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Read a tablature

How to read guitar tablature? If you are new to guitar it is very important that you start with this step. This is part of what you need to know on the guitar too! The first thing to know is that your 1st line at the top corresponds to your high E string (the highest and thinnest string). The bottom line corresponds to your low E string, therefore the biggest on your guitar. Guitar tablature, commonly called “tab,” is a method of music notation that allows beginning guitarists to learn songs quickly and easily. Guitar tabs share similarities with musical staff notation in indicating which notes to play, how long to play them, and what techniques to use. But compared to standard musical notation, guitar tablature offers a serious advantage: it indicates where to play the notes on your guitar.
This is very convenient, especially since the guitar offers many different places to play the same notes. This is why knowing how to read tablature is particularly useful for beginners, and allows students to learn to play guitar without ever having to learn to read traditional music notation. Reading a tablature allows you to not have to read the music theory notes, however you will have to know the rhythmic symbols. Guitar tablature can show both chords and single notes, making it the quickest way to learn your favorite songs. It's also an easier way to learn, because knowing how to read tablature doesn't require any special knowledge other than locating the strings and frets on your guitar.
If you're ready to learn what guitar tablature is and what it can be used for, you've come to the right place. Let's get started.

Beginner guitar tablature: what are guitar tablatures?

Guitar tablature is the visual representation of the notes in a song. Standard tablature consists of six horizontal lines, with each line representing the six strings of the guitar. If you look at the tablature from top to bottom, the top line represents the high E string (the thinnest string), followed by the lines representing the B, G, D, A, and low E strings (the thickest string). ).
This also mirrors the view of the strings when you look down while holding your guitar. For this reason, consider guitar tablature your road map, as it will provide the quickest path to learning songs.
On each tablature line, you will also see numbers. These numbers represent the frets of your guitar, that is, the metal strips on the fingerboard. Frets are numbered 0 to 24 and start at the nut (the piece closest to the headstock of the guitar) and run the length of the guitar's neck.
For example, if the string has a 0, this means that you are playing this string “open”, that is to say without using your hand to fret. If the string has a 1 on it, that means you should play using the first fret. When learning to read guitar tablature, it is important to understand that the number 1 represents the first fret, the number 2 the second fret, the number 3 the third fret, and so on.

Reading tablature: how to read tablature?

The tablature is read from left to right, and all notes shown are in chronological order. When the numbers are aligned vertically to each other, they represent an agreement. A chord is played by strumming all the indicated strings at the same time. Guitar Tab notation is more beginner-friendly than standard notation, because it shows which notes to play to form the chord and where you can find them on your guitar.

For beginners to read tablature successfully, they need to become familiar with the 6 strings and the locations of the different frets. This will allow them to find the right notes to play using the tablature as a guide.

Reading tablature: understanding tablature

The tab guitar staff resembles the staff used in standard notation. A major difference is that the staff lines in tablature represent the 6 strings, not the actual notes. The top line represents the high E string and the bottom line represents the low E string. This makes tablature easier for beginners to read, and the staff will also be labeled “TAB” so as not to be confused with standard notation.

Reading tablature: understanding guitar frets

Guitar frets are the metal strips that run across the fingerboard.
Most guitars have 19 to 24 frets. Each fret corresponds to a note or semitone relative to another. There are 12 notes (or frets) in each octave, and most guitars have fret markers on the side of the neck or fingerboard. These markers are usually found at the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th and 12th frets, and can help you easily recognize the fret positions when playing (Third, Fifth, 7th, 9th and Octave). Always remember: when you look at guitar strings, fretted strings are indicated by numbers, and open strings by the number “0”. This shows you how to play the string “open” without using your fret hand. Just pluck the string and let it ring.

Read tablature: read chords on tablature

Although chords do not have particular symbols in guitar tablature, they can be easily identified by their position. When multiple notes are shown aligned vertically, they are played together to form a chord. If a chord is arpeggiated, it will appear as single notes, even if you play a chord while fretting.

Reading tablature: tablature riffs

Many rock songs are made up of “riffs”. Riffs are usually a combination of single notes and partial chords (like power chords). For riffs, the general rules of tablature apply: When two or more notes are aligned vertically, play them at the same time.

Reading tablature: chord charts and chord diagrams

Tablature differs from the standard chord grid in a few ways. A chord chart is a diagram showing where to fret each string to form a chord, and it also shows which finger to use. A chord chart may be included in guitar tablature and is usually placed above the song lyrics to indicate when the chords are changed.
Chord diagrams only show the 3 or 4 unique notes that make up the specific chord. But an accurate version of the song may require single notes, notes not part of the base chord, or arpeggios (the pattern used to play the individual notes of a chord) that are not indicated. This is why chord charts are often presented alongside tablature to help beginning guitarists understand how to go beyond basic chords to play a song.

Reading tablature: fingers and numbers

The tablature is linear, but the chord charts are like a snapshot of your fretboard. As such, chord diagrams use a numbering system that indicates which fingers to use when playing. The fingers of the “fretting” hand (the hand that pushes the strings down on the fretboard) are numbered. For example, the index finger is 1, the middle finger is 2, the ring finger is 3 and the little finger is 4.
This differs from tablature, because the numbers used in guitar tablature indicate which fret to play, not which finger to use. This is why chord charts can be included in tablature to show beginners how to position their hands while playing.

Reading tablature: symbols

Besides lines and numbers, tablature can contain different symbols that indicate when to play a specific technique. Learning to read tablature symbols and apply them will make your playing much more authentic and make tablature reading easier.
Before playing, make sure to always check your guitar's tuning and adjust your pitch, otherwise your guitar won't sound in tune.

Reading tablature: silence

Muting is an important technique in rock music. Many styles of music, including heavy metal, punk, and alternative music, use different muting techniques to give the music a certain sound or character. like for example the Palm mute.