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Home > Lessons > Guitar For Beginners > How To Read Guitar Tabs
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Guitar For Beginners Lessons - How To Read Guitar Tabs

Follow these 3 free easy lessons and you will learn how to read guitar tabs. Guitar tabs are an easy way to indicate which fret position correspond to the note to be played. Tabs consist of 6 lines, one for each string on your guitar. The number or numbers on the line tell you what position to fret. It is an easy way to play guitar without knowing how to read music. A 0 means that you play the string without using your fret hand. It is an open note. Check it out and learn to play guitar!

 

How to read guitar tabs

Figure 1 - Single Notes

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Guitar tabs also show you how to play chords. In this example on the 5th string fret the 2nd fret, on the 4th string fret the 2nd fret and on the 3rd string fret the 1st fret. Do not fret any other strings because they are open indicated by the 0. Now just strum all the strings to play an E Major Chord. Check out the previous lesson on the strings if you need more information. Also I'll show you how to play other guitar chords in the Basic Chords lesson.

How to read guitar tabs

Figure 2 - E Major Chord

 

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This example shows you what a guitar tab looks like with single notes and a chord. Remember when playing guitar tabs to play all the notes that are lined up vertically and that have numbers on the guitar tab. Also if there is no number on the tab then you do not play the string. Check out the Beginner Acoustic Guitar Songs page to learn some songs using guitar tabs.

How to read guitar tabs

Figure 3 - Single Notes and Chord

 

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