Learning to Read Tablature
Learn how to read the guitar tablature at freeandeasyguitar.com
What’s up? It’s Aaron from freeandeasyguitar.com and this lesson right here is kind of going to be a short prelude and the lesson is going to be on learning to read tablature.
There are two ways to learn how to play guitar. One is by reading music which I can’t do so I’m not going to try and teach you that. But what I can do is try and teach you how to read tablature. Once you learn how to read tablature or tabs, you can use that to learn notes, chord, solos, anything like that. Then once you learn how to read that then you can actually teach yourself some of the cool songs that you want to learn through tablature sites like ultimateguitar.com, countrytabs.com, 911tabs.com and stuff like that.
And tabs are also what you can see on any of the song lessons here on the web page at freeandeasyguitar.com under the videos. I have all the tabs there. So, learning to read those, it’s really a vital part of learning to play guitar and learning to teach your self new songs.
When you look at the tabs sometimes the first thing you’ll see is kind of a glossary of some of the terms you’ll see in the tabs, these are all going to be the same, the ones you’re going to see are slides which means you play a note one time and you slide your finger up to another place. So you may play third fret on your low E and slide up to the seventh fret. You only pick it once but you get two notes because you slide up. That’s what a little slash symbols mean a forward slash.
A forward slash means you’re sliding up and a backslash hopefully that’s the right way since it won’t get you any camera but a forward slash means you slide up. So you’ll see three slide, 4/7 and then now probably you may see 7\3 which means you slide down.
Another thing you may see is a B. If you see a B, that’s a abbreviation for bend, all that means is you’re playing a note and you’re bending it either up or down out of its normal because normally the string from here to here and a perfect straight line. A bend means you’re going to play that note in this perfect straight line, push it up or down and it actually really does the same effect as a hammer on so if you listen to this B string, that note goes down and comes right down. It’s really the same thing as a slide up.
So what you’re doing when you bend the string is actually, you’re increasing the tension which makes the string vibrate at a different peak and that’s why you do different note. So, bend can be the same as a slide which is a preference of what tab tells you to use.
And another thing you will see is an H and that’s abbreviation for a hammer on. What a hammer on means is just like self-explanatory. You play a note and you take that other finger and hammer it on just like you're taking a hammer and you put on another fret.
So if you saw 3H4 that means the first time you play that note and pick it once and third fret and then after it rings you hammer this finger that is there. Whatever you want go on to the next number so if it’s 3H4, you could play a three note and a four so that’s what an H means.
A pull off which will be shown by a P is exact opposite. So on you’re high E string, save the tabs as you play 4P3 that means four pull off, four, pull this string here down so down off the string or keeping this on here and it makes that noise. Basically, you’re snapping the string with this finger where it vibrates and this one is called pulled off as you play. That’s a pull off.
Now those are some of the things you’ll see but not to be too worried it as a beginner. Now, tabs can teach you single notes or they can teach you chords which is two or more notes played at the same time. A tablature is basically like a vertical picture of the neck of your guitar so if you look at a tab and you see the bottom line of the tab is always going to represent your thickest string.
So if you’re looking at a tab and there is six lines, the top one is going to represent your high string because it’s your one string. So, if I turn this right, the tab is really going to look like if you can just imagine this whole guitar is gone and the six lines full of dashes or whatever on your tab sheet or your computer screen. If it contains six lines you’re going to have these strings, one, two, three, four, five, six.
And now what you're going to see is you're going to see numbers on these lines. So if you’re looking at the tab and they wanted you to play the first fret of your first string which is this string. There will be a one on this string and you read it from left to right so if the first number you see and you look at all six strings at the same time. So if you’re looking at all six strings vertically and the first note you see is a two on the second string but it’s the farthest note to the left. When you come down here to your second string, and you come up here to the two, that’s the fret.
So whatever numbers on there it means the fret. So one, any number that’s a one is here, two’s, three’s, four’s, five’s, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 and so on 11 neck. And remember when you’re fretting these notes what I said about stepping up a ladder, make sure that you go just enough above to get above that little step but you want to be as close the bottom note as you can so, just enough to clear the step but you want to make sure that you're above it. Now, it will give you clear notes.
So that’s how you’re going to learn the three notes. I’m also not going to try and give you like the basic for it. And also I have two other videos I’ve done in the past on learning how to read tabs and chords. There can be a link right below this video. If you're on freeandeasyguitar.com and you can watch those video lessons as well and those are going to go into little more depth and should help you as well.
The only other thing that I want to say in this lesson and then I will leave some of the other stuff to this other lessons is chords. So when you see a chord, a chord is generally going to be, say, you’re looking at your tab again. It’s going to have a list of numbers that are directly above each other. So if you're looking at your tab and at the same position from left to right, you have a 0-0-0-0-1 that means you’re going to play all six of those strings at the same time which is a strum and that means that chord is going to have no fingers on these first five strings and then one finger on your first fret of your bottom string or your six string.
So now, that’s not a really common chord you're going to run into but what you will run in to is you’re running to one that looks like this. You’re running the one that says, on you’re things it could say 3-3-0-0-2-3 so it was like 3-3-0-0-2-3.
Now when you get there and play your guitar what that means is three on this string. It said three here so you’ve got third fret finger there. The next string up had a three on it so you play three there. The middle two had zeros on it which means you don’t put don’t any fingers on it.
The fifth string which is one, two, three, four, five had a two on it which means you put a finger on the second fret and then in this last string which was in the bottom because it’s the lowest string had a three on it also. So you put a finger on the third fret and that’s called the G chord. I’m going to teach you some of these chords here a little bit. So a lot of times these chords have the letter G above it. So if you know where the G chord is by heart you’ll only have to look at the tab. You just know that’s a G chord.
So, I hope that help you guys with a little bit of introduction in the tablature. Look at this lesson, look at the other two lessons I have below this or there maybe a link to it I haven’t set up the page yet but those videos will be helpful if you get through those and you still have some questions you can always Google, learn how to read tabs. There are lots of videos, lots of great guitar keys out there trying to help you all out by teaching stuff for free or you can send me an email to email@example.com and I’ll answer it there.
So anything I can do to help you guys, let me know and hopefully you guys are taking these steps to learn to play the guitar. It’s a great thing. Spread a lot of color in my life and I’m sure it would do the same to you guys and something that you’re going to do for the rest of your life. So remember check out the lessons on freeandeasyguitar.com and if you’re ready, we’ll go into the next lesson and we’re going to teach you some chords, take care.
Learning to Read Tablature
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