How to read guitar tablature
This tutorial will help you learn how to read tablature. At first glance it looks a bit confusing, but once you have spent a few minutes with it, it is quite easy. Take your time and practice each day. It will be as easy as playing a G chord in no time at all.
An obstacle to sight reading for guitarists is the fact that it is so easy to pick up the guitar and start rocking. There is nothing wrong with that approach, but sometimes your ear can only pick up so much. These are the times that tablature or sight reading can be of assistance.
Tablature consists of the six lines of the guitar. String number 1 is the string closest to your shoe. Some things on the guitar seem backward and this is one of those instances.
In the following example the number 1 represents the first fret on the second string. The numbers do not indicate the finger number that is used to fret the note.
In our next example there are multiple numbers on different lines. It is just like reading a book. Start at the left hand side and play each note individually. 1st fret 2nd string, 2nd fret 4th string, 3rd fret 5th string.
Our next example shows what a chord looks like in tablature. Notice how the notes are stacked on top of each other. This means that you play all of the strings at one time. Do you see the x on string number 6? THat means don’t play that string. This is a C major chord. Sometimes the chord names will be written out on top of the tablature, but don’t count on it being there all of the time.
Our next example shows a Hammer-on. You would place your 1st finger on the first fret second string then hammer-on with the 3rd finger. Sometimes there will be an H placed over the curved line but not always.
Then we have the pull off. It looks similar to the hammer-on but upon closer inspection we see that the first number fret being played is higher than the next note that is played. Place your 3rd finger on the 5th fret, 2nd string. After you play that note pull off the 3rd finger sounding the note that is on the 3rd fret.
Another technique used in playing guitar is that of sliding from one note to the next. Slides can go in either direction. You can slide up to a note or down to a note.
We can also bend notes. In the next example place your 3rd finger on the 5th fret and bend it up in pitch co that it sounds like the note at the 6th fret.
The next example is vibrato.
As you can see the biggest flaw with tab is that there is no rhythm notation. This means that the guitarist must be very familiar with the song. If you live in Colorado Springs and would like to take private guitar lessons click here and sign up for a free lesson.