10.21.2009

How to Read Tablature for Guitar and Bass

I have to admit when posting guitar or bass lessons I sometimes forget about the person that has just started to play. Today I'm focusing my attention on helping those aspiring players out with an explanation of how to read guitar and bass tablature.

StaffsTablature (or tab) is a number system for reading notes on the neck of the guitar. It does not require you to have knowledge of standard music notation. This system was designed specifically for guitar. Most music for guitar is available in tab. Tablature is a crucial and essential part of your guitar playing career.

The six lines of the tablature staff represent each of the six strings. The top line is the thinnest (highest pitch) string. The bottom line is the thickest (lowest pitch) string. The lines in between are the 2nd through 5th strings. The numbers placed directly on these lines show you the fret number to play the note at. At the bottom, underneath the staff, is a series if numbers. These numbers show you which left hand fingers you should use to fret the notes.

Guitar Tablature Explanation












Reading Chord Tablature

Chords can also be written in tab. If there are several numbers stacked together in a column, those notes should be played or strummed at the same time. Here are the Am and Em chords with the tablature written out beneath each diagram. Since the fingerings are shown on the chord diagrams, there is no reason to repeat them underneath the tab.















Bass Tablature Explanation

Tablature (or tab) is a number system for reading notes on the neck of the Bass guitar. It does not require you to have knowledge of standard music notation. This system was designed specifically for guitar and bass. Most music for bass guitar is available in tab. Tablature is a crucial and essential part of your bass playing career.The four lines of the tablature staff represent each of the four strings. The top line is the thinnest (highest pitch) string the first string. The bottom line is the thickest (lowest pitch) string the fourth string. The lines between are the second and third strings. The numbers placed directly on these lines show you the fret number to play the note at. At the bottom, underneath the staff, is a series if numbers. These numbers show you which left hand fingers you should use to fret the notes.


3 comments:

guitalias said...

I sometimes forget about the person that has just started to play...
I'm one of these people. When correct finger to use isn't shown how does someone know which fingers to use? Is there a rule of thumb (rule of finger?) ?

sarge1875 said...

For the chords, sometimes the fingering is shown under the tab. It will help if you pick up a chord book that would show the fingering for the chords or you could do a search for guitar chords, there are a lot of free sources out there.

As far as lead guitar the fingerings are under the tab or are shown on the actual tab itself.

Simon George said...

thanks so much for the lesson. i am just beginning and stuff like this really helps. great post keep up the hard work. check these out IStillGotMyGuitar