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Reading guitar tablature found on the Internet


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Chords in Tab

If you see numbers stacked up on top of each other, you will play all of the notes at the same time. The example below represents a C chord. The transcriber (person who wrote the tab) may write the name of the chord above the tab like in the example.

         C
E:-------0------
B:-------1------
G:-------0------
D:-------2------
A:-------3------
E:--------------

Sometimes the notes of a chord are picked individually. If you were to see something similar to the example below, you would put your fingers on a C chord and pick the notes in the order that you see them. Take inventory of the notes, and see if it is a chord that is being played. The transcriber may also write "hold" or "let ring" to give you a cue that the notes should continue to ring, and are part of a chord.

E:-----------------------------------------
B:------------------------------1----------
G:------------------0--------0-------------
D:-------------2----------2----------------
A:----------3-----3------------------------
E:-----------------------------------------
         
|-- hold --- or let ring--|

 

Tablature is a term that is used loosely on the Internet. In fact, you may find that a song does not have any tablature in it at all. The song may just contain chords, and therefore the detail of tablature is not necessary.

You might just see a list of chords in the order they are played:

G D7 G

Or you may see the lyrics with the chords written above the word or syllable that it is played on:

G                       D7           G
Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb
G                       D7                       G
Mary had a little lamb, it's fleece was white as snow.

 

A variation on having the chord written above the lyrics, is to write the chord in parenthesis before the word or syllable.

(G)Mary had a little lamb, (D7)little lamb, (G)little lamb

(G)Mary had a little lamb, it's (D7)fleece was white as (G)snow.

 

You might just see a line of lyrics and then a list of the chords that are used in that line, with no indication of where to change.

I'll have a blue Christmas without you; [F C7]

 

There are usually no indications of measures. So unless you know how the song goes, or can get a recording, playing a song from the tablature alone would be difficult. Some transcribers will divide the song into measures using a vertical line "|".

G                      |D7           G          |
Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb
G                           |D7                  G   |
Mary had a little lamb, it's fleece was white as snow.

 

When you see G in a song, that does not really tell you which G you should play. There are many ways to play a G chord. Sometimes the transcriber will give you a list of the chords and how to play them. Here are some common ways that you will see chords described.

You may see the chord written in tablature.

      C
E:----0----
B:----1----
G:----0----
D:----2----
A:----3----
E:---------

You might also see an indication of what fingers you should use in parentheses next to the frets to be played.

      F7
E:----5(4)----
B:----4(2)----
G:----5(3)----
D:----3(1)----
A:------------
E:------------

You might see a chord written with a list of the frets that you will put your fingers on. This will read from left to right, starting with the 6th string. The x means either a muted string, or you will not play that string.

C: x32010

There is an Internet equivalent of a normal chord chart as well.

  C
||||*|
||*|||
|*||||
||||||
X32010

 

Page 2, Information about tuning and rhythm in tab

Page 4, Other symbols used in tab, hammer-ons, and pull-offs

 

How to read tablature
Jump Zone

Intro to Tablature
Tuning and Rhythm
Chords in Tab
Other symbols used in tab
Hammer-ons
Pull-Offs
Slides
Bends
Reverse bends

Smears
Ghost notes and optional notes
Right Hand Tapping
Rhythm click or Muted string
Vibrato
Natural Harmonics
Other Harmonics
Palm Mute
Tab questions answered



Free Download - 17 Essential Strum Patterns PDF








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