Learn to read guitar TAB (tablature) for acoustic guitarists | Christopher Richter | Skillshare

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Learn to read guitar TAB (tablature) for acoustic guitarists

teacher avatar Christopher Richter, Learn to create music the way you want!

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

17 Lessons (45m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Listen to the song you will learn

    • 3. Lets read guitar TAB

    • 4. Learning bars 1 and 2

    • 5. Learning bars 3 and 4

    • 6. Play through bars 1 to 4

    • 7. Learning bars 9 and 10

    • 8. Learning bars 11 and 12

    • 9. Play thorough bars 9 to 12

    • 10. Guitar part 2 learning bars 1 to 4

    • 11. Guitar part 2 learning bars 9 to 12

    • 12. Practice track for guitar part 1 at 70 bpm

    • 13. Practice track for guitar part 1 at 90 bpm

    • 14. Practice track for guitar part 1 at 110 bpm

    • 15. Practice track for guitar part 2 at 70 bpm

    • 16. Practice track for guitar part 2 at 90 bpm

    • 17. Practice track for guitar part 2 at 110 bpm

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About This Class

In this class you will learn how to read guitar tablature and apply it to the acoustic guitar. 

Guitar tablature is a form of music transcription that shows you not only the timing of notes, the names of the notes but also shows you where to place your fingers on the fretboard. 

To do this, the music has 6 lines representing each string on the guitar. 

You will learn how to read guitar tablature through an acoustic guitar fingerpicking arrangement that has been designed for two guitars. You can then play as a duo with another guitarist or practice along to the two tracks that allows you to play each part separately. 

In the process you will learn about time signatures, note lengths, reading music and positioning your fingers correctly to play the arrangement. 

The instrumental is a piece called ‘Sharon; which was written for my beautiful wife. It was originally written with lyrics written on a scrap piece of paper that has long disappeared, so it has evolved into an instrumental that has been recorded on an album by a friend of mine called Luke Turner. You can find his version on Spotify. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Christopher Richter

Learn to create music the way you want!


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1. Introduction: Hello and welcome back again. It is good to have you here. My name is Chris Rick there. And I'll be taking you through this class on how to read guitar tablature. There your first question probably is, what is guitar tablature? Well, put quite simply, guitar tablature is just a way of writing Dan, guitar music. Often human or a member, well at the music to a piece. And so this is a way of running again, just like a piano player would have the music of the sheet music to be able to play the piano. Guitar, you can do the same. I mean, you can just link it out without reading any music. But this helps you a lot to be at applying music a lot more accurately by reading music that's written in front of you. When I start writing music, I'm not talking about reading the actual nodes because that is actually reading proper music. This is still a problem music, but we call a guitar tablature, and this is what GitHub it looks like. So have a look up here, and you'll see here that we have the nights and it looks very complicated. But what it's doing is giving you all of the strings on the guitar and telling you where bats on the strings of the guitar on each string that you need to put your fingers. Doesn't tell me which finger, but it tells you where bat. So you can see that we have the number three to 0. So that means at the same time, we will apply those three strings. And that would be the fifth string, third string, and the second string. And we would put our fingers on the second third fret of the third second strings that don't think this is too confusing it because I'm going to teach you all of this. And to start off with, I'm actually kind of play for you the piece that you're going to learn. So let's get into it and remember that your project for this class is obviously to learn his pace recorded undefined, or however you want to record and send that to me so I can have listened to how you're progressing with your guitar playing. And in this case, to see how well you've learned how to read guitar tablature. So I look forward to it. Let's get into the class and start on guitar tablature. 2. Listen to the song you will learn: Before we get into this piece, I'd like to play it for you so you can have a listen to what it sounds like. So this is the pace called Sharon. And it is a song that I wrote for my wife and instrumental I wrote for her. So I hope you enjoy. I'll play just the one guitar part, the main rhythm to tap out first. And then we'll go through and have a look at how you can learn how to play this as well. Reading guitar, dabble, jump, here we go. Quick. There we go. That's the pace. It's called share. And I'm going to take you through that. In the next step, we will look at guitar tablature. Firstly, had read the tablet chat, then move on to how to apply that to the guitar and how to take up way, all the way through that arrangement called Channels. See you in the next video. 3. Lets read guitar TAB: Let's look at the guitar tablature much closer. Now you notice we have to get half hats here. So this is what tablature actually looks like when you see it written on a piece of music in front of you. So let's zoom in and have looked at very close look at what it does. You'll see here we have air acoustic guitar one, so that's this section along the top there. And you'll also notice that we have a treble clef and we have our shouts written up there. We have 44, which has a ton of city Jam, which is important. So this pace is planning for four, meaning four crotchet beats in a bar. So we can't this or four coordinates. We can't this has 1, 2, 3, 4. So learning your timing and I do have a class on learning how to read timing as well so that teachers, you had a read crotchets, inquiries and semiquavers and how they work. So John Berger and have a look at that. But right at the moment, began to look at wet fingers and how to read the TED part. So let's have a look at that tab and you'll see it's got written T AB for tablature. You'll notice it has six lines starting at the bottleneck 123456. The sixth line down at the bottom is the thick string. So that's this one. String number six. You'll also notice that we have string number one backup the top thing. So strings are ordered thinner. String number one is the string rod at the top of the tab and the thick string, string number six. What we then do is look at each of the numbers that are written on there. So let's look at the very first three nights that we play all at the same time now to stay in line with each other. So that means we play them at the same time. So 0 means open string. So to play the open string, we quite simply using our thumb, play the fifth string. So if you can't launch them 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, one above the Sikhs, that says six strings. So we play the open string, it says 0, so that's open. We then need to play on the third string, 1, 2, 3. We need to play the second fret. That number 2 means fret number two, and that's what the numbers do. They tell you which fret along the guitar you are going to put your fingers. He doesn't tell you which fingers to use. I'll show you which ones I use, but you can use different fingering if you like. It doesn't tell you that it just shows you where bats on the guitar, you're going to play it. Safe, the third string, second fret. And then we also have, and I'm using my second finger for this. But we also have your, the third fret on the second string. So you can see the third string, second fret, third fret, second string. Where if you want to re-word it the other way, we've got our second fret on the third string, in our third fret on the second string. And we play all of those at once. Open string played at the same time as two and the three on the second, third strings. So that's the very first part of the piece again to play. And again, you can play that in different ways. I'll show you what they are first and then I'll show you how I do my fingering to make it easier for me to play. You can decide how you want to do it. So we're working on the first section. What it actually means, all it sounds like, but I don't want you to actually learn to play it all the way 3 it, I just want to show you some bits along the way to show you how the temperature is red. Now, just the first tonight's office, three nights. So I've got a second, third. Then you'll notice IT guys, Dante's 0 to two. So to do that, we just made it back to the open string still. And the second fret on the third string, second fret on the second string. And that looks like that. So we can go, yeah, just to be really tricky and running them at the first bar. The next one is the fifth thread, which is going to be too difficult to rich like that because I think has done reached there. We could try it like this and reach up to the fifth fret on the fifth string. So there's the fifth, is that number 5 written at the top? They say that to play it easier. I find it much, much easier to play like this. And in that way, the little finger is already up there and Whiting to play the fifth fret, fifth fret on the fifth string. And notice I'm playing three strings together. Then I'm playing three strings together again. And then I'm using the single, and you're actually using this thing he okay. To play the fifth fret on the fifth string. That's the face bat. So what you've learnt there is what the numbers mean. So the 0 is an open string. 2 will be on the second fret, three is on the third fret, and the lion's mane h string. Now the next important part obviously is the timing. So we were playing this timing. You'll see there it has written the dotted crotchet. And a dotted crotchet means it goes for 1.5 Bates. Then you'll see that after that we have a dotted crotchet tied to another crotchet. And if this sounds a little foreign to you and confusing, that's okay. The counting for it will be one and 234. And so you apply a 1234. And so if you can find that timing with each of those beats, it was sent like this 12341234 and apply the faster 1234234 and that's at timing for that one back. The important thing is we tab, we now the lines, we know that the lion's mane, the strings, we know the numbers mean the frets. We now know that the timing that's written on there is showing you whether it's a crotchet acquirer, semiquaver. And that timing is important to learn how to Kant the timing and how to read the timing as well. So it's a combination of all of those things that make up what guitar tablature actually is. So narrow again, to start working on how to play this pace. 4. Learning bars 1 and 2: We're going to divide this piece into a couple of sections. It's really into four sections. And that way we can sort of go through it without too much hassle. And it'll keep it fairly simple for us. So the first section is really going to be just the first two bars. And then we'll move on to the second section being the next two bars. And then we'll go into quite a few bars for their lungs, because that gets sort of repeats, nearly the same. And we'll divide the second half into two as well. So don't panic about it. Yep, I'll show you as we go through. So starting at guitar tablature, we have our open string with their thumb, the open fifth string, that's the first 0. We have our third string, second fret, and our third fret second string. And remember the way I showed you that I play it is to put my finger across. Now it's based on an icon. In this case, it's an ice suspended forth back to and I was suspended for things actually, the day-night is the DNA. They're replying with the extra night and then back to an a. And that gives us our first two parts to the first fret. So the zeros 2 and 3, 0 to 2 Pi that altogether. And that's the first tonight. Well, the first two grip of night. So we need to planning, which is really a chord we're playing. This is codes. And then adding in the fifth fret on the festering. Because the extra night. And what we've done, They just by learning that little bit is lambda Feste, feste bass APT is repeated. So let's try that again. 123412341234. 1, 2, 3, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4. Got they'd be damned. If you're not sure, you might need to go back and go through that this little section a couple of times just so you can work that outside. My last coulda more slow down a little bit more. 1341 and T 34123412341234. And nothing simple. Let's move on to the next edge. 5. Learning bars 3 and 4: This next slide we're looking at Baz 34, and that's all we're going to look at for this. And then we'll put all of that together at the end and play the first four bars. So this gets a little more complicated. You'll notice there that it says second, second fret on the fifth string. Second fret again on the third string. And then third fret on the second string. Say, it's very similar to the first here we started at before. Except this time we're using the second fret on the fifth string instead of the opening. So let's try that. Let's say our first three nights plan together, which is a sort of an ice suspended fourth chord with it. Then we're going to change this to the fourth. Now this is a bit of a jump. And when I say the fourth, it's actually the fourth fret on the fifth string, which is up here. And this is going to be a big jump for most people. We need to apply that night there. And we also need to play the second, second, second fret on the second, third strings. So we're looking for this, which is technically an, a chord with a C-shaped base. It seems like that. So all of these fit into chords and I will show you what the courts are after this as well. But we'll keep working on the tab first. And i'll I'll add the courts in four years where Lana so let's go back again. We've got a second, second, third. So this is a static band number three. And there's few different ways you can do that. So you can jump from second fret on the fifth string, second fret on the third string, third fret on the second string. Back up to here. Or we can keep that in here and make a finger up like that. I tend to play it like this. Mainly because I can keep this finger all the way across, adding the extra third and then just move this down one and made my third finger up. So I was just I one jump. While we're there. Let's move on to the end of that bar, which is three to two. Or in this case three to two. Or if you want to change fingers again, three to two, and that is 1000, that's one after the other. So in applying them at the same time, It's just like a little, little run down like that. So third fret, second string, which is where we started rather than beginning second fret on the third string, second fret on the fourth string. And that is our third bar. We're going to be a spreading to the fourth power. To do that, We slide up to the fifth fret, I mean 95th fret on the fifth string. Then we put it out next finger on the fourth fret of the fourth string. Then we have an open string. Then we have F third, third fret on the second string, and then little finger. If you can say it under here. The third fret on the fifth string, Dan he. So what you actually have here to make it really easy to remember it is a C chord shape. So there's essay, God would move that up two frets, which gives us a D chord shape with an extra little finger added on the top. They, that gives us, I note. And that's what it looks like. So this is going to take quite a bit of practice to do this section. So I apply it three for you. Now remember we're using our second finger. So we can actually position law this. You got to be careful about meeting other streams. They sorry about that. But that's what it sounds like. Those two bars. That's Goggin, second finger on the fourth string, second finger on the fifth string. Second fret. Second fret, second bar, third bar, second fret, fifth string. That a little bit again. I'm going to use my first finger. I'm gonna put that on the fifth string, second fret. Next finger on the third string, second fret, and the next one on the second string, third fret. It gives us that sand. Now we jumped to their forth with their teaching is Becky Adamson a barring them. And then adding my middle finger, second finger into the and the second one. So three to one ganglion out. Second thing for strings. And then, because my finger was already here just before that, I tend to just slide that up one and do a C-shape with the extra little g naught. I naught up the copy. So it's a C-shape, but starting on D. And with our right-hand, we're just fine once I thumb found in the figure, figure like that, okay, 12345 method on the angle you can see a little better. Just like that. So let's try that again. And that's those two bars, that's bath three and bass for, Let's try to temper 1234. And now start with the idea. 1234, NADH. And I was frightened little bit fast for you. So let's slow it down. 123412341234. And still pretty quick is no slouch going to be 112341234134123412341234, and 6. Play through bars 1 to 4: We're now going to play through the first four bars so you can hear the transition between festivals and the next two bars. So let's give this a go. Here we go, 1234123412341. And again, 123412. And that's our first four bars on the phone. 7. Learning bars 9 and 10: We're now going to jump down to ban number 9 net if you are using the PDF document, which there is a deadline there for you. Earlier on in the class. We're actually on page number 2. So it's the first two bars of page number 2. If you haven't already downloaded the PDF for free to get back and grab that. And you might find that easier to follow if using the PDF document rather than trying to follow along on the screen while VS playing as well. Site, Let's have a look. And this changes quite a bit. And yet it's the first two bars, Bars 9 and 10 are the same thing repeated. But with this, we need to use their thumb for two strings. So the way we're going to pick this using our writing, I was I peak we're using fingers is to play the fifth, fourth string with your thumb, one after the other. So you'll notice the notes just repeat one after the other without us actually having term to play multiple notes at the same time. So they all quavers cell B1, and to end, playing on each one of those baits all the way through the butt. So let's sort where our fingers going. And with our left hand made me go again. He's our thumb for strings 54 and the other fingers for the rest of the strings. For our left-hand festival, we have an open string. Then we have seven open string on the fifth string, on the fourth string, we're on fret number 7. If you're not sure where it written under 70s, her look on your guitar and you'll see there that we have some dots on there. There should be 357 is with our map for you. So it makes it easy to find. I can string and the fourth string on the fifth string, seventh fret, 357 on the fourth string, and then the fifth string. Using this finger here. We have our second finger on the 123 third string, six threat. So this were a Tiffany was going to play this music. That your tab. We've got open string. Then we've got number 7, seventh fret. And that's by using a thumbs-up, thumb, thumb. And then, oh, we need to do is use our fingers one after the other. And that is where that sitting you can see Matt. You're sitting in a one string h. So you've got 12345678. Back to Athens, would apply that theory to us. So let's try that. 12341234412341234. And so practice that. That's the next edge. So the fourth section of where we have to learn, We have one more section to lend them will be at play the whole thing all the way through. Because I've got quite a bit of it repeats, which makes it much, much easier for you. So I practice that again, remember thumb, thumb. We don't need to worry about changing your lifting. It stays there for all the way through those two bars. Thumb, thumb, and then we're using a three fingers on the right-hand. And then back down again. Try keep them nice and even 12341234 end spectra that, and we'll jump on to the next edge. 8. Learning bars 11 and 12: This next section is bad as 11 and 12. So remember top of the second page, the last two bars and the top line. And apply this. This is actually really easy because I want to show you an easy way to remember where to put your fingers. The first thing is to make C chord shape. May already know the C chord shape is. So if you play a C code, what we're going to do is play a C code. But instead of using our first finger back here on the second string, first read, we're going to use our fourth finger and little finger. And here on the second string, on the third fret. And if we make a C chord shape like that instead, so that's still a C, but with the extra finger dance. Yeah, have a look at the notes that we have on a guitar tab. And that's an ecotone tab. Third fret on the fifth string, second fret on the fourth string, string, third fret on the second string, that's your little finger. And then an open string. So that's using a C code, slightly changed. And it's a C code that with the day-night edit. And if we play it through, it will look like this would be thumb, thumb, finger, finger. So that's 12341234 and that path A-Z. What we do next is we slot that up two frets, and that gives us the fifth fret. Now, on the fifth string, fifth fret, fifth string, the full fret on the full string. I didn't string again, so I've still got that happens. And then we have our little finger nail on the fifth fret, which is what it says, the fifth fret, second string, and then the open string set apply. This will be thumb, thumb via finger, finger. On a right-hand. Sort of play the two bars, slide back again to our C-shaped, but with the little finger on the second string. And we get a 12341234 slot up 1234. And Nice and simple, isn't it? Let's try that once more. So, third fret, fifth string, second fret on the full string, my string. Then we'll have f third fret, second string, which is a little finger, then an open string again. And then we slide up two frets to do the next one. So here we go, 3412341234 end and we can let that ring all the way through. That's quite IK, works really well for this. Let's just jump back neon play Bars 9, 10, 11, and 12, all in a row, one after the other. And that will be the final section. But we need to lend for GitHub at one. 9. Play thorough bars 9 to 12: So here we go. We've got our fingers up here on the 7th. Abi 34123412341234 and back again, 1234123412341234. And so there we go. That was playing through Bus 9, 10, 11, and 12, and interpreting them as well, which is actually what we have for about 13, 14, 15, 16. 10. Guitar part 2 learning bars 1 to 4: Let's look at the second tap out. So remember the first path sense like this. Underneath that is another good Tap and that is the second we tap out the plaza along with this. Now, let's look at the guitar tab that's renamed. It says to apply the seventh and then the fifth fret on the second string. So I seventh to the fifth. So it'll sound like this. 1234123 then up to the fifth. So that's the first two bars. We'll try that again. 75 on the second string and then fifth on the festering. So 123412341234. And okay, under the third bomb, bargain is actually pretty straightforward. It is the second fret on the festering. And for this one it's a little bit quicker. It's using quite as it sounds. I dot-dot-dot, dot-dot-dot, second, third, second, Ivan, then third, then fled on the second string. So if we can't be say, 3412344. And, and I'll do that again correctly with counting for me 123412341234. Do that again. 341234. And and try that again. 34123, 4123412341234. And let's play that all the way through the first four bars. Now remember it gets over the top of this, which is, that's the second guitar part, fist for bats. Second for balance at exactly the same thing. Over again. I have that. Let's just have a quick look. 75. On the second string. I kept to the fifth fret on the first, second. And the only difference is the last night guys back up to the fifth fret. Second, third, second, EIP, third, then up to the fifth on the festering. Go back again. So that's 23. And then we've got two nights rather than the late into the next fries. And that is on the third string. We've got a 2 second friend and for two to four. And then we jumping into the very next Friday. 11. Guitar part 2 learning bars 9 to 12: So when we start, the next prize will actually start with that two and the four. So it goes 246. And just the way I like to apply these to start on the first finger, third finger for the four and then slide up to the sixth because it just sends not. So 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, and again, and again to the sixth, we get to the five. Now I just keep playing that 34 years so you can see what it actually looks like and the music there. But let's go back and play it. So we started with our second to the fourth. This is all I'm third string. So two 4 slot up to six. And then repeat that. But instead of getting a six, we got a five. Then we've got these little run that starts on 33531. And then we Dan to the third string, second fret. If we keep going even further. It repeats a little bit of that and that How's that second African allows for a bar and then there's a gap. And then on the 14th, but rather the very end, we have a 24 to a five with Assign. And then we hold it there and that's it. So if we were to play that whole second fries all the way through, it would sound like this. 12323234123234 and the Murrah back to the very static in back to them. Okay, so that's the melody for the second can tap up and just hope you add, I'll play the track for you just after this with the fiscal tap app. And now I will add the second tab out all the way through and play it through for a fairly slowly so that you can listen to the whole pacing one go with Bitcoin tab ads. Then hopefully it will make complete sense to you and you can use that in your backing track. Say, for the backing tracks, I will make it that there is a three backing tracks at 110 by three backing tracks at different temperatures for you to practice the fiscal tap Add, and then three more backing tracks at different timbres with the first guitar pad on there and you can then play the second one with it. So hopefully that'll make sense, but I'll put them all in the name so it will be really easy for you to find. I hope you found that logical, sensible and ASI. And you can now understand a little bit about how tablet your works and how to read tablature. And way you need to place your fingers on the guitar when you're falling tablature. Remember you do need to learn things like the music theory as in timing. So you know what the difference between crotchets and quavers and all that type of thing. As I make sure he's spent a bit of time learning that as well because it will make it so much easier for me. And obviously learning what the actual notes are on the guitar will certainly benefit you in the long run, but it is not essential for you to be able to play guitar. Let's move on to the prep strikes. 12. Practice track for guitar part 1 at 70 bpm: Oops. Let's see. In this section. 13. Practice track for guitar part 1 at 90 bpm: Source? Yes. 14. Practice track for guitar part 1 at 110 bpm: In this course, hi. 15. Practice track for guitar part 2 at 70 bpm: So all right. 16. Practice track for guitar part 2 at 90 bpm: Let's see. 17. Practice track for guitar part 2 at 110 bpm: Hey.