How to read Tablature


If you know how to read manuscripts you should be able to pick this up very quickly. The dashes "-" represent each string on a six string guitar (unless you have a seven string guitar). The numbers you see are the frets on that string. If you had a "5" on the first string you would simply press your finger on the 5th fret of the first string and pluck it. The first line you see on the staff is the bottom string of your guitar (the thinnest ). The last line on a staff is the thickest E on your guitar (the top string).

E--------------------------This is the thinnest string.-----------------------
 E--------------------------This is the thickest string.-----------------------

Most guitars are in standard tuning (E B G D A E). An easy way to remember, "'E'aster 'B'unnies 'G'et 'D'runk 'A't 'E'aster. Hope that helps, that is the way I learned it. If they are not tuned that way the tablature file should tell you the way to tune your strings.

 Here is a chart of the basic symbols used in tablature files:

h = Hammer on
p = Pull off
b = Bend string
r = Release bend
/ = Slide up
\ = Slide down
v, /\, or ^ = Vibrato
x = Muted note

Now this is the way you use them:


This is not a part of a song or anything and may not even sound all that great but this is what should happen. You pick on the 6th fret of your guitar on the second string from the bottom. Then hammer on the 7th fret (while the 6th string is still ringing slam your finger on the seven string and hold it). Before the 7th fret is finished ringing you pull off of it and let the 6th string ring (kind of pluck the string when you pull your finger off). To finish the little beast bend your finger on the 6th string while you can still hear the sound. Next pluck the 5th fret on the 4th string from the bottom (the D string). Then pluck on the 7th fret on the same string. Pluck the 7th fret again and while it is still ringing slide it up to the 9th fret. Then pluck the 12 fret and hammer on the 15th fret (the third string from the bottom is where this is all at). Finally end this riff by using vibrato on the 15th fret after you have completed the last step. Some tablature files might differ in the symbols but should still be easy to recognize. Tablature files are an easy way for guitarists to write down manuscripts quickly. The only bad part about them is that they do not use beats like quarter notes and half notes, etc. Therefore you might want to know what the song sounds like when you try to play it off a tab, or try to play it along with the song.

EB's Tabs

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