Guitar TAB (or tablature) is extremely easy to understand once you understand what all the symbols and numbers mean.

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In this guide, i will describe in detail how to check out Guitar TAB you might find on websites such as Ultimate etc (check out the ideal Guitar TAB website here).

Different varieties of etc TAB

There space a couple of different varieties of etc TAB friend may discover online. If all guitar TAB complies with a similar format, they deserve to look an extremely different from each other.

Text-based etc TAB

This is the first type of guitar TAB that ended up being popular online. Text-based guitar TAB is created in a straightforward text document as presented below.


The an initial online guitar TAB web page only had this form of etc TAB and many website still use this layout today.

Later in this guide, i will define all the symbols provided in this kind of etc TAB therefore you can read the if you need to.

The fence of this type of TAB is it usually doesn’t include any type of details top top rhythm. When other species of etc TAB usually encompass rhythm notation, text-based guitar TAB commonly doesn’t.

Try to avoid this kind of etc TAB and use other options if available.

Writing Your very own Text-Based guitar TAB

If you desire to compose Guitar TAB in this format, you must use a specific form of font.

The font Courier New is the most famous font for creating this kind of etc TAB. Notepad in Windows has actually quite a couple of different fonts that work well v Guitar TAB.

If you see Guitar TAB choose the below, it means the not correct font to be used.


Simply transforming the font will deal with the format issues.

Interactive guitar TAB

Websites choose Songsterr use an interactive type of etc TAB that looks slightly different than text-based etc TAB.


As you have the right to see, the over Guitar TAB looks similar to the text-based etc TAB earlier, however is easier to read and also uses various symbols.

You may notice that over there is a lot an ext information top top this TAB compared to the text-based guitar TAB native earlier. This is why i recommend preventing text-based etc TAB if possible. Formal guitar TAB favor this or the below form is far much more useful.

Tablature and also Standard Notation

If you buy a etc TAB book, girlfriend will most likely see this format. Together you can see below, there room two staffs connected together:


The top half is the tune written in typical Notation and also the bottom fifty percent is created in Tablature.

This is the best of both civilizations as it offers you two various ways of analysis the exact same music. Countless guitarists favor this format since it offers you the most info on just how to pat a song on guitar.

If you don’t know exactly how to check out standard notation, you can simply overlook the height staff and read the bottom guitar TAB staff.

Writing Your own Formal guitar TAB

There space a couple of different means you can create your own formal guitar TAB.

The easiest method is through Guitar pro 7 (link to my full review).

Guitar pro 7 offers you everything you have to edit and create your very own Guitar TABs. Gift able come play the TAB ago also help you recognize what to play ~ above guitar.

Guitar TAB Layout

The very first thing you need to understand with guitar TAB is the basic layout.

Guitar TAB has actually six horizontal currently to represent the 6 strings on the guitar.

There may be an ext or fewer lines to match different instruments. TAB for base or ukulele will have four or 5 lines and Guitar TAB for a 7-string guitar would have actually 7 horizontal lines.

As you have the right to see in the diagram below, the 6 lines complement up come the six strings on your guitar:


Looking at guitar TAB is favor looking under at your guitar in her hands. The bottom line in guitar TAB matches the lowest pitch string (low E) on your guitar.

Text-based and also formal etc TAB sometimes displays the wire tunings for each line as presented below:


The crucial point come remember is the the height line on etc TAB matches the highest possible pitch string on your guitar and the lowest heat matches the lowest key string on her guitar.

What perform Numbers mean on etc TAB

Each line on guitar TAB matches a wire on your guitar. Anytime you check out a number top top a heat in etc TAB, it is an instruction come play a specific note on that string.

The number on guitar TAB stand for the worry numbers on a string. 5 would typical the 5th fret on your guitar. 12 would mean the twelfth fret. 0 would median the open string (zero fret).

Take a look at the listed below diagram for instances of various Guitar TAB numbers and also how every number matches a note on the guitar:


There space two ways numbers can be composed in etc TAB and it affects the way you pat them.

Numbers stacked on optimal of each Other

When number on guitar TAB space stacked on peak of each other, that is telling you come play those numbers at the very same time. In other words, strum a chord.


All the the over numbers in the guitar TAB space stacked on height of every other and also if girlfriend play them all at the exact same time, you finish up with a chord.

Take a look at the listed below Guitar TAB and also think around what is being played (or try to play that yourself):


While it might look confusing, that is just asking you come strum an E minor chord eight times.

Numbers composed Left to Right

When numbers are written side by side (on the same string or different strings), the etc TAB is telling you come play the note one ~ the various other from left come right.

We review Guitar TAB as with you’re reading this sentence – native left to right one word at a time.

In the below Guitar TAB, you start by playing the first fret note, climate play the 2nd fret note, then the third fret note, and also finally the 4th fret note since they space all composed one after the other.


It doesn’t matter if you see a single-note or a chord, read everything left come right.

The key point come remember is the you just play a string on your guitar as soon as you view a number on the string.

If girlfriend don’t watch a number on a string, it way not come play anything on that string.

What execute Symbols typical on guitar TAB

Now the you know what the lines and also numbers represent on guitar TAB, let’s look in ~ the vital symbols used.

Symbols on guitar TAB represent different guitar techniques such as slides, bends, hammer-ons, palm-muting, and more. Once you view a price in guitar TAB, that is informing you to carry out a specific type of technique.

There room two to adjust of symbols to find out for etc TAB. Text-based etc TAB supplies one collection of symbols and formal guitar TAB offers a different set of symbols.

Let’s walk through every one of the key symbols girlfriend will most likely see in etc TAB.

What walk h average in guitar TAB

h‘ in etc TAB is brief for ‘hammer-on’. This is when you pat a note and hammer-on come a greater note.

In text-based guitar TAB this is presented as ‘h’ in in between two notes. In formal guitar TAB, this is shown as a bent line end the 2 notes as presented below and an H over the staff:


Both of the above Guitar TABs are reflecting the precise same thing to play.

2h4 means play the 2nd fret, then hammer-on to the 4th fret. 2h4h5 way to carry out two hammer-ons in a row (you just pick the very first note).

What walk p median in etc TAB

p‘ in etc TAB is quick for ‘pull-off’. This is as soon as you pat a note and pull-off come a reduced note. It’s basically the the contrary of a hammer-on.


The very same curved line is supplied in formal etc TAB together is supplied for hammer-ons, for this reason you just need come look at whether the number is higher or lower to understand which technique to use.

Hammer-ons and pull-offs deserve to be an unified (known as legato) all under the very same curved line as shown below:


This can also be an unified with slides as presented later.

What go / or mean in guitar TAB

A cut ( / or ) in etc TAB is the symbol for a slide.

The type of slash used tells you whether you should slide up to a note ‘/’ or slide down to a keep in mind ‘’.

To understand which cut symbol is which, think the the slash symbol as a on slide you walk as much as from the left. If the slash slopes downwards like , you slide under on guitar. If the slash slopes upwards prefer /, you on slide up on guitar.


The same symbols are used in text-based and also formal etc TAB for this reason it’s simple to determine slides. Some old text-based etc TAB may showsinstead that a slash (eg: 7s5).

In formal guitar TAB, you might also notification a curved line end the optimal of the slide, this is a reminder the you only pick the first note the the slide. If there isn’t a curved line, it way to choose both notes.

What does b mean in etc TAB

b‘ in etc TAB is the symbol for a bend. In formal guitar TAB, a curved line v an arrow or number is used.


In text-based guitar TAB, periodically a number is provided after the ‘b’ come tell united state what pitch to bending up to. So 7b9 way to bend the 7th fret keep in mind up till it sounds prefer the 9th fret pitch.

Some larger text-based guitar TAB found online use the symbol ^ to represent a bend.

In formal guitar TAB, a number is given at the top of the curved arrow to tell us what type of bend to play.

‘1/2’ method a half-step bend, ‘full’ means a whole-step bend, ‘1 1/2’ way a one-and-a-half action bend and also so on.

r‘ in guitar TAB means to relax a bend. Sometimes this is shown if a bend needs to be hosted for a long time, so you understand when to reduced it again.

pb’in guitar TAB method to pre-bend a note prior to you choose it. You press the string as much as the correct pitch, then pick the note before releasing the or hold it.

What does x mean in etc TAB

x‘ in guitar TAB is the symbol for a mute hit or rake. This deserve to be throughout multiple strings or top top a solitary string.

A mute hit is as soon as you lightly place your fingers end the strings and also hit them.


Think the a funk guitarist playing some percussive rhythms on his guitar without chords ringing out. Those are muted hits.

What carry out parentheses () mean in etc TAB

When a note is in bracket () in guitar TAB, the either method to pat a ghost keep in mind or the the note is proceeding to ring out.

In the listed below example, the note in parentheses are ghost notes. This method you need to play the note in the bracket softer 보다 the rest of the notes.


Sometimes ghost note are displayed to stand for the repetitive notes friend hear from a delay pedal.

In the below example, the keep in mind in parentheses no a ghost note. Instead, the parentheses call you the the keep in mind has ongoing to ring out into the following bar and also you don’t choose it again.


Normally once a keep in mind rings out to the following bar, parentheses are used to show that the keep in mind is quiet ringing out.

What does ~ average in etc TAB

~‘ in etc TAB is the symbol for vibrato. In text-based etc TAB, this is usually shown on the line beside the note and also formal TAB reflects a wavy line above the staff.

Some old text-based etc TAB uses vnext come the keep in mind to present vibrato since the ~~~ deserve to be hard to see.


While ~ is the symbol because that vibrato, quite often the symbol no used since the guitarist supplies vibrato so often it would certainly make the sheet music confusing to encompass it top top every organized note.

So if girlfriend don’t check out a vibrato price in TAB however you have the right to hear it in the song, it is why it wasn’t noted.

What go average in guitar TAB

‘ in guitar TAB is the prize for herbal harmonics. As soon as you see a note in between the two icons such together it means to pat a natural harmonic on that fret.


The curved line over all of the notes in formal etc TAB reminds us that every one of this is play without picking (legato).

As you deserve to see, tapping in text-based etc TAB can acquire really confusing and hard come read. As soon as I was learning guitar ns would print out the TAB and use a highlighter to clearly see which notes to be tapped.

Check out these good tapping solos to learn about tapping.

What walk PM typical in guitar TAB

PM‘ in etc TAB is the symbol for palm muting. This is generally displayed over or listed below the staff and also is complied with by a dashed line if the palm muting is held for a long time.


In the above example, you only play palm muting when there is a pm or dashed line listed below or over the staff. The other notes room played without palm muting.

In part older text-based etc TAB, this symbol might not be provided at all if the song heavily uses palm muting.

For example, in some steel songs, practically the whole song supplies palm muting. It would be messy to include a dashed heat to every note, so it is regularly left out.

Guitar TAB icons Summary

Here is a fast guide to the most common symbols girlfriend will check out in text-based guitar TAB:

h = hammer-onp = pull-offb = bend/ = on slide up = on slide downPM – – – – = palm muting (above or listed below TAB)~~~ = vibratox = muted hit = herbal harmonicst = tapping() = grace note or allow the note ring out

There are many more symbols that can show up in etc TAB, but the above covers all of the essentials you are most likely to see.

Guitar TAB Template

If you want to easily write some concepts down and also you don’t have actually Guitar pro 7, you deserve to use the below Guitar TAB template.

e|---------------------------------------------------------------|B|---------------------------------------------------------------|G|---------------------------------------------------------------|D|---------------------------------------------------------------|A|---------------------------------------------------------------|E|---------------------------------------------------------------|e|---------------------------------------------------------------|B|---------------------------------------------------------------|G|---------------------------------------------------------------|D|---------------------------------------------------------------|A|---------------------------------------------------------------|E|---------------------------------------------------------------|Simply highlight all 6 lines climate copy and also paste the above text into Notepad, Word, or any type of other text editor and you have the right to start editing and enhancing it to TAB the end anything friend want.

When you dough the text, make certain you use a font such together Courier New. If you use the dorn font, girlfriend will battle to do the numbers, symbols, and dashes heat up properly.

When editing and enhancing the TAB, psychic to add or eliminate the dashes to keep the lines the very same length. This deserve to be done by pushing the Insert crucial on your keyboard with part word processors. That will form over the top of the dashes rather of adding numbers or icons in between the dashes.

Download some printable guitar TAB templates in PDF style here.

Find etc TABs Online

Now that you know exactly how to check out Guitar TAB, find for some online to obtain used to reading them. Learning just how to beat by analysis Guitar TAB is an easy skill to learn, so save this page open up while you look through some guitar TABs to obtain used to every the symbols.

Read this overview on the best Guitar TAB web page to examine out some formal and also text-based guitar TABs.

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Guitar TAB is among a couple of ways of reading music. Uncover out around the other methods of analysis music here and also check the end this overview if you want to learn just how to check out standard notation.