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Learn To Read Guitar Tab

I got the following information from this website.

It should help you understand what tabs are and how to read them.

Good luck!! To learn drum tab, click here.

To learn guitar tab, click here.


Example (the intro of "Nightswimming" by REM):


REM: Nightswimming (Automatic for the people)

tabbed by: Tor Undheim,







-the numbers (1-7) to the left of the tab, indicates in what octave

(starting at the lowest C) to play the notes in that row. When numbers appear elsewhere in a row, it is to indicate a new octave.

-ordinary letters (cdefgah) symbolices the corresponding notes

-capital letters (C,D,F,G and A) are used instead of c#,d#, f#, g# and a#.

-the symbol ">" is used to cut notes

-the symbol "|" is used to separate each measure (section of beats)

-the symbol "-" indicates nothing

-the bottom row keeps track of the beats, and tells if the notes above are whole, half, quarter or etc. In the example above, a "-" in section 1 lasts half as long as a "-" in section 2. This "beat-line" is often hard to write, or even meaningless. Therefore it is optional.

-under the tab it is preferable that the text of the song is written. That way the users of the tab will have all they need in one piece.

-often songs contain parts where a accurate tab is meaningless (or impossible). In these cases it is enough to write chords (and text), maybe with an explanation on how to play them. Chords are for instance: "A", "C", "Am", "Em7".

-The symbol "*" is used to to comment something outside the tab

-To make the tab easier to read, try to write the higher notes "above" the deeper ones


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Legal & DMCA: Matt's Music Page has been providing lyrics and tabs in a legal way, paying royalties each year to a few organizations. Then, all lyrics and tabs were removed from the site. Now, there's a new owner to the site, which purchased it August 26, 2014, and he is in negotiation to obtain licensing from BMI at the moment. If you have a specific DMCA request -- please do not hesitate to contact me via the contact button on top. I will do my very best to keep this site fully legal.

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