------------------|--------------------|------------------||
 E||--------------------|--------------------|------------------||

You can see the the 3rd fret on the bottom E string is fretted, and then a pull-off to the open E String, etc.


© 2004 MoreTabs.com
Tabs & chords for guitars
All tabs, chords & lyrics are the author's own work and represents their interpretation of the song.
You may only use this file for private study, scholarship, research or language learning purposes.