In this lesson we will dissect tablature, better known as tabs.
Tabs are the easiest way to learn knew songs and licks for beginner bass players. There are hundreds of tab sites that show you how to play along with your favorite songs.
Dissecting a Tab
- G, D, A, and E represent your bass guitar’s strings. G being the thinnest, and E being the thickest and lowest.
- The 1 2 1 2 1 2 on top shows you what finger to use when you play the note. This is not always included with tabs, but is extremely useful. 1 is your index finger, 2 is your middle finger.
- The 0-0-0-0 represents the playing of the open E string. Any number corresponds to the fret number, counted from the nut up (From left to right for right handed players. The higher you go, the higher the pitch).
- The | often represents the start and end of a measure.
- Sometimes the beats of a measure are displayed, instead of the finger. (i.e., 1 2 3 4 | 1 2 3 4 | 1 2 3 4 | etc.)
- Also, when a pick is recommended, a V represents a down pick, and a ^ represents an up pick.
- Lots of tabs on the internet have fast notes pushed together, so you can’t always tell the difference between two 1′s and an 11th fret note. Use common sense and listen to the song.