For the beginner guitarist learning how to read guitar tabs (or guitar tablature) is one of the keys to becoming a guitarist. Guitar tabs are the language guitar is written in. That is why we stress how to read guitar tabs when teaching our beginner students how to play guitar.
Before we get to our guitar tab lesson, let's take a minute to talk about why guitar tablature is so important. First off there are three great ways for beginners to learn guitar on their own. The first and foremost is to listen to songs and try to figure them out. Now unless you are a natural this is going to be very hard with out any tablature theory or a musical background playing stringed instruments. The bottom line is forming guitar chords is not particularly intuitive.
First Start Out By Playing This Easy Guitar Tab. After the introduction we will move onto how to play easy guitar tabs like this. PS. Not so easy if this is your first tab, but trust me it becomes easy.. and extremely useful!
Guitar tabs are an easy guitar language devised to teach you chords, rhythms, melodies and songs of other guitarists. Unlike traditional notated sheet music guitar tabs are easy to learn.
Guitarists can transcribe their songs into tabs and you can learn how to play your instrument from these tabs. Many lessons on ChordsGuitarTabs.com don't just revolve around playing other peoples songs, but instead using guitar tabs to play common snippets of songs, chord progressions, and guitar scales. These are called, in slang, licks and riffs.
Here is an other example of how to play another easy guitar tab for beginners. This time it is in C major. HINT: It contains the same notes as the A minor scale above.
Licks and riffs as mentioned above are little snippets of songs. These snippets of guitar tablature represent riffs and licks that are common in certain styles of music. In bluegrass music we play guitar rolls, in blues we learn blues riffs, we learn common intros and outros, common chord progressions and how to improvise over them.
Using Tabs to play guitar scales is very important. If you know guitar scales, then you will know how to improvise over common chord progressions. Having good rhythm, timing, a little soul, a creative mind, a little technique and a knowledge base of the basic common guitar scales will allow you to pick up and jam with just about any musician. It will also enable you to write your own songs and accompany yourself.
One of the key aspects of playing guitar tabs, or for playing the guitar well in general is repetition. If you play a lick, scale or riff enough, if you form a guitar chord enough or play a tabbed out song enough it will become second nature to you to play. Soon you notice your self playing accurately, fast and without thinking. When you reach this level, and you will have to reach it each time you learn a new tab (yes it does get easier) you will have a lot more room to improvise and come up with clever riffs and chord progressions.
Chord charts and chord diagrams are a smart way to read guitar tabs. That being said you can also learn chords by using guitar tabs.
The bottom line is guitar tabs are an essential piece of the puzzle for any beginning guitarist. We have just scratched the surface on how to play guitar tabs. Now that you understand the importance of playing guitar tabs and how they can help you become a better guitarist move on to the next step of our guide and we'll start you off with your first song.