Tablature, guitar tab, TAB—whatever you call it, TAB is a method of notating music for stringed instruments and most often associated with guitar music. TAB in itself is easier for most guitar players to understand because it visually represents what needs to be played. The example below shows how to read TAB. Chords would be shown with numbers stacked together as opposed to running consecutively.
There are hundreds of websites that have guitar tabs for rock, pop, country, metal, folk, and holiday classics. Some of these songs are advanced versions or versions transcribed note for note from the record, but you can find plenty of easy guitar tabs to play as well. The easy guitar tab example below is of the classic “Smoke on the Water” riff by Deep Purple. This is about as easy as it gets.
The next example shows a simplified arrangement of the intro the Eagles song “Hotel California.” Compare that side by side with the more advanced arrangement and notice how the simple version uses only those notes necessary to outline the melody.
The next example isn’t a song. It’s a strum pattern on G. Not only can you find easy songs to play in easy tab, you can find easy guitar tabs that teach you how to play the guitar. This includes lessons like the strum pattern exercise below as well as lessons about playing scales and picking techniques. The example by Green Day of “Good Riddance” shows you an easy picking method, while the C major exercise gives you an idea how scale exercises can be notated in easy tab.
Check out this lead guitar lesson on major scale exercises, check it out!
No matter what you want to learn, chances are very good you can find it in easy guitar tab. If you have a fairly good ear, you can even try making easy guitar tabs yourself, especially if you find there’s a song you want to play but no tab version for it exists. Guitar tab sites thrive on input from users, so making your own contributions is not only good practice, but a way to give back to those sites that keep us playing our favorite songs.
If learning songs on guitar is your goal, I recommend you to check out this course: