Guitar TAB (or tablature) is extremely easy to know once you understand what every the symbols and also numbers mean.

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In this guide, i will explain in information how to check out Guitar TAB you can find on web page such as Ultimate etc (check the end the best Guitar TAB website here).

Different types of guitar TAB

There room a few different types of guitar TAB friend may discover online. When all etc TAB follows a comparable format, they can look very different from every other.

Text-based etc TAB

This is the an initial type of guitar TAB that came to be popular online. Text-based etc TAB is written in a simple text document as shown below.


The very first online guitar TAB web page only had this kind of guitar TAB and also many web page still use this format today.

Later in this guide, i will explain all the symbols supplied in this kind of etc TAB therefore you have the right to read that if you require to.

The downside of this kind of TAB is it generally doesn’t include any type of details on rhythm. While other types of etc TAB usually include rhythm notation, text-based guitar TAB normally doesn’t.

Try to protect against this form of guitar TAB and also use other options if available.

Writing Your own Text-Based guitar TAB

If you want to compose Guitar TAB in this format, you must use a specific kind of font.

The font Courier New is the most well-known font for composing this kind of etc TAB. Notepad in Windows has quite a couple of different fonts that work well through Guitar TAB.

If you view Guitar TAB like the below, it means the dorn font was used.


Simply an altering the font will fix the layout issues.

Interactive etc TAB

Websites prefer Songsterr usage an interactive form of guitar TAB that looks slightly different than text-based etc TAB.


As you deserve to see, the above Guitar TAB looks similar to the text-based guitar TAB earlier, however is less complicated to read and also uses different symbols.

You may notice that there is a lot much more information ~ above this TAB compared to the text-based etc TAB native earlier. This is why i recommend staying clear of text-based guitar TAB if possible. Formal etc TAB favor this or the below kind is far much more useful.

Tablature and also Standard Notation

If you buy a etc TAB book, you will most likely see this format. As you have the right to see below, there space two staffs associated together:


The top half is the song written in conventional Notation and also the bottom half is written in Tablature.

This is the ideal of both civilizations as it offers you two different ways of reading the exact same music. Numerous guitarists prefer this format since it gives you the most information on exactly how to pat a track on guitar.

If you nothing know exactly how to check out standard notation, you deserve to simply neglect the height staff and also read the bottom etc TAB staff.

Writing Your very own Formal etc TAB

There room a couple of different methods you can produce your own formal guitar TAB.

The easiest method is v Guitar agree 7 (link to my full review).

Guitar agree 7 offers you everything you should edit and also create your very own Guitar TABs. Gift able come play the TAB earlier also help you recognize what come play ~ above guitar.

Guitar TAB Layout

The first thing you require to recognize with guitar TAB is the straightforward layout.

Guitar TAB has six horizontal present to represent the 6 strings ~ above the guitar.

There may be more or under lines to match different instruments. TAB for base or ukulele will have 4 or 5 lines and Guitar TAB for a 7-string guitar would have actually 7 horizontal lines.

As you deserve to see in the chart below, the six lines match up come the 6 strings on your guitar:


Looking at etc TAB is like looking down at your etc in her hands. The bottom line in etc TAB matches the lowest key string (low E) on your guitar.

Text-based and formal etc TAB sometimes display screens the cable tunings for each line as presented below:


The an essential point to remember is that the optimal line on guitar TAB matches the highest pitch string on your guitar and the lowest heat matches the lowest pitch string on her guitar.

What perform Numbers average on etc TAB

Each line on etc TAB matches a cable on your guitar. Anytime you check out a number ~ above a heat in etc TAB, it is one instruction come play a certain note on the string.

The numbers on etc TAB stand for the fret numbers on a string. 5 would median the fifth fret on her guitar. 12 would typical the twelfth fret. 0 would median the open up string (zero fret).

Take a look at the listed below diagram for instances of various Guitar TAB numbers and also how each number matches a note on the guitar:


There space two means numbers deserve to be created in guitar TAB and also it affects the way you beat them.

Numbers stacked on height of every Other

When numbers on guitar TAB space stacked on peak of every other, the is informing you come play those number at the exact same time. In various other words, strum a chord.


All that the over numbers in the etc TAB space stacked on height of every other and if friend play them every at the exact same time, you finish up with a chord.

Take a look in ~ the below Guitar TAB and think around what is gift played (or shot to play it yourself):


While it might look confusing, it is simply asking you to strum an E boy chord eight times.

Numbers composed Left to Right

When numbers are written side by next (on the very same string or various strings), the guitar TAB is informing you come play the note one ~ the other from left come right.

We review Guitar TAB similar to you’re analysis this sentence – native left to ideal one word at a time.

In the below Guitar TAB, you begin by playing the 1st fret note, then play the second fret note, climate the third fret note, and finally the fourth fret note since they are all created one after ~ the other.


It doesn’t matter if you see a single-note or a chord, read everything left to right.

The key point come remember is the you just play a cable on your guitar as soon as you watch a number on the string.

If you don’t see a number on a string, it method not come play something on the string.

What perform Symbols average on guitar TAB

Now the you know what the lines and also numbers stand for on guitar TAB, stop look in ~ the crucial symbols used.

Symbols on etc TAB represent various guitar techniques such as slides, bends, hammer-ons, palm-muting, and more. When you watch a prize in guitar TAB, that is telling you to carry out a specific kind of technique.

There are two to adjust of symbols to learn for etc TAB. Text-based etc TAB provides one collection of symbols and formal etc TAB provides a different collection of symbols.

Let’s go through all of the key symbols friend will most likely see in etc TAB.

What does h average in etc TAB

h‘ in guitar TAB is short for ‘hammer-on’. This is as soon as you beat a note and also hammer-on come a greater note.

In text-based etc TAB this is shown as ‘h’ in between two notes. In formal guitar TAB, this is displayed as a curved line over the 2 notes as displayed below and an H above the staff:


Both of the above Guitar TABs are showing the exact same point to play.

2h4 way play the second fret, then hammer-on come the fourth fret. 2h4h5 way to carry out two hammer-ons in a row (you just pick the very first note).

What walk p mean in etc TAB

p‘ in etc TAB is quick for ‘pull-off’. This is once you beat a note and pull-off come a lower note. It’s usually the the opposite of a hammer-on.


The exact same curved line is used in formal guitar TAB together is offered for hammer-ons, for this reason you just need to look at whether the number is higher or lower to understand which an approach to use.

Hammer-ons and also pull-offs can be linked (known as legato) every under the very same curved line as presented below:


This can likewise be merged with slides as displayed later.

What does / or \ median in etc TAB

A slash ( / or \ ) in etc TAB is the symbol because that a slide.

The form of slash offered tells you whether you should slide up to a keep in mind ‘/’ or slide down to a note ‘\’.

To understand which cut symbol is which, think of the slash symbol together a on slide you walk as much as from the left. If the cut slopes downwards favor \, friend slide down on guitar. If the slash slopes upwards like /, you slide up ~ above guitar.


The very same symbols are used in text-based and formal etc TAB so it’s basic to determine slides. Part old text-based guitar TAB might showsinstead that a slash (eg: 7s5).

In formal guitar TAB, you might also notice a bent line over the height of the slide, this is a reminder that you only pick the very first note of the slide. If there isn’t a bent line, it way to pick both notes.

What go b typical in guitar TAB

b‘ in etc TAB is the symbol because that a bend. In formal etc TAB, a bent line through an arrow or number is used.


In text-based etc TAB, occasionally a number is given after the ‘b’ come tell united state what key to bend up to. Therefore 7b9 means to bend the 7th fret note up till it sounds choose the 9th fret pitch.

Some older text-based guitar TAB uncovered online use the prize ^ to represent a bend.

In formal etc TAB, a number is given at the optimal of the curved arrowhead to tell us what form of bending to play.

‘1/2’ method a half-step bend, ‘full’ method a whole-step bend, ‘1 1/2’ method a one-and-a-half step bend and so on.

r‘ in etc TAB means to release a bend. Periodically this is presented if a bend requirements to be hosted for a long time, so you understand when to reduced it again.

pb’in etc TAB means to pre-bend a note before you choose it. You press the string approximately the correct pitch, then choose the note prior to releasing that or holding it.

What go x average in guitar TAB

x‘ in guitar TAB is the symbol because that a muted hit or rake. This deserve to be across multiple strings or ~ above a solitary string.

A muted hit is as soon as you lightly place your fingers over the strings and hit them.


Think that a funk guitarist playing part percussive rhythms ~ above his guitar without chords ringing out. Those are muted hits.

What execute parentheses () median in guitar TAB

When a note is in parentheses () in etc TAB, it either means to pat a ghost note or the the note is proceeding to ring out.

In the below example, the notes in parentheses are ghost notes. This way you need to play the note in the bracket softer than the remainder of the notes.


Sometimes ghost notes are presented to stand for the repeated notes friend hear native a hold-up pedal.

In the below example, the keep in mind in parentheses no a ghost note. Instead, the parentheses call you that the keep in mind has ongoing to ring out right into the next bar and also you don’t pick it again.


Normally as soon as a keep in mind rings the end to the next bar, clip are used to display that the note is tho ringing out.

What walk ~ average in etc TAB

~‘ in guitar TAB is the symbol because that vibrato. In text-based etc TAB, this is usually displayed on the line beside the note and also formal TAB mirrors a wavy line over the staff.

Some old text-based etc TAB provides vnext come the keep in mind to display vibrato due to the fact that the ~~~ have the right to be difficult to see.


While ~ is the symbol because that vibrato, quite regularly the symbol no used because the guitarist supplies vibrato so regularly it would make the paper music confusing to include it top top every held note.

So if friend don’t watch a vibrato price in TAB yet you have the right to hear that in the song, it is why it wasn’t noted.

What does mean in guitar TAB

‘ in guitar TAB is the price for natural harmonics. When you view a note in in between the two signs such together it method to beat a natural harmonic on that fret.


The curved line over all of the note in formal guitar TAB reminds united state that all of this is play without choose (legato).

As you can see, tapping in text-based guitar TAB can get really confusing and also hard to read. As soon as I was learning guitar i would print out the TAB and use a highlighter to clearly see i beg your pardon notes were tapped.

Check out these good tapping solos come learn about tapping.

What does PM average in etc TAB

PM‘ in etc TAB is the symbol for palm muting. This is usually displayed over or below the staff and also is followed by a dashed line if the palm muting is held for a long time.


In the above example, you only play palm muting once there is a pm or dashed line listed below or above the staff. The other notes are played without palm muting.

In part older text-based guitar TAB, this symbol might not be supplied at every if the song greatly uses palm muting.

For example, in some metal songs, virtually the whole song offers palm muting. It would certainly be messy to include a dashed heat to every note, so the is frequently left out.

Guitar TAB symbols Summary

Here is a rapid guide to the most typical symbols friend will see in text-based etc TAB:

h = hammer-onp = pull-offb = bend/ = slide up\ = on slide downPM – – – – = palm muting (above or listed below TAB)~~~ = vibratox = mute hit = natural harmonicst = tapping() = grace note or allow the note ring out

There room many much more symbols that can show up in etc TAB, however the above covers every one of the essentials friend are likely to see.

Guitar TAB Template

If you want to conveniently write some ideas down and you don’t have Guitar pro 7, you have the right to use the below Guitar TAB template.

e|---------------------------------------------------------------|B|---------------------------------------------------------------|G|---------------------------------------------------------------|D|---------------------------------------------------------------|A|---------------------------------------------------------------|E|---------------------------------------------------------------|e|---------------------------------------------------------------|B|---------------------------------------------------------------|G|---------------------------------------------------------------|D|---------------------------------------------------------------|A|---------------------------------------------------------------|E|---------------------------------------------------------------|Simply to mark all 6 lines then copy and paste the above text right into Notepad, Word, or any type of other text editor and you have the right to start editing and enhancing it to TAB the end anything girlfriend want.

When you paste the text, make certain you usage a font such together Courier New. If you use the not correct font, you will struggle to do the numbers, symbols, and dashes line up properly.

When editing and enhancing the TAB, psychic to add or eliminate the dashes to store the lines the exact same length. This have the right to be done by pushing the Insert crucial on your keyboard with part word processors. The will kind over the peak of the dashes rather of including numbers or signs in between the dashes.

Download part printable guitar TAB templates in PDF style here.

Find etc TABs Online

Now the you know how to check out Guitar TAB, find for some digital to get used to reading them. Learning exactly how to play by reading Guitar TAB is an easy skill to learn, so keep this page open while you look through some guitar TABs to gain used to every the symbols.

Read this guide on the best Guitar TAB web page to examine out part formal and text-based etc TABs.

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Guitar TAB is among a couple of ways of analysis music. Find out about the other methods of reading music here and check the end this overview if you desire to learn how to review standard notation.