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.
HOW TO READ THE TABLATURE
Play your guitar without knowing how to read music
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.
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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:
To pluck the strings I use the thumb (p), the index (i) the middle (m) and the ring (a). The fingers used are indicated above the tablature.