By: Jake Hanson
Guitar tab is a method of diagramming the fretboard of a
guitar for the purpose of showing how songs, riffs, scales, and
other musical portions are played.
Guitar tab, also known as tablature, is really a method
guitar players have invented for sharing music without having to
learn to read music in the traditional sense. Knowing how to
read guitar tablature is an important part of learning how to
play the guitar, especially if you wish to emulate the style of
your favorite performer.
Learning how to read guitar tablature will help the most if you
have already heard the song or riff. It is not a very good way
to learn a new song, because there are no indicators about
timing. Basically it is just a diagram of fingering. It looks
similar to a traditional staff, but the similarity ends there.
Instead of 5 lines, guitar tab has 6 lines, which correspond to
the six strings of a guitar.
When you are learning how to read guitar tab, you will notice
numbers on the lines. Those numbers do not refer to your
fingers, but to the fret your finger needs to be on. However,
you should read all the information given with any guitar
tablature, because sometimes the notations refer to different
things. Guitar tab is not a standardized method of writing music
and varies with styles and guitarists.
One of the biggest drawbacks with guitar tab is that it doesn't
give you much input about the timing of the notes, and for this
reason, you really should know the song. In fact, if you are
learning how to read guitar tab, you should read the tablature
while listening to the song or riff.
Unlike beginning books for teaching yourself to play guitar,
guitar tab will not tell you which finger to use on a string. If
you are a very new beginner, you may want to know the basics of
chords and such before venturing into learning how to read
The website "Guitar Tab Universe" (www.guitartabs.cc)
gives tabs for many familiar songs. In fact, it advertises
itself as the Internet's largest collection of guitar and bass
tabs. One warning - you'll have to scroll through a lot of band
names to get to the artist you want, and some of those names are
obscene. If obscenities bug you, try a different site.
Christian.totaltabs.com gives you access to tabs or chords for
631 songs by 111 contemporary Christian bands and artists.
Cowboylyrics.com provides you with tabs, lyrics, and/or guitar
chords for many country songs.
In general, if you are searching for online guitar tabs, you
need to specify the type of music you desire or you will
probably get a lot of listings for rock tabs. Fortunately, you
are sure to find just the songs to use to teach yourself how to
read guitar tab.
About the author:
Article by Jake Hanson. Please visit his guitar
lesson site to get an online free guitar lesson course that details how to play guitar with
amazing free chord and tab lessons.