How to Read Tabs Easy – Learn to Read Tablature Easily

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How to Read Tabs Easy - Learn to Read Tablature Easily

Hey. I’m Will. Thanks for joining me today, guys.
I’ve got another cool, free guitar lesson that’s
lined-up for you and another cure to common mistakes
that guitarist make when learning right here on the YouTube.

Today I’ve got something really cool for you guys.
It’s reading tablature. Maybe you’re heard of it as
reading tabs. What a tab is, is it’s basically guitar
player sheet music. We don’t have all those fancy notes
and stuff like that and the staff, but this is a way for
guitar players to read music. So after this lesson you’re
going to be able to go online and start tracking-down some
of your favorite songs and start attacking them, learning
how to play them. I’m going to show you how to read tabs
from your point of view. So let’s spin this around and
check it out.

The first thing to understand about how tabs works is you
figure this out. You’ve got six lines here. Each one of
those lines represent a string. What the string names are,
I have them written over here: E, A, D, G, B, E. What’s
helpful here is that we’ve got a big E and a small E. Now,
if you look down at your guitar, you’ve got a big E and a
small E. Those are the names of those two strings.

What’s confusing about tabs is that it’s like we split
the guitar up and then have it facing us. This is the big
string and there’s the small string. There’s the big E;
there’s the little E. So that’s kind of the first thing
to kind of understand about tabs, is that that counts read.
It feels backwards but you get used to it pretty quick.

The cool this is that those numbers are the frets. We can
start reading this stuff right away. As long as we know what
frets are and stuff like that, and now I’m talking about
that in my buzz video. So make sure to check that video if
you haven’t already.

All we’ve got to do is we’re just going to read left to
right just like we’re reading a book or anything like that.
Let’s work through this riff together. Let’s start with
that very first note.

So we’ve got a number 5 on the low E string. Let’s come
over here and find the 5th fret. See if you can beat me to it.
I’ll give you a tip: play it with your 3rd finger.

Now, let’s look back up here. Oh, okay, we’ve got two 5s in
a row. So what that means is we hit this low E string twice.

The next note. We’ve got 3rd fret of the A string. Now if
we go back here, okay, so that would be the next string up.
Okay, got it. See if you can beat me to it. Play that with
your 1st finger, 3rd fret. And then we go back to the 5th.
So that’s pretty easy, right? Five, 5, 3, 5, with the 3
being on the A string. So it looks like this.

Now we’ve got 3, 1, 0, all on the low E string. The zero
would mean you hit that string, but you don’t actually
have any frets going on. Another way to think about zero,
you can think of zero as always being open. So that’s
kind of the rundown of working through a riff.

Now, what gets a little bit confusing with tabs is reading
chords that are tabbed. What I want to do is I want to grab
a basic G chord. Here’s the thing, when we’ve got multiple
things playing at the same time they’re all lined-up on the
same line. You can see that we can draw a line right through
there. Now unlike this, where these are all single notes,
we’ve got multiple notes going on. So let’s work this one out.

Third fret on the low E string, just reference this again.
I’ll give you a hint; play it with your 2nd finger. Second
fret on the A string. We’ve got a couple zeros for opens.
So we don’t have to worry about those. And then we’ve got
another couple of 3s on the top string. So let’s go over here.
And now we have that other 3, grab this guy and put it on there.
That’s what a G chord would look like on a tab. That sounds like that.

So that’s really the only kind of confusing thing about tabs
is when we’ve got multiple numbers lined-up on the same line
and then we’re playing more than one string at the same time.
That’s the basic rundown on how to read single notes and read
chords in tabs.

Now there are just a couple things to remember about tabs.
Tabs do not tell you a couple of things. It doesn’t tell you
rhythm, it doesn’t tell you which fingers to use and those
are some pretty big things a tab doesn’t tell you.

Now, as you can see, in some of these 9ths we’ve got tabs,
we’ve got – we do have some rhythmic notations. So in the
case that you know how to read rhythmic notations, this stuff
will come in pretty handy.

I hope you enjoyed today’s video. I’m going to be releasing
more of them like this. So keep on ripping it up.