This Video Explains

How To Read Guitar Tab

You've seen guitar tab probably when you've been looking for lyrics and chords. It is often written in a notepad or text doc and it doesn't seem to make sense so you ignore it.

Guitar tab is actually really simple to interpret when you have the key which is explained in the video below. Once you understand this you'll know how to read guitar tab and wonder why you left it so long to give it a try, especially if you enjoy fingerstyle guitar .

In simple terms, the 6 lines represent the 6 strings, the numbers represent the fret your finger presses on counting up from the machine head end, and the progression is from left to right in order, with chords, if they are present, being represented by fret numbers being stacked in a vertical line.

A 0 in a chord stack in guitar tab means that the string is open (not fretted) but is played.

The main thing that guitar tab doesn't tell you, is which note in a chord to play first, you have to work that out by listening as you play. This means it really helps if you know the song.

Guitar tab is also open to interpretation. Many guitar tabs are what a guitarist has worked out from listening to the original song. Many guitar tab versions you'll find online are very similar or exactly the same, but some may add a chord or a note and some may be completely different, in another key, or just far more complex.

When you know how to read guitar tab suddenly many new songs become available to you. Guitar tab can be more complex with more tablature clues making it possible to give more directives so if you want to know more, check the wikipedia link above for more.

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Filed under: Guitar Notation Videos

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