Video:How to Understand the Tab Staffwith Omar Saad
Learn how to understand the tab staff, the foundation of guitar tablature, so that you can read guitar music easily. Here are some tips for understanding the tab staff.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Understand the Tab Staff
Hi I'm Omar Saad here for About.com and today we're going to take a look at how to understand the tab staff on guitar tablature. The guitar is one of the world's most popular instruments and learning to play it, at least in a basic form, can be done by pretty much anyone, using guitar tablature. Here is a quick guide to understanding the foundation of any guitar tab, the tab staff.
Tab Staffs Mimic The Neck of a Guitar
Like any other instrument, songs written for the guitar are traditionally done so on sheet music. Fortunately for those of us that want to play but can't read sheet music, there is guitar tab. Guitar tab is written to reflect the look of the neck of a guitar and, quite literally, tells you which fret or frets to play and which strings to strum, at any given point in a song. The foundation of a piece of guitar tablature is the tab staff. The tab staff is comprised of six horizontal lines, each one representing a specific string on the guitar.
Learn the Lines of the Tab Staff
Taking a closer look at the tab staff, the top line of the staff represents bottom e string on your guitar and the bottom line of the staff represents the top e string on your guitar, or the low e. The second line from the bottom of the staff represents the a string on your guitar, and so on and so forth. Knowing what each line on tab staff represents means that you are almost at the point of being able to read guitar tablature.
Learn the Numbers on a Tab Staff
When looking at a piece of guitar tab, you will notice that there will always be numbers placed on specific lines and in specific sequences. These numbers represent both the frets to be played and the order in which they are to be played. And the line of the tab staff that they are placed on obviously signifies the string to be strummed. So in this case you would strum the second fret on the a string.
Play a Scale Using a Basic Tab Staff
Putting all of this information together let's take a look at how to play a basic scale using guitar tablature. Here is a basic blues scale on a piece of tablature. We'll start with the high E string, as signified by the tab and proceed from there.
Tips for Reading Guitar Tab Staff
The guitar can be an incredibly fun instrument to play and fortunately a relatively easy one to self teach. Just take some time to understand how guitar tab works, beginning with the tab staff, and you'll be rocking out to your favorite songs in no time.
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