Tuesday, 8 October 2013

How to read/write the guitar tablature?

This Lesson is for absolute beginners only
Purpose of Reading This topic ??
You are reading this because you purchase a nice looking guitar of your choice and want to play some nice songs or you went to a teacher & he is telling you some theory that you don’t interested in right now & you are crazy to play some songs on guitar as soon as possible. I know the feeling after buying a guitar; you need to play it madly.  If you are among those then let’s begin your journey of guitar by learning how to read Tablature or tab sheet.
Every teacher will give you some notes to play taken from some hit songs or something else (if you are learning from a teacher you don’t need to read this).  You can’t remember all notes here & there on the guitar fret board (the place where you hold strings by your fingertips). So you need some way to remember this. Tablature solves this problem. You can write every note which you can read later or anyone can play your tablature by reading the same.
What you can't do with Tablature:
There are some disadvantages of tablature that you don’t exactly know at what speed you will play notes, what’s the rhythm and which song is written on the sheet? You can only play the tablature if you heard the song or melody which you are reading. So let’s get start by some basics.

Some Basics:
As you know or may be not (but I think you know if you are holding a guitar) that the guitar has six strings (there are guitars that have more than just six). If you are holding the guitar correctly (in your playing position) the first string starting from the top of the guitar is called Bottom “E” string then the next down to “E” is called “A” then “D”, “G”, “B” & “E” (also called high “e” far away from you playing hand). Remember String name in the series like EADGBE. You can also make some sentence from these letters (EADGBE) to remember the names easily but that depends on you. The second thing on guitar is vertical lines (which divide the fret board into boxes) that is our “Frets”. Guitars have different numbers of Frets like 22, 24 etc.
So now you know the guitar string names and know what is called a fret on the guitar neck. Now you are ready to learn Tablature. Here We Go.

(1)E-----(bottom E, means when you hold guitar, it will be first string from upside, FAT one)----
                                                    (Empty Tablature sheet )

Look at the diagram above, we write the Tablature like this. The String “E” (1) Is your bottom e (Thicker one or Fat one) and String “e”(6) is high e (Thinner one).  Don’t worry about numbers I wrote in braces like (6) they are just for your understanding and we don’t use them before the string names. Now to Remember Notes on the Fret Board you have two ways. First is to call them by note names like A, C#, Db etc. (I will provide a separate lesson on “How to remember the names of the notes) difficult for beginners even for intermediates. And the second is to know the fret numbers (the easiest one for beginners). We will go with the second way by knowing the numbers of frets (not a big task for humans).
When you strike any string by your pick or striker without holding any string on your Fret Board that is called Open string and we write it as “0” on tablature.  When we hold any string on first fret we write it as “1” and so on. Now see the below example:-

Lets Play Some Notes
E -----------------------2------------------------------------------------------------

Read the above tablature from left to right. What you notice, what you will do??
Read carefully and find which fret number comes first. In the above example number 2 on string “A” is coming first. Hold the String “A” on 2nd Fret and Strike it.  Now look which number is coming next in the series? Yes you figure it right its 5 on Bottom “E”. Now look for the Next and its 5 on string “D” then 2 on “A” then 5 on “G” then 2 on “B” then 2 on “E” then 2 on “B” and Stop.
Wow that’s it. Not a big deal. It's now time to play some tab sheets which I will provide you later on this blog.

Thanks for reading the boring but useful stuff.

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