HOW TO READ THE TABLATURE
Contrary to what we usually think, tablature is not a transcription we have recently started to use. It's origin goes all the way back to the sixteenth century. It is useful because it allows you to play the guitar without knowing how to read music and shows us immediately what frets and strings to use.
If you have never read tablature, you need to take a few minutes to understand how it works and know how to recognize the symbols that appear on the lines, which are the strings of the guitar.
Each line of the tablature is a guitar string, as shown in the figures below. The first string in tablature is the high E string and the sixth string is the low E String. So the tablature basically shows the neck of the guitar and the strings.
Now, the symbols that appear at the beginning, for instance, could be the symbol 4/4 which is the time of the song. The number placed on a line of tablature indicates you have to press that fret on that string.
In the next example you have to press the third fret on the first string.
In the next however, we must press the first fret on the third string.
Zero indicates to play a string open, in this case, the sixth low E string has no fret to be pressed so the string is played open.
The fingering of the left hand:
The fingering of the left hand is represented by circled numbers that are always at the bottom of the tablature. The index finger is indicated by the circled number 1, the middle by 2, the ring by 3 and the little finger by 4.
The example below shows fingering for the first 4 frets. Press the first string down by using the fingers as stated in the diagram and photograph.
The fingering of the right hand:
In this book we will only use three fingers of right hand to perform all the exercises and songs. This is the easiest way for a beginner to learn the technique of alternating bass.
To pluck the strings I use the thumb (p), the index (i) and the middle (m). The fingers used are indicated above the tablature.
TIP OF THE WEEK
1) Your fingers learn by doing. Whatever they do, they remember and repeat. This is called Muscle Memory.
2) Practicing means knowing the right thing to do, and then making sure you do it. Your job, when you practice, is to make sure you understand what you're supposed to do before you play a note, and then make sure that is what actually happens when you do play a note. This is much easier said than done. This demands your absolute attention.
3) Your fingers are energized by Intention and Attention. This is how your mind tells them what to do.
4) We must be aware of the result we want, and the result we actually get. We must not let blind spots become part of our practicing. We must then treat every 'unwanted result" as an effect whose cause must be discovered.
5) We must watch our fingers most of the time while practicing.
6) It is essential to spend a good amount of time doing No Tempo Practice. This means you are playing with no beat, only examining each movement as it takes place, and making sure only the correct movements occur. While doing this, you will become aware of the stress points that occur in the music, that is, the movements that are causing you the most unnecessary muscle tension, and therefore the most difficulty.
7) Posing, along with No Tempo Practice, will train, or re-train the muscles to perform the required movements with no harmful tension. As stress points are discovered by observing and analyzing unwanted results, we use Posing and No Tempo practice to 'de-stress" these points.
8) As your understanding of guitar technique advances, you will know what to do about each one of these stress points. In the beginning, you must rely on the guidance of your teacher.
9) The techniques of Posing and No Tempo Practice are the best ways to deal with extra tension, because they are themselves the practice of becoming aware of the tension. You can eliminate a great deal, of tension from the muscles simply by being aware of how they feel, and consciously relaxing them as you do your slow and no tempo practice.