Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Guitar Tablature (aka TABs)

Just realized I have not talked about guitar tabs yet. I believe they are important to the average beginner guitar player because it is a simplified representation of guitar music that is much easier to read and follow when playing the guitar.  You will likely find all different variations of guitar tabs, from the very simple to the complex to ones that include the standard musical notation as well. Personally I suggest sticking with just the basics to begin with. When I refer to basic guitar tab it is simply a representation of the notes on the guitar strings. Each line will represent a guitar string from the highest toned string to the lowest tone string. The notes to play will then be represented by a a number indicating which fret to play on the guitar for that string. Additionally I prefer when the chord lettering is listed above when the chords are supposed to change. Below is a quick example of guitar tab pointing out the various components of basic guitar tablature.

There are a lot of places online that you can search for guitar tabs for songs. (I will cover some in the next post along with a couple other useful tools) Unfortunately many of the quote unquote guitar tabs are not actually guitar tabs but rather lyrics with chords noted above the lyrics. Don’t get me wrong, those are very useful as well, but they are not guitar tabs. But if you are just looking to play some rhythm guitar with chords, those are probably a better reference than guitar tabs.

Guitar tablature is a great way to learn a new song in a couple different ways. The first is obviously if you have a a guitar tab available that makes much easier to play the song. But if you don’t have the guitar tab available, I would encourage you to create your own. I always found in school that I would remember things easier if I wrote them down. It is the same with playing a guitar song. If I actually write out a tab, I remember the song much better and longer. 


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