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Learning Guitar: How to Read Guitar Tablature

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Understanding the Tab Staff
tab staff
A tab staff for guitar has six horizontal lines, each one representing a string of the instrument. The bottom line of the staff represents your lowest "E" string, the second line from the bottom represents your "A" string, etc. Easy enough to read, right?

Notice that there are numbers located smack dab in the middle of the lines (aka strings). The numbers simply represent the fret the tab is telling you to play. For example, in the illustration above, the tab is telling you to play the third string (third line) seventh fret.

Note: When the number "0" is used in tablature, this indicates that the open string should be played.

This is the concept of reading tab, at its most basic. Now let's examine some of the more advanced elements of reading tablature notation, including how to read chords in tab.

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