How to read Tablature

The easyist and most popular way of showing how to play single note melodies/leads on guitar, is through the use of Tablature. Tablature is a system designed to notate guitar music specifically. It is not as difficult to master as Standard Notation and can show you nearly all the same information in a more easy to understand way. Even if you do learn standard notation at some point, tab will still have some advantages.


  1. Tablature or "tab" for short, is written on six, evenly spaced, horizontal lines. The lines represent the strings of the guitar. The upper line represents your thinnest or "1st" string. The lowest line represents your thickest or "6th" string.

  1. The number on the line is telling us what "fret" to play on that string. In this example I am asking you to play fret 3 on your first string.

Does it sound like this?


  1. I've added the number 3 beneath the tab lines. This number indicates what "finger" to play the note above it with.


  1. These three things: what string? what fret? and what finger? are the basis of what make up tab.