How to Read Guitar Tab?

Learning to play the guitar is like operating a new machine. You need a manual to operate a new machine. You need to read the rules before you play a new board game. Learning to play the guitar is no different. You’ll have a manual like no other – the tablature.

Basics of Guitar Tabs / Tablature

If you are new to guitar lessons, do not be confused about tabs and tablature. They mean the exact, same thing in guitar lingo. Learning to play the guitar is made easy with guitar tablature. Anybody who has a guitar and is willing to spend some time learning the rudiments can get along fine.

Easy guitar tabs or other guitar tablature provide visual interpretation of the guitar’s fret board so formal training is not necessary to understand guitar tabs. Guitar tabs are also easy to read and interpret hence, application is faster and easier.

Guitar tabs are musical notations that look like a written sheet music document but with some minor differences.

Instead of the usual dots spread on a 5 line stave to show a specific note, the frets are numbered on a six line stave. The line represents a guitar’s string. Therefore, the six lines are the six strings of the guitar. Guitar tabs are also read from left to right.


How to read Guitar Tab

If you have a four-stringed guitar, the guitar tabs will show four horizontal lines representing the four strings. The topmost string is the G string, followed by the D string, the A string, and lastly, the E string.

If you see two numbers (one above the other) on one string, it indicates that the string is to be played simultaneously.

If you’re reading guitar tabs, you will notice that you won’t be determining the position of the fret board where you have to play the note. The guitar notes can be played in various left hand positions and on diverse strings. guitar tabs are also easy to understand because the notations are clear.

Instead of learning how to study the pitch, you are learning where to place your fingers.



Here’s a video that shows how to read tabs for guitar

Final Thoughts

Playing the guitar is not that easy as it looks, especially if you are just starting out and it can be challenging. It requires speed, and with all the slapping and sliding, the fingers should be exercised regularly to perform well.

In addition, your fingers should be able to take the impossible chords and switch chords with ease and agility. Practicing the hand is basic in guitar playing. You have to achieve speed without losing accuracy with each pluck. You also have to get used to the sensation of holding the guitar without using your left hand.

Apart from the guitar tabs and acquiring fingering speed, guitarists have to learn the tapping, slapping, and popping techniques. These techniques support the song context, making the notes more appealing and distinctive.


  • Ultimate Easy Guitar Collection
  • The Absolute Best Guitar Songbook Guitar Tab Edition

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *