What are guitar tablature and how to read them?
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What are guitar tablature and how to read them?

In this article, we will talk about several things at once. I will try to cover the topic fully and answer all questions.

Information you will learn from this article:

I recommend learning tablature after learning chords and at least a couple of fights. When you can confidently play a few songs chord-by-chord, you can slowly start learning tablature.

What is tablature?

When I analyze songs on one string, I write the following phrase in each melody: “this is the simplest version of tablature on one string.” Now it’s time to explain – What is tablature anyway?? Imagine a way to imagine playing the guitar “as is”, that is, to draw the strings and mark the fret on which we should pluck. It looks something like this:

In this way, tablature is a way of recording guitar playing, when six strings are drawn on paper (electronic document) one under the other – and frets are marked on them, on which you need to clamp the string before pulling it.

How to read tablature?

We have already figured out what tablature is, now I would like to learn how to read tablature in more detail. Let’s figure out how to read guitar tabs (Tabs are short for tablature). The variant above shows the change of three thieves chords: Am > Dm > E > Am. The numbers on the record indicate the fret on which you need to pull the string. I think you guessed that if the numbers on the tablature are indicated one below the other (on the same vertical), then they need to be pulled at the same time. There are 6 lines that symbolize 6 strings. Above – the first string, below – the sixth.

There is also a tablature of this type

here one string is played: first the 6th is twitched 3 times, then the 5th, then the 4th

by the way, this Elvis Presley – Pretty Woman     

On tablature, you can designate a hammer, slides, vibrato, slip, harmonic on a guitar … For example, a slide is designated as follows:

As you can see, reading tablature is not difficult at all, but at the same time allows you to quickly understand exactly how to play the song. You don’t need a lot of intelligence to read tabs. I would even say that reading tablature is much easier than learning chords and fighting. At least when I became familiar with tablature I was pleasantly surprised that beautiful melodies could be played in such a simple way.

guitar tab examples

Tablature presents songs of various complexity.

There you are example tablaturewhere it is played on one guitar. Try to play them, they are unrealistically difficult.

But at the same time, they are incredibly beautiful – such music is worth striving for!

A vivid example of fingerstyle is 3 tabs above.

When we talk about “Give tabs” or “Download tabs” on the Internet, we mean a Guitar Pro 5 file. You can open any tablature in this program and immediately see how it should be played, as well as listen.

What is the conclusion? Guitar tabs are a great way to develop further when you are already tired of chords, strumming and picking. Tablature opens up a huge “world of art” and games, and reading tablature turned out to be not difficult at all!

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