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Home | Starting Out: Guitar | Lesson 2: Tablature Definition | Lesson 3: Power Chords | Lesson 4: Easy Songs | Lesson 5: More Exercises | Lesson 6: More Songs

Introduction To Tabs

Lesson 2: Tablature Definition

Now that you are ready to play songs, it helps to know some of the tablature code that will make the song you are playing sound exactly like the artist's original.

1. Bend (-b-): Strike the original note, then bend up by fretting the other note (a higher fret on the same string) without plucking.
2. Band & Release: Strike the note and bend up (or whole) step, then release the bend back to the original note. All three notes are tied, only the first note is struck.
3. Vibrato (~~): Make a fast wa-wa sound by holding the note and moving the srting up and down with your fret finger in a ~~~~~~~ motion.
4. Slide ( -/- or -\-): Strike the note on the left side of the slash (-5/-), then move your finger, without plucking, to the fret on the right side of the slash (--/9-). In the example, --5/9--, you should strike the fifth fret, then slide your finger up to the ninth without striking again.
5. Hammer-On (-5h7-): Strike the first (lower) note, then sound the higher note with another finger by fretting it without picking. In the example above, -5h7-, you pick the 5 fret, then fret the seventh without re-picking.
6. Pull-Off (-7p5-): Place both fingers on the notes to be sounded. Strike the 1st (higher) note, then sound the lower note by pulling the finger off the higher note while keeping the lower note fretted. In the example above, -7p5-, you would have your fingers on both the 5th and 7th fret, then pull off the 7th without taking your finger off the fifth or replucking.
7. Palm Mute (--------- above notes): With the right hand, partially mute the note by lightly touching the string just before the bridge.
8. Pickslide (--9_____1--): For a pickslide, you actually slide your pick over the frets listed without anytime picking to produce a scratchy sound.
Now that you know tablature code, it is time for us to teach you some really easy tabs. Go on to Lesson 3 once you have memorized all the defintions. TIP: Not only does it help to use flashcards, but it also helps to practice before going to songs. Try the Exercise below regular and with a palm mute.

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