Video:How to Read Guitar Tabswith Omar Saad
Guitar tabs are the quickest and easiest learn to start playing guitar. Follow the basic tips in this how-to video from About.com and you'll be playing in no time!See Transcript
Transcript:How to Read Guitar Tabs
Hi I'm Omar Saad for About.com and today we're going to learn how to read guitar tablature.
What are Guitar Tabs?
The guitar is an especially fun instrument to play and while, like any other instrument, there is sheet music available to teach you how to play different songs, if you're a beginner and don't know how to read music, guitar tabs are the easiest way for you to start playing.
Guitar Tabs with Letters
When looking at a piece of guitar tablature, you will notice that the tab staff is made up of 6 lines. Each line represents a string on your guitar. Starting from the top and working you way down, you have the Low E, A, D, G, B, and high E string.
Guitar Tabs with Numbers
When you look at a piece to tablature you will notice that certain lines have numbers on them. The lines that the numbers are written on represent the strings to be strummed and the numbers on those lines represent the fret to be played.
Guitar Tab Example
For example, looking at this piece of tab we would play the A string, first on open, then down to the third fret, down to five, down again to seven, back up to the third fret, and finishing off on open, once again. If a string doesn't have a number on it, it's not meant to be played. However, when a string shows a 0, the "open" string should be strummed, as in the example we just looked at.
Lets take another look at the concept in practice. Here's a piece of basic tab. It's basically just a simple blues scale. This is what it would look like in tab form, and here is how you would play it.
Sometimes you'll see a tab that shows multiple strings being played at once, as in this example. This indicates the playing of a chord. In this case it's an E.
Extra Tips About Reading Guitar Tabs
Just a couple of quick tips; from time to time you'll see symbols on guitar tablature. One of the most common is the letter h, as in this example. In this case you would strike the first fret indicated and then hammer-on to the next fret, like so. Pretty simple.
A p in the same position, as shown here, would be almost the same thing in reverse. Instead of a hammer on it will be pulling off, like so. Other common symbols are the b for bend. As in string bend, as shown here. And the backslash or forward slash /, as shown here, indicating either an ascending or descending slides. Now that you've got the basics down all you need to do is practice. Before you know it you'll be rockin out to your favorite songs!
Thanks for watching, to learn more visit us on the web at About.com.