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Guitar Tab Symbols

New to guitar tabs? Here is a list of the symbols used in writing guitar tabs. The symbols represent everything a guitarist does when playing the guitar, namely, a bend, a palm mute, a hammer on, pull off, vibrato, and much more.

Tabs are an easier way to play guitar music if you do not know how to read traditional sheet music. Guitar tabs are six lines that run from left to right. The line at the bottom represents the 6th string, or the low E string, which is the thickest string on your guitar. And from there, you may assume that the top-most line on a guitar tab is the high E string, or the 1st string, which is the thinnest string on your guitar.


Guitar Tab Symbols:

----0----  Play the open string (fret zero).

----x----  Mute the string.

----5----  Play fret five.

----5~---  Play fret five with vibrato.

---5/7---  Play fret five, slide up to fret seven.

---7\5---  Play fret seven, slide down to fret five.

--8b(9)--  Play fret eight, bend the string
(at fret eight) to reach the pitch of fret nine.

--b(9)8--  Play fret eight already bent to
the pitch of fret nine, unbending until it
reaches the normal pitch of fret eight.

----h7---  Hammer-on to fret seven.

----p5---  Pull-off to fret five.

---/7----  Slide up to fret 7 (the starting
fret of the slide is undefined, judge by ear).

---15\---  Play fret 15, slide down (the ending
fret of the slide is undefined, judge by ear).

---0h3---  Play the open string and immediately
hammer-on to fret three.

---7p5---  Play fret seven and immediately pull-off
to fret five.

--5(7-5)-  After picking the first note, rapidly
alternate between the two notes shown in brackets
using hammer-ons and pull-offs.
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