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Acoustic Guitar Tabs - Know Them And Play Better

Jan 16, 2008
Guitar music has its own special musical notation. Rather than a guitarist using the standard musical notations which other musicians use i.e., staffs, notes, note values, ledger lines, key signatures and time signatures. Guitar players will use a much simpler operational type of musical notation, known as the tab. The advantage to using acoustic guitar tabs is that you can learn to play guitar without needing to learn to read music in the normal sense. Tabs (tablatures) are not only used by guitarists but by other people who play any kind of stringed instrument.

When you start to learn how to read these tabs, you will see in front of you a diagram with various different lines, numbers and dots on it. The lines on the diagram represent the strings on the guitar the top one being string number one and the bottom line being string number six. As for the numbers that appear on the diagram these represent the frets which are found on the neck or fingerboard of the guitar and which is where you fingers will need to be placed in order for the right note to be produced. Yet if you see a Zero (0) on the line this then tells you that you need to leave this string open (no finger placed on it), where as the letter "X" informs you that the sound that this particular string produces needs to be muffled.

If you are not familiar with what a fret is, this is the area between two metal bars on the fingerboard (neck) of the guitar. There are usually between twenty-one and twenty-four frets on each guitar. When you look at a tabs diagram you will see dots and these indicate the fret position in which your fingers should be placed in order to play a particular note. They also help you to know exactly where you are as you play a particular song.

However when looking at these tabs you notice that all of the numbers appear on the same line one after another and the same goes for which fret you need to be by. Then all you have to do is place your fingers in the location required and then just pluck that one string and no others. This tab clearly shows that you must only play this note and this one note only.

But if you find yourself in a situation when reading the diagram that you need to place each finger on to a separate string and on the same fret this is indicating that you then need to play these notes at the same time. The easiest and most effective way of doing this is by strumming on the strings rather than plucking them all at the same time.

As you learn to read tabs, you will also come across things such as Hammer-ons, Pull-offs, Bends and Slides. The Hammer-ons are clearly indicated on the tab diagram by the letter "h". So for example, you may see the 7h9 notation on a line. As for Pull-offs these are noted by the letter "p" in the same way as the Hammer-ons, whilst Bends are indicated by the letter "b" and Slides are noted by a "/" (slash).

However, once a person has learnt a bit about reading acoustic guitar tabs they need to start learning how to play them on a guitar. A great way to get hold of some very basic lessons for learning how to read guitar tabs is by going online. But when carrying out your search go for those songs that you know well and then start to play them in order to practice your tabs. But be warned it will take you some time to get use to reading and playing tabs properly. Yet once you can you will be amazed at just how quickly you can pick others up and play these as well.

Also being able to hear the song that you are trying to learn makes it much easier for you to learn it as well. Even if you do think that you remember how it goes, by listening to it whilst you are learning will help you with rhythm and detail of the song as well.

Using acoustic guitar tabs to learn to play the guitar can be a great deal of fun and before long; you will be able to play several different songs. Which you cannot only play for your own pleasure but also for impressing friends and family at parties as well.
About the Author
Above we have provided details on just what acoustic guitar tabs are, but if you would like to find out more about acoustic guitars including courses then please click on this link Acoustic Guitar Information .
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