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House Of Guitar
Lesson 0: Tabs
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Before You Start Pg 1
Before You Start Pg 2
Lesson 0: Tabs
Lesson 1: Power Chords
Lesson 2: Easy Songs

Lesson 0: How To Read Tablature is only for the starting guitarist. If you know how to read tab, and how to use a metronome (also explained here), then please move skip Lesson 0 and move on to Lesson 1: Power Chords.
 
Objectives:
  • Learn how to use a metronome correctly
  • Learn how to read tablature, one form of guitar notation.

Each of the 6 lines in tab represent a string --- the bottom line represents your low "E" string, the second to the top line represents your "b" string, and the top line represents your high "e" string.
 
In tab, the numbers on the lines tell you which fret to play on the string that corresponds with that line. In the diagram below, you would play 7th fret on your "g" string, the third closest string to the floor. In otherwords, your finger would be right before the seventh fret on string 3, and you would only pluck string 3.
 
A "0" on tablature indicates that the string should be hit open, without you fretting a note.
 
Let's try a simple tab below.
e|-------------------|--1-2-1-----------|
b|-----------------1-|2-------2-1-------|
g|-------------1-2---|------------2-1---|
d|---------1-2-------|---------------etc|
a|-----1-2-----------|------------------|
E|-1-2---------------|------------------|
 
On this tab, you play fret 1 of the "E" string, then fret 2 of the "E" string, then fret one of the "a" string, then fret 2 of the "a" string, then fret one of the "d" string, ect. up and back down the fretboard. In this exercise, you never strike an open string and you only play one note at a time.
 
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There is one problem with using tab as your sole ntoation for guitar --- it does not show rhythm. For the purpose of this course, we will show you the rhythm below the tab. If you need help with rhythms, check out http://www.notationmachine.com/how_to_read_sheetmusic/readingmusic.htm.
 
Because we will help you out by showing the rhythm below the tab, I really would encourage you to purchase a metronome. I strongly believe that to ensure good techniques and cleanliness you should use a metronome for over 3/4 of your practice session. Metronomes help you keep time and help you improve your speed.
 
Never start a song/lick so fast that you cannot play it cleanly. Any song can be played at a slow tempo, but playing slow can be hard and boring. Don't rush it, and increase your speed only when you've mastered the lick at the tempo below it.
 
Metronome speed, or tempo, is measured in bpm, or beats per minute. Typical metronomes go from around 60bpm to 240bpm.
 
Here is an example on how to use the metronome correctly:
  1. Set your metronome at a very slow speed and play the exercise below. (anywhere from 50-70bpm)
  2. Once you can play it cleanly, speed up your metronome by 5bpm. Can you play it cleanly now?
  3. If you can, speed it up another 5bpm. Once you can play it smoothly, speed it up again.
  4. Continue doing this until you reach the recommended tempo, which is usually stated on top of the lick. For this exercise, the recommended tempo it 100bpm
  5. Keep a journal of your progress. Every day you attempt an exercise, write the date and the tempo you got to be the end of your practice session. When you start the exercise the next day, start at a tempo 5-10bpm less then the tempo that you reached the day before.

100bpm

e|---------------------1-2-1-----------|
b|-----------------1-2-------2-1-------|
g|-------------1-2---------------2-1---|
d|---------1-2----------------------etc|
a|-----1-2-----------------------------|
E|-1-2---------------------------------|

   1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1

 
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