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What is Tab?

Tab or tablature is a method of writing down music played on guitar or bass. Instead of using symbols like in standard musical notation, it uses ordinary ASCII characters and numbers, making it ideal for places like the internet where anybody with any computer can link up, copy a tab file, and read it.


How do I Read Tabs?

The tab should be viewed with a square, monospaced font. This is a font where the letter W and the number 1 take up the same amount of space. The problem with the online stuff is that timing and spacing don't always translate well, which makes it difficult to tab songs people haven't heard.

Tabs are written in six lines per row, with each line representing a string on the guitar. The top line of a tab is the high 'E' note on your guitar (the lowest and most thin string). The notes are given at the beginning of each row of tab.

e-------------- High E string b-------------- B string g-------------- G string d-------------- D string a-------------- A string e-------------- Low E string

Each row of strings will have numbers on them. These numbers indicate which fret to press (the number 0 means no fret is pressed - the string is played open).

Ex 1 Ex 2 Ex 3 Ex 4 e---- ---- -0- ----------- B---- -15- -0- ----------- G---- -14- -1- ----------9 D---- ---- -2- ----5--9--9 A--3- ---- -2- -5--5--7--7 E---- ---- -0- -3--3------

Ex 1: This example shows "middle C" hold the A string (2nd from the top) at the third fret. Just pick the one string.

Ex 2: This example shows basically what example 1 did, but with 2 strings. So just play 2 strings.

Ex 3: This example shows an E major chord. Hold the A and D strings at the second fret, the at the first, and the other strings leave open.

Ex 4: This is an example of power chords. They can be played with either the three notes or just two, it doesn't matter much especially with lots of distortion.


Terms, Abbreviations, And Other Symbols

harm harmonic; hold finger slightly above string and pick it can only be done at specific places on the neck (this takes practice and you should find someone to show you how, beause it's difficult to explain)
A.H. artificial harmonic; more difficult than a harmonic, you have to mute the string with the thumb on the pick hand after you hit the note (this takes practice... blah blah blah, read above)
h
hammer on; (ie 7h8) fret and pick string at 7th fret, and without picking again "hammer" and hold string at 8th fret
p
pull off; (ie 9p7) fret and pick string at 9th and 7th frets, and without picking again pull finger off 9th fret and let 7th ring
/
slide up; note rises
\
slide down; guess
pm.... palm mute; holding the bottom part of your right hand (for right handed players) against the strings near the bridge keeping it from ringing. The dots that follow indicate notes (chords) above are also muted
full
^
bend note; this tells which note (the carrot) and how much the note should be bent (full means a full step higher, half is a half ect.)
~~~ tremolo; slightly bend and un-bend note to increase sustain
x rake; mute strings with fretting hand by not quite fretting a note, but still holding strings
* who knows, but it'll usually be explained in the tab


Chord Charts

Power Chords

E5 F5 F#5 G5 G#5 A5 e---------------------------------- b---------------------------------- g-------9------10----------------2- d--2----9--3---10--4--5--6--7----2- a--2-or-7--3-or-8--4--5--6--7-or-0- e--0-------1-------2--3--4--5------ A#5 B5 C5 C#5 D5 D#5 e---------------------------------- b---------------------------------- g----3---4---5---6---7----2---8---- d----3---4---5---6---7-or-0---8---- a----1---2---3---4---5--------6---- e----------------------------------

Major Chords

E F G A B C D e---0---1---3---0---2---0---2------ b---0---1---0---2---4---1---3------ g---1---2---0---2---4---0---2------ d---2---3---0---2---4---2---0------ a---2---3---2---0---2---3---------- e---0---1---3-----------0----------

Minor Chords

Em Fm Gm Am Bm Cm Dm e---0---1---3---0---2---3---1------ b---0---1---3---1---3---4---3------ g---0---1---3---2---4---5---2------ d---2---3---0---2---4---5---0------ a---2---3-------0------------------ e---0---1--------------------------


How to Tune

Standard Tuning: E A D G B E
Tune the low E string to a tuner or another guitar
Tune the A string to the 5th fret of the low E string
Tune the D string to the 5th fret of the A string
Tune the G string to the 5th fret of the D string
Tune the B string to the 4th fret of the G string
Tune the high E string to the 5th fret of the B string

Down 1/2 Step: Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb
Tune the 6th fret of the E string to the A string
Retune the rest of the guitar as in standard tuning

Down A Whole Step: D G C F A D
Tune the 7th fret of the E string to the A string
Retune the rest of the guitar as in standard tuning

Drop D: D A D G B E
Tune the 7th fret of the low E string to the A string

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