How to Read Guitar Tabs

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					How to Read Guitar Tabs
One of the most exciting parts of learning how to play guitar is being
able to play your favorite songs. Most beginners, when they start out,
dream of being able to shred their favorite songs by their favorite
bands. While the ultimate goal should be to learn how to read music, the
best way for beginners to learn songs quickly is to learn how to read
guitar tabs.
Guitar tablature is very similar to sheet music, only you don't
necessarily have to know the notes and values of traditional sheet music
to read tablature. One of the biggest differences there is between sheet
music and tabs is that sheet music has only five lines, while guitar tabs
have six lines, each representing a string on the guitar.
Reading Guitar Tabs: Step 1 - Learning the Strings
One of the first things you'll need to know in order to learn how to read
guitar tabs is how the strings (the six lines) are arranged in the
tablature. The high E (thinnest string) will be the very top line,
followed by the B string, the G string, the D string, the A string, and
finally the very bottom string will be the low E.
Step 2- Learning the Frets
The next step in learning how to read guitar tabs is to learn what all
the numbers mean that are on the various lines (strings) of the
The numbers located on the lines represent frets on your guitar. Frets
are the spaces between the little metal bars on the fingerboard of your
guitar. If there is a number 5 on the line that represents the low E
string, this means you press the low E string down on the fifth fret and
play that note. If there is a 0 on the line, this means you play that
particular string open.
Step 3 - Learning the Symbols
It's also extremely important when learning how to read guitar tabs that
you know what the symbols on the lines represent. If there is an "x" on
the line, that means that string isn't played at all.
Sometimes when a particular guitar chord is tabbed out, there will be a
few strings with the "x" on it in between some of the notes of the chord.
This means that those strings are not to be played as part of the chord.
If you see a "b", this means the note bends; if you see an "r", it means
to release the bend. If you see an "h", this stands for hammer-on, and if
you see a "p", this stands for pull-off. "PM" stands for palm mute, and
"t" stands for tap. If you see a "/", this is indicating a slide.
(Consult your favorite "how to play guitar" guide for detailed
explanations of how to play what those symbols are indicating. Check out
my favorite list of resources right below this article!)
Learning how to read guitar tabs is one of the most crucial skills a
beginner can learn. Once you've acquired this valuable skill, you'll be
able to start learning some of your favorite songs, and your practice
time will become a whole lot more fun. Learning how to read guitar tabs
will put the wind in your sails as you endeavor to become a true guitar
Have fun!
There are three resources I'd suggest you check out to learn more about
guitar tablature. See my how to read guitar tabs blog entry at
GuitarHack, this how to read guitar tabs page on Squidoo, and this how to
read guitar tabs article on Hubpages. You'll be glad you did!

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