How To Read Guitar Tablature (Tab)


Guitar tablature (also knows as Tab) is a simplified method of writing down music for the guitar.

It doesn’t need to use any fancy musical symbols, meaning it’s easy to learn and can be reproduced using almost any standard font.

One of my biggest tips for anyone wanting to learn quickly, is to get really good at reading tab (and eventually notation). The reason is that if you can simply look at a written piece of music and play it immediately without prior practice, then you are learning instantly. That’s literally the fastest possible learning speed.

This compares to many guitarists wanting to spend hours practicing and memorising a song before being able to play it for anyone.

Tab will also be essential for anyone learning on their own at home – and this video will teach you how to read!

The Video Lesson:


  • Each string is represented horizontally
  • The numbers indicated what fret to play, on the given string
  • Always read from left to right, no matter what string comes first
  • “Stacked” numbers indicate to play several notes at once (a chord)
  • The below tablature stave is the most commonly found style on the internet

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