Reading Guitar Tablature Isn’t as Hard as You Think…

Leonard Noble writes about learn to play the guitar at

New guitar players may have heard of guitar tablature, but what is it? Tablature is simply a form of musical notation that focuses on fingerings rather than musical pitches. It is easier to read than sheet music, and many guitarists use it as a handy substitute; but how do you read it?

Guitar tablature is quite easy to read, and once you “get” it, you’ll be able to read any “tab” quickly and easier. As said previously, instead of musical pitches, tablature indicates fingerings. In that respect, it is a very visual way of reading music. In order to read it, first you need to imagine six lines.

These six lines represent each string of your guitar, EADGBe. The lowest line represents the bottom “E” string, and the highest line represents the top “e” string. On these lines, numbers are drawn. These numbers represent the frets on your guitar. For example, if you see the number “3” on the bottom line, that indicates you should play the bottom “E” string, with your finger placed at the 3rd fret.

It should be known that unlike, sheet music, tablature isn’t a standardized way of reading music. As you look around for songs to play on the Internet, you’ll find that many of them use different symbols. Most of the time however, the author of a tab will include a key telling you what each symbol represents.

It should also be noted that while sheet music details what a piece should sound like rhythmically; many pieces of guitar tablature are written assuming the reader is already familiar with the song. Now you know the basics of reading tabs; go out and find some simple songs to play. Remember that the more you do, the more you learn.

Leonard Noble writes about learn to play the guitar at

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