HOW TO READ GUITAR TABLATURE (TAB

)

TAB is a form of notation which uses numbers rather than traditional notes to notate music.

TAB is written on 6 lines, which represent the 6 strings of a guitar.






Ìt is as if we are looking at the neck of the guitar like this (the highest line is the thinnest string, the
lowest line is the thickest string):

The numbers are written on the string that is to be played. The number tells you which fret to put your
finger on. We read TAB from left to right, just like normal reading!
To play the above piece of music we would:
1. Pluck the note on string 6, fret 3
2. Pluck the note on string 5, fret 3
3. Pluck the note on string 4, open (0 means no fret)
4. Pluck the note on string 4, fret 2
5. Pluck the note on string 4, open
6. Pluck the note on string 5, fret 3

Below is a longer tune - it only uses 3 different notes, and they are all on the 2nd string!


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

Frets
Strings
String 1, E
String 2, B
String 3, G
String 4, D
String 5, A
String 6, E
LOW
PART
HOW TO READ GUITAR TABLATURE (TAB) 2

You can play more than one note at a time, by plucking 2 or more strings at the same time!

Below is the tune we just played, but now we will pluck the open 3rd string at the same time as the
notes on the 2nd string - we will pluck strings 2 and 3 together!
Here is another part to add to our song. All of the notes in this part are on the 1st string!
Ìf we play all of the parts together, it should sound like the beginning of Ì GOTTA FEELÌNG by the
BLACK EYED PEAS.


HOW CHORD DIAGRAMS RELATE TO TAB

Below are some good chords to learn first. There are 4 examples. Each example features a different
chord followed by A major. There are two diagrams for each chord - the first is how they are actually
written, and the second has been turned sideways (so you can see how it relates to the TAB).

1. Em (E minor) - A (A major) 2. Asus4 (A sus 4) - A (A major) .
3. D (D major) - A (A major) 4. G (G major) - A (A major)

(If there is nothing written after the letter, we assume it is major. If there is a lower case m it is minor).
HÌGH
PART
MÌDDLE
PART