Friday, 30 June 2017

Reading The Guitar Tab

Guitar music sheets are available on the net mostly as tabs. This is because this system is easy to write in on a QWERTY keyboard. Here's how to read it.

The Lines in Tabs:
The tab lines correspond to the guitar string as follows (as this site uses):

E|---------------------------- 6th String
A|---------------------------- 5th string
D|---------------------------- 4th string
G|---------------------------- 3rd String
B|---------------------------- 2nd String
e|---------------------------- 1st String

The 6th (thickest) string on top, to the 1st (thinnest) string, at the bottom.

(Many people also use the reverse order; so read the eBGDAE / EAGDBe order before you start playing. This is more common but not used on this site in general.)

e|---------------------------- 1th String
B|---------------------------- 2th string
G|---------------------------- 3th string
D|---------------------------- 4rd String
A|---------------------------- 5nd String
E|---------------------------- 6st String

The 1st (thinnest) string on top, to the 6th (thickest) string, at the bottom.

As can be seen, at the beginning of every line, the open string note of the string indicated is written, followed by a divider, "|" - found in between the backspace and +/= keys of standard 101 / 102 keys keyboard. Often - not always, the 1st string E note is written as "e"(small E) to denote the strings thinness or the notes fineness as compared to the 6th string open E note.

The lines are drawn with the standard hyphen "-"

At times, the number of lines drawn may be less than six to save space, as all of these lines may not be required. Examples of this are common, like:


(P.S.: the 1st line is the 1st string; notice that the E is written in a small letters)



The numbers on the lines indicate the fret number on the string corresponding to the line on which that number is on.

The numbers are read from left to right. No matter which line these are on, the one more left is read and played first. Not one line at a time!

Left to right no matter what  

So, in the above example, we will play this sequence:
1(1) - 1(3) - 2(4) -3(2) - 1(open)
.......x(y) meaning "string number(fret number)"

: x(0) means string number x, "fret number zero", i.e. open string.

Numbers occurring in a cluster as one column - these are chords. Hold and play all these notes together.

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