Reading and Writing Guitar Tablature

Picture of Reading and Writing Guitar Tablature
In this instructable I will try my best to show you not only how to read guitar tablature, but also how to write it. Many guitarists prefer tab because it physically represents the guitar, and is very simple to write. You also don't need to know how to read sheet music, which is very practical. I struggle with that myself.

Tab is good for beginners that don't know how to read sheet music, or for people who need a visual representation of what to do.

(sorry for the absence of pictures, the illustrations are included in the text itself.
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: What Exactly is Tab?

Picture of What Exactly is Tab?

1. Music . any of various systems of music notation using letters, numbers, or other signs to indicate the strings, frets, keys, etc., to be played.

Tablature is a "true representation" way of showing you what fret and string to press. I find it very easy to read, and would prefer it anyday over sheet music. One disadvantage of tab is that it doesn's show you the beat or timing of the music. Many guitar music books contain both for just that reason.

Step 2: The Basics

Picture of The Basics
If you look at the tab below, you will notice that there are 6 horizontal lines running parallel to eachother. These lined represent the six strings of a guitar. If you are unsure about those, check out alvincredible's ible. ( The strings from highest to lowest are e-B-G-D-A-E, with the e closest to the ground. This confuses many people because the lowest (sounding) string is highest (placed) on the fretboard.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------]   (e)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------]   (E)