How to read guitar tab, tablature

How to read guitar tab?

What is tablature? Tablature, tab for short, is a form of musical notation with an emphasis on fingerings rather than traditional notation. Tablature is commonly used for fretted instruments. How to read guitar tab, tablature?
Tablature reading is used most often by novice musicians. The problem with tab is that it doesn’t indicate note length and duration. This is where understanding note values will help as most tablature is written below standard notation.

Tablature, tab is a closer visual representation of your guitar fretboard, as a result making it easier to interpret music. It virtually doesn’t require any training to become quite good at reading it.

Tablature takes the guess work out of which fret to play chords or notes. Standard notation has often left this a gray area but in some cases will indicate frets by placing roman numbers below the staff.

Sample of how to read guitar tab

Below you can see a sample of what guitar tab looks like and how to read guitar tab. Because it’s important to remember tab must be read upside down in comparison to how the strings are on your guitar. And if you remember, your strings read from top to bottom EADGBE. Tab reads from top to bottom EBGDAE.

The chords E, F, and G:
e |—0—1—3—
B |—0—1—0—
.      .E    F    G

Each of the columns represents a chord fingering. Press G string in the 1st fret and the D and A strings in the 2nd fret. Problem with tab is that it doesn’t indicate correct finger positions for the chords. Because correct finger positions are essential as we move into barre chords, commonly known as power chords used in most music.
If you begin to read the tab instead of notation, you will find yourself able to get through a piece more quickly. But limited in many other ways as tablature lacks musical structure that makes a song beautiful and dynamic.

Example of how to read guitar tab, tablature bellow:

how to read guitar tab

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Guitar Power chords

Guitar power chords

Guitar power chords are very similar to barre chords. As you learned by now. Barre chords (and other chord formations) are comprised of R-3-5. Power chords are simply R-5. Power chords are not recognize as true chords, like other chords. Because they don’t have the 3rd tone and they are call dyads. It makes sense, dy meaning 2.

A lot of modern rock songs use power chords so you will see them come up in the songs later on. They are much simpler and they sound great. Don’t forget to practice your other chord formations also! Below are some examples of power chords.

guitar power chords


Caged system for barre chords

Caged system for barre chords

This system is very simple. The five positions bellow are considered movable.

Caged system for barre chords positions

Continue reading

Minor 7th open chords

Minor 7th open chords

A minor 7th open chords are just like the major 7th only with the minor chord formation formula. Let’s take a look at what this looks like. A C minor scale is C D Eb F G Ab Bb C, Root = C, 3rd = Eb, 5th = G, and 7th = Bb. The formula for this chord construct is R-3b-5-7. Just like the major 7th chord. Standard triad consist out of the R-3b-5 and the 7th tone is added in.
Find here some of the common ways how these chords and notes are going to be referred to. Cm7, Dm7, Em7, Fm7, Gm7, Am7, Bm7, Cmin7, Dmin7, Emin7, Fmin7, Gmin7, Amin7, Bmin7.

minor 7th open chords

Major 7th open chords

Major 7th open chords

major 7th open chords

The Bmaj chord is actually Bmaj7. Continue reading

Dominant 7th major open chords

Dominant 7th major open chords

dominant 7th major open chords

Dominant 7th major open chords formations are a little different. The principles are still the same as a standard major chord formation but the 7th note is added Continue reading

Minor open chords for guitar


minor open chords for guitar

With minor open chords everything is like with the major chords, Solid dots represent finger positions. Diamonds represent played notes. X es represent a string or note not played (muted).
Each of the minor chords consists of a triad in notation. The formula for a minor triad is as follows: R- (flatted) 3- 5. This means if your C minor scale is: C D Eb F G Ab Bb C, Root = C, 3rd = Eb, 5th = G. Notice that it is exactly the same as a minor triad except for the flatted (b) 3rd. Also, the only notes played will be the R-3-5.
Here are some of the common ways that these chords and notes will be referred to. Cm, Dm, Em, Fm, Gm, Am, Bm, Cmin, Dmin, Emin, Fmin, Gmin, Amin, Bmin.

Major open chords, guitar

sLet’s start with the major open chords. Open chords are basic chord formations that all guitar players learn how to play first.


major open chords

About the major open chords: Continue reading

Posture for playing guitar

Posture for playing guitar

Correct posture for playing guitar is important because as a guitar player, you want to eliminate any excess tension or straining on your body. You need to sit up straight and make sure you have a flat back. Do not lean over the front of your guitar to see what you’re doing with your fingerings. Instead of looking over your guitar, use your fret dots to know where your fingers are. Ultimately you will play without looking at your instrument and fingers.

posture for playing guitar
A lot of novice guitar players will sit anywhere; place the guitar on their right thigh and play. Why this is a problem? When your posture for playing guitar is completely Continue reading

Play guitar, hand and fingers

Play guitar hand and fingers

Lets see for a moment how does it looks like with play guitar hand and fingers basics for playing guitar.
First you will have one fretting hand, which is responsible for creating chords or single notes. And one picking or strumming hand. Both hands are very important, with fretting hand you are creating chords and with picking hand you are making rhythm and melody, there starts the magic.


play guitar hand and fingers

Here is a picture of your fretting hand and how to refer to your fingers. This will be a great visual aid for correct chord placement. It will be tempting Continue reading