Express Guitar - The Ultimate Guitar Learning Kit

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beginning guitar | TAB | Guitar TAB

  

Learn Guitar: How To Read Guitar TAB

Play your favourite song in minutes.

  

'How To Read Guitar Tabs And Play The Songs You've Always Wanted'
   

INTRODUCTION

Tablature is a way of indicating the positioning of notes and fingering on the guitar fret board. If you can read tabs, you will be able to play any of your favourites songs. Aside from traditional music theory, tabs are among the easiest methods to playing your favourite songs... quickly!


MAIN POINTS

Basic Tab Lines 

There are 6 tab lines representing 6 strings on the guitar. (The 1st string is the thinnest, and the 6th string is the thickest).

E----------------------------- String 1 Thinnest
B----------------------------- String 2 
G----------------------------- String 3
D----------------------------- String 4 
A----------------------------- String 5
E----------------------------- String 6 Thickest

- The string at the top is the thickest - 6th string 
- The string at the bottom is the thinnest - 1st string (as shown in diagram below)


Number is placed with examples 

When a number is placed on one of the lines, it indicates the fret location of note.

Example 1: 

E---0------------------------- String 1
B----------------------------- String 2 
G----------------------------- String 3
D----------------------------- String 4
A----------------------------- String 5
E----------------------------- String 6 

(This means to play the 1st string open, open means no fingers)


Example 2: 

E----------------------------- String 1 
B----3------------------------ String 2
G----------------------------- String 3
D----------------------------- String 4 
A----------------------------- String 5 
E----------------------------- String 6


(This indicates 3rd Fret 2nd string) 


Example 3:

E-----0----------------------- String 1
B--------3----0--------------- String 2
G-----------------2----0------ String 3 
D--------------------------2-- String 4 
A----------------------------- String 5 
E----------------------------- String 6 

This indicates:
1st string open, then 
3rd Fret, 2nd string, then 
2nd string open, then
2nd Fret, 3rd string, then
3rd string open
2nd Fret Fret, 4th string.

Congratulations, you have play the "E minor pentatonic scale".


Example 4:

E----------------------------- String 1
B----------------------------- String 2
G----------------------------- String 3 
D----------------------------- String 4 
A-------2------3------4-----3- String 5 
E----0-----0------0------0---- String 6 


This indicates: 
6th string open then 
2nd Fret, 5th string, then 
6th string open then
3rd Fret, 5th string, then
6th string open then
4th Fret, 5th string, then
6th string open then
3rd Fret, 5th string.



FURTHER NOTES TO REMEMBER... 


Tab Symbols 

There are tab symbols that you need to know before you want to learn a song in tab format. They are: 
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 



When you see all numbers in a line one after another 

E---3------------------------- String 1
B---3------------------------- String 2
G---4------------------------- String 3 
D---5------------------------- String 4 
A---5------------------------- String 5 
E---3------------------------- String 6 


...it means you play the entire chord using all fingers.


When you see tabs that have "h" 

E--------------------------------String 1
B--------------------------------String 2
G--------------------------------String 3
D--------------------------------String 4
A---------7h9-----------10h12----String 5
E---0--0----------0--0-----------String 6

....it means to do a "Hammer On" from the 7th fret to the 9th fret and again for the 10th fret to the 12th fret.


When you see other tabs that have "pO" 

E--------------------------------String 1
B--------------------------------String 2
G--------------------------------String 3
D--------------------------------String 4
A---------9pO7-----------12pO10--String 5
E---0--0----------0--0-----------String 6

....it means to do a "Pull Off" from the 9th fret to the 7th fret and again for the 12th fret to the 10th fret.


When you see other tabs that have "b" 

E--------------------------------String 1
B--------------------------------String 2
G--------------------------------String 3
D--------------------------------String 4
A---------7b9-----------10b12----String 5
E--------------------------------String 6

...it means strike the string 5 on the 7th fret, then bend the note up so that it sounds the same as the note played on the 9th fret.


ADDITIONAL TIP

Tabs are mainly a few lines with numbers on them. Once you know the basic positioning of where your fingers go, you are able to get a good feel for the song. Tabs are an easy way to read music and play a particular song. Proper music notation is more detailed and requires more study into it, however if all you want to do is play your favorite song, tabs are just as easy in the end.


GLOSSARY


Hammer On is produced by hitting a note first, before sliding your finger to another fret while the string is still ringing out.


Pull off is the same as a hammer on - but instead of placing our fingers onto the string, we are TAKING OUR FINGERS OFF the string, after striking it. 


Bends are relatively easy to perform. Bends are shown in many different symbols. The b and ^ are common symbols used for bends. The ( ) usually contain a number in between and tell the player to bend to that note. Notes without ( ) usually have the note to be bent to next to the original note. 

A bend is carried out by bending the string up on the guitar to produce a sound similar to that of the fret noted on the tab. 

r
A release is done by picking the note in its bent position, but letting go of the string so that it can return to its normal pitch. 

/ or \
The symbol \ signifies a slide down the neck, while / signifies a slide up the neck. The notes are picked in the order in which they appear from left to right.

v or ~ 
If you continue to hold the fret down after the slide, or even after picking any random note, it will cause the note to ring. This effect is called vibrato which is fluctuating the pitch of a note.


Tapping is where you tap the string repeatedly. 


Gently rest a finger of your left hand over the indicated string or strings, and then strum. This will produce a dull, almost scratchy sound.

   

   

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