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Blues Guitar Tabs

March 15th, 2011

Tablature (tab or tabs for short) is a quick and effective way to learn to play guitar songs, and blues tabs are a great way to learn to play blues guitar. Tab is an easy to read form of musical notation, often used for writing out songs for the guitar and other fretted instruments.

The main benefit of tab is that it provides a picture of the fretboard showing you where the notes are played. This makes it very simple to visualize the notes and play them on the guitar as you read the tabs. You can learn to read blues tabs very quickly, and master songs for guitar without the need to spend a lot of time learning how to read music.

Tab tells you exactly on which string and at which fret to play the note, which is very useful as most notes can be played in various different position on the guitar fretboard. So using guitar tab can take the guesswork out of  deciding which fret you should play your guitar chords and notes on. This is often not clear in standard musical notation for guitar players, although sometimes frets may be indicated by placing roman numerals below the music staff.

It is important to remember that guitar tabs will be read upside down in comparison to how the strings are on your guitar. So, while your strings read from top to bottom EADGBE, tab reads from top to bottom EBGDAE. Each of the single columns represents a chord fingering.

If you begin reading guitar tabs and chords instead of standard notation, you’ll find yourself able to get through a piece more quickly. However, the main drawback with guitar tab is that it generally doesn’t indicate the length or timing of the notes. This can be a problem with precise musical forms, but is not so much of an issue with blues guitar tabs, as often the player is improvising and timing can be flexible with blues music. When you can make your own decisions on the timing of the piece that you are playing, blues tabs for guitar give you a quick and effective way to learn to play a blues riff or chord that you already know well to hear.

The ideal way to learn is to combine blues guitar tab with video and audio to let you really get to grips with the fingering and timing of the blues music as you learn. The downloadable course ‘Playing Through the Blues’ offers great blues guitar lessons using blues tabs. Click here to find out more about ‘Playing Through the Blues’


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