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How to read tabs?

Discussion in 'Tablature and Notation [BG]' started by DJCrashAL01, Jul 11, 2002.

  1. DJCrashAL01


    Jul 11, 2002
    Wyoming, MI
    I'm just starting to learn bass, but i could use some help reading tabs. My friends all play guitar so they can help me a little, but if there is anything a newbie bass player should know about readin tabs, then fill me in, thank you.

  2. Hello again, :D

    If you don't mind me saying so, if you don't know how to read tabs, don't bother. Learn how to read standard musical notation. It'll take you longer, but it'll pay off in the long run.

    But if you need or still want to use tabs (as a beginner, they can be a helpful tool, although some may disagree) they are read like this


    ------These are your strings, sometimes the letter may be different. If they are, the song is played in an alternate tuning, and you'll have to tune accordingly.


    here is a simple bar of "notes"
    Each number represents the fret that is played on the strings. The main problem with tabs is that they are more often than not, wrong. Don't use tabs exclusively, but as a tool to help your ears.

    Get an instructor. That is the best advice anyone on the forums can give you as a complete beginner.
  3. Take this golden opportunity as a beginner to;

    1. Get a teacher from the start

    2. Dont even learn how to read tab, head over to www.libster.com and learn how to read standard notation (you'll love yourself for it). If you get a teacher, insist that he teach you some theory. I cannot even begin to stress how much this will help you as a musician.
  4. bill_banwell


    Oct 19, 2002
    dude the libster url doesent work, u know any other ones?!
  5. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    Tab is one form of communication. I've played in bands where I was given tab, std notation, chord charts and tapes. I've even stood in front of people and just learnt it.

    The theory recommendation is the one I would stress. Know why you are playing, what you are playing instead of just making like a human jukebox.
  6. yoshi


    Jul 12, 2002
    England, London
    check out this link, it should clear up all concerns. It tells you about most tab signs, form plain old notes through to bends, slides ghosts etc'

    edit: spelt the URL wrong before, its all good now :D

    Hategear's EDIT: Now it should work! ;)

    Yoshi's 2nd edit : cheers bub :D
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Oh no it's not!! ;)

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