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Understanding TAB – Tabulature Part 2

Continued from previous page – Understanding TAB – Tabulature Part 1

We’re now going to stick to one image example for each part explained.

The image below is a quick example of a typical guitar tab.

Reading Guitar TAB - Hall of the mountain king

The above tab is the first part of ‘Hall of The Mountain King’

To play this we need to do a few things.

1. Figure out which string to use

2. Figure out which fret to hold/press down.

3. Decide which finger to use to play the note.

‘I just go where the guitar takes me’ – Angus Young

 

Reading TAB: Getting down to the nitty


To make this easier to understand I’m going to overly simplify

The following tab will be explained note by note.

In the image below I’ve circled the first note – to play this note play the ‘Bottom E’ with no fingers holding down the string

Remember that TAB is written ‘upside down’ the ‘Bottom E’ is therefore the Thickest string

The ‘0‘ means on fingers and no frets.

Reading Guitar TAB - Hall of the mountain king

To play the above note you need to play the ‘Bottom E’ string without pressing down on the string.

Reading Guitar TAB - Hall of the mountain king

To play the above note you need to press down the same string on the ‘2nd’ fret.

Reading Guitar TAB - Strings - Text

To play the above note: you need to press down the same string on the ‘3rd’ fret.

Playing Tip – To create a consistency in your playing it is a good idea to use your fingers in the best way possible

Use your 2nd finger to play the 2nd fret and your 3rd finger to play the 3rd fret.

Even though not shown in the images above ‘Hall of The Mountain King’ eventually plays a note on the 1st fret so we keep our 1st finger available for that note.

Moving through strings

The next two notes are on the string below the‘Bottom E’ this string is called the ‘A’ string.

Reading Guitar TAB

To play the note above: drop down a string from the one you’ve played previously, play the ‘A’ string without pressing down any frets

Reading Guitar TAB

To play the note above: press down the ‘A’ string on the 2nd fret with your 2nd finger

These numbers tell us which ‘fret’ to play.

The next note moves back up to the ‘Bottom E’

Reading Guitar TAB

To play the note above: move up a string from the one you’ve played previously, press down the ‘Bottom E’ string on the 3rd fret with your 3rd finger

Reading Guitar TAB

To play the note above: move back down a string from the one you’ve played previously, press down the ‘A’ string on the 2nd fret with your 2nd finger

 

TAB Continued

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