how to read guitar tabs & SYMBOLS 👇

Guitar tabs, or tablature, represent a simplified method of transcribing musical pieces for the guitar. Unlike traditional musical notation, tabs utilize numerical symbols to indicate the placement of fingers on the frets and strings. This system is easily accessible for musicians of all skill levels, making it an invaluable tool for learning and mastering guitar techniques. 

In today's connected world, the accessibility of tabs has enabled guitar enthusiasts to share and exchange musical knowledge with unprecedented ease. Despite its limitations, guitar tabs remain a crucial aspect of the guitar learning process, providing a simple and efficient means of communicating the intricacies of a particular piece. It is, therefore, recommended that all guitar players possess a solid understanding of how to read tablature.

In the video lesson down the page we’ll go in depth about how to read guitar tabs. You may also be interested in our BASIC MUISC THEORY lesson on the website. 

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reading guitar tablature (Quick guide)

To read guitar tablature (tabs): 

  1. Identify the horizontal lines, which represent the strings of the guitar, with the bottom line representing the low E string and the top line representing the high E string. 
  2. Look for numbers placed on the lines, which indicate the frets to be played. 
  3. Play the frets in order from left to right, strumming the appropriate strings. 
  4. Repeat the pattern for each measure or line of the tablature. 
  5. Take note of any additional symbols or markings that may appear in the tablature, such as slurs, bends, or vibrato, which can affect the sound and style of the piece. 

Note: Tabs do not indicate rhythm, so it is important to listen to a recording of the song or familiarize yourself with the timing before attempting to play the tabs.

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