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Country Guitar TABs And How To Read Them

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You know, us guitar players really have it easy when it comes to writing down and reading music. We devised our own system which is far simpler to use and understand than traditional music notation. It's called guitar tablature or TAB for short. Simply walk into any guitar store and you'll find 100's of guitar books all written in TAB.

So at risk of stating the obvious, it's essential that you become very proficient at reading it.

  1. You'll be able to buy a guitar book and teach yourself from it at home
  2. You'll be able to learn the exact transcriptions from your favorite songs
  3. You'll be able to write down and keep your own music

Learning to read traditional music notation fluently is quite a task especially if you didn't learn it as a child. Guitar tab however takes just just a few minutes to understand and only a few days to master!

Here's How To Read Country Music Guitar TABs

Let's begin by taking a look at a single stave of guitar tablature.

The first thing to note is that it's always very easy to identify one because it will have TAB written vertically at the beginning of each stave.

If you count the horizontal lines you'll see that there are six of them, each line represents a different string on your guitar. The top line represents the first string, the next line is the second string and so on.

Listen To Me Explain TAB


See the picture below...

tab 1

The notes are indicated by numbers written directly over the lines (strings). In the example below you can see that the number 1 is written over the 6th line meaning that you should play the 1st fret on the 6th string. In this way you can see how tablature is actually very similar to a simple grid system.

Wherever you see 0 written it indicates that the open string should be played i.e. without any note being fretted along the fretboard. In the picture below you can see that a 0 (zero) is over the 1st string meaning you should play the 1st string open.

tab 2

With tablature it's also possible to show whether notes should be played all once such as in a chord or one by one such as in a scale or melody. The diagram below shows how a D major chord would be written in TAB and written in this way you would play all the notes at once since they are stacked one on top of the other in a straight vertical line.

The second example shows how a D major arpeggio would be written in that the notes are spread out across the stave indicating that you should play them in order of sequence, one individual note at a time. This is also how guitar licks would be tabbed out.

tab 3

It's easy to find a lot of free country guitar tabs which you can print out simply by doing a search in Google. In fact, there are many sites dedicated to country songs and tabs for beginners, lead guitar tabs, chords and so on all of which are completely free to access and learn from.

I'd like to leave you with one final important consideration. It's wise to take advantage of all the country guitar lessons you can find however your final goal should always be to eventually develop the ability to teach yourself whatever you want to learn on guitar. Knowing how to read TAB fluently and feeling very comfortable with it will give you a lot of freedom in that you can take full advantage of the many thousands of guitar books for sale.

You'll no longer need a guitar teacher to teach you anything, you'll be able to do it yourself.


Download The PDF Guitar TAB Guide Here


You can find a large selection of country guitar tabs at I also like Classic Country Song