Guitar Tabs


Guitar tabs, or guitar tablatures , are a generic system of musical notation commonly
written for the guitar, but it can be used for any stringed instrument with frets. Guitar
tabs are an ancient music notation method, lute and classical guitar music during the
renaissance and baroque was written , instead of regular partitures, in the tab format.

While standard musical notation represents the pitch and rhythm of notes, guitar tabs give you a visual representation of the strings and frets of the guitar and tells you where to put the fingers to produce the desired notes.

A guitar tab represents the performance of the music, rather than the music itself

As in standard music notation, guitar tablatures are built with a series of horizontal lines forming a staff. Each line represents one string, guitar tabs have a six-line staff


Looking at guitar tabs is like looking down at the fretboard in front of
you so that the headstock is on your left and the body is on your right

e |-------------------------|
B |-------------------------|
G |-------------------------|
D |-------------------------|
A |-------------------------|
E |-------------------------|

Note: This is a Text or ASCII Tab. Because of its simplicity, this kind of guitar
tabs are the most popular on the Internet and they're the subject of this article.

Guitar Tablature Basics

Guitar tabs are a staff with six lines graphically representing the
Each line is assigned to one of strings of the instrument . The
top line corresponds to the highest pitch string (or high E) and the bottom
line to the lowest pitch string or low E. Below is a guitar tab with the string
names at the left ( representing those notes of the strings played open ).

1st string - e |------(thinnest)-----|
2nd string - B |---------------------|
3rd string - G |---------------------|
4th string - D |---------------------|
5th string - A |---------------------|
6th string - E |------(thickest)-----|

On the lines appear numbers and these numbers would tell you
where to fret the strings
. If a "0" appears, play the open string .
In the following tab play the sequence of notes - E F F# G G# A
on the bottom E string by moving up one fret at a time (starting
with open string) . Guitar Tabs must be read from left to right .

e |-------------------------|
B |-------------------------|
G |-------------------------|
D |-------------------------|
A |-------------------------|
E |-----0--1--2--3--4--5----|

As in standard notation, if two or more notes have to be
played together, they are written one on top of another.

e |-------3-----------------|
B |-------------------------|
G |-------------------------|
D |-------------------------|
A |-------2-----------------|
E |-------3-----------------|
(Basic G Chord)

In this guitar tab you play the e string fretted at the 3rd fret, do
not play your B, G and D strings, play the A string fretted at the
2nd fret and the E string fretted at the 3rd fret . In tabs , it is
implicitly assumed that a string is not played if it isn't marked .

On a similar basic G-chord tab:

e |-------3-----------------|
B |-------0-----------------|
G |-------0-----------------|
D |-------0-----------------|
A |-------2-----------------|
E |-------3-----------------|
(Basic G Chord)

"0" means play the string without any fingering. So in this guitar tab you
play the e string fretted at 3rd fret, the B string open, the G string open,
the D string open , the A string fretted at the 2nd fret , and the E string
fretted at the 3rd fret . Also, you might see the G chord written like this:

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

It means: strum the strings begining with the sixth string. Each string is played
slightly after than the previous one , but the notes will sound at the same time.

Below is another guitar tab of the same shape but now the
gaps between the notes are bigger. So you would pick the
strings separately instead of slowly strumming the shape .

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

Guitar tabs often tell you the chord being played, above the staff.

e |---------0-----------0-------------0-----------0----|
B |-------2---2-------2---2---------0---0-------0---0--|
G |-----2-------2---2-------2-----1-------1---1--------|
D |---2-----------2-----------2-------------2----------|
A |-----------------------------2----------------------|
E |-----------------------------------------0----------|

Learning to read guitar tablatures , is a great method to learn the different
techniques that are employed on the guitar . Get 100% correct guitar tabs

Symbols Used In Guitar Tab

A lot of other important information can be included in guitar tablatures. The standard
practice is to write letters or symbols between notes to indicate how to play them

For a detailed explanation go to:
GUITAR TABS SYMBOLS and learn more.

Guitar Tablatures vs. Standard Notation

Guitar Tabs Basics - The Advantages

Since it is the visual representation of the instrument's fretboard ,
tablatures are easier to read . Guitar tabs are easier and direct
Instead of using symbols, guitar tabs use ordinary characters and
numbers. This makes it easy to write and distribute electronically.

Unlike music notation, guitar tablatures reading and writing don't take years to
master. So, you can play it with a minimal knowledge of notes or sheet music.

Guitar tabs give you the tuning of the piece. For instance, normal
tuning: e, B, G, D, A, E or an alternative tuning: e, B, G, D, A, D.

If you use different tunings guitar tab does not deviate from
the standard number positioning ... in the case of standard
notation, every piece has to be re-learned for every tuning .

Guitar Tabs Basics - The Disadvantages

Guitar tabs are instrument-specific while standard notation is generic . Only the guitarists can read tabs .

Guitar tabs do not represent the rhythm or lengths of the notes, only their pitch. So some players have listen to the song before; while others have to read tablature and standard notation in tandem, this way you can see the note values and rhythm as you follow the tab (printed Guitar tabs are accompanied by standard notation)

Fingering (which finger to use) and picking are not always shown in the guitar tabs. So most times you'll have to figure them out by yourself

Even though tablatures are a popular enjoyable way of reading music, guitar
tabs have its own shortcomings . The best is to become well - versed in both
standard notation and guitar tabs .

Also see , Do I Need Guitar Lessons ?

Or, read this very interesting and helpful article:
Learn To Play By Taking Guitar Lessons Online