[May 19, 2013]
Reading Guitar and Bass Tablature
If you purchase a book in tablature format this is what you can expect:
This is how guitar tablature looks in a tablature book:
- Tablature for each song included in the book.|
- The order and the number of times each part is played.
- A staff above the tablature indicating the notes.
- An explanation of symbols used (Such as the symbols for slides and pull-offs).
- The chord names (sometimes)
- The tuning for each song.
- The tempo for each song.
- Lyrics for each song.
Each line represents a string; The bottom line being the largest string. The number on each line
represents the fret number (0 on the line means that no fret is held). If the notes are stacked on top of each other (like the
right side of the example) then you hit the notes simultaneously. The tablature is read from left to right playing each note
you come to.|
So, in the example above you would hit the heaviest string twice while holding the top string at the second fret,
then you would hit the top string while holding no frets, then back to the second fret, etc.
On the right side of the example you would first hit the two heaviest strings twice while holding
each string at the second fret, then you would hit the two heaviest strings while holding no frets, etc.
The example is for a six string guitar. If it were for a seven string guitar there would be seven
line. If it were for bass guitar there would be four lines for a four string bass, five lines for a five string bass, etc.
Sometimes tablature books will have the corresponding music notes (whole notes, half notes, etc.) above the tablature, which is helpful if
you can read music. Otherwise, you will need to listen to the song in order to figure out when to hit each note.