Guitar tabs for beginners

Hi,this hub is about guitar tabs for beginners, that's getting the feeling of making music which is of course a quite natural sensation, makes you feel good, people take notice when you play, attracts the opposite sex - well they may show some interest. Whatever,here we are.

I will try to show you the basics about getting started with the guitar.*Please take it a step at a time.Don't just jump down the page and pick bits out.You will only get frustrated and disheartened if you do that. Do bit,take a break,then come back do a bit more..and so on. Even mark the the page in your favorites.

The beginning.

Guitar tabs or tablature, as it is sometimes called, is a very old way of music notation or writing music down so other musicians can understand the song. They can be used for other instruments as well as the guitar,like the drums,banjo and a number of others.To start we will look at a blank tab of a guitar.Picture 1 below.

A blank guitar tablature - Picture 1

Guitar tabs for beginners:- Picture 1,a blank guitar tablature.
Guitar tabs for beginners:- Picture 1,a blank guitar tablature.

Now you see the 6 horizontal lines, they are the 6 guitar strings. The bottom of the tablature staff starts with the low E string (the thickest string), then come strings A, D, G, B and the high E string (the skinniest) is on top of the staff,just as in the picture 1 above.

Next we are going to put numbers on the tablature lines. The numbers tell you what frets you have to place your finger on. A 1 means you have to put your finger on the first fret of the appropriate string, 2 means the second fret, 3 the third one, ... A 0 on a guitar tab means and open string. So lets see how you go about learning guitar chords.

Here's an example to make it more clear for you: the guitar tab for the C chord:

Guitar tab,picture 2, C chord

Guitar tabs for beginners:- Guitar tab,picture 2, C chord
Guitar tabs for beginners:- Guitar tab,picture 2, C chord

The picture above is the Chord 'C' using traditional type of notation.While the same can be represented by a Tab seen below.

C chord represented in tab form.

Guitar tabs for beginners:- C chord represented in tab form.
Guitar tabs for beginners:- C chord represented in tab form.

That was a Strum!

In the above notations the pictures represented a Strum. All the numbers were all together,or on top of each other if you like.When you see that,it means all the indicated notes should be play together and at the same time.Thats called a strum,they are stummed together. You are now playing a chord.

In the next example,below,you will see the numbers follow each other. So now the notes follow each other in time and should be played after each other as you play.

Notes follow each other.

Guitar tabs for beginners:- Notes follow each other as you play.
Guitar tabs for beginners:- Notes follow each other as you play.

In the example above,you play the 5th fret on the low E string first.Then the 3rd fret on the same string,next the 5th again,now move up to the 3rd fret on the A string and so on.

That's the basics on playing guitar tabs but there's more.We need cover a few more symbols you will see on tabs.

The Pull off. Here you play the second note of the tab.Not by using your pick but pulling your finger of the 7th fret,while another finger is on the 5th fret.See the little 'p' on the tab below.

The 'Pull off'.see the little 'p'on the tab.

Guitar tabs for beginners:- The 'Pull off'.see the little 'p'on the tab.
Guitar tabs for beginners:- The 'Pull off'.see the little 'p'on the tab.

The Slide. The next guitar technique is called the slide.You do this by sliding your finger from the 5th fret to the 7th fret without lifting your finger,as shown below

The Slide.See the little 's' on the tab.

Guitar tabs for beginners:- The Slide.See the little 's' on the tab.
Guitar tabs for beginners:- The Slide.See the little 's' on the tab.

We have now covered the most used guitar techniques on guitar chords and seen on tabs.There are other more advanced techniques but we are only doing beginners here so we shall leave that for now.

Guitar tabs are sometimes combined with the standard note script as seen in the big staff below - nearly at the bottom of the page. When you first see it, It looks a bit scary but take closer look.This is useful as you can see the guitar tab and the the rhythm.Rhythm is not shown on guitar tabs.


I hope you have found this little guide helpful. This is only a beginners outline but the real musical pleasure comes after learning and practicing. Practice and yet more practice. The feeling of music coming from your instrument, seeing the reaction the faces on people around you, is quite magical when you really can play well. As in most things, there is a price to pay. That is learning, understanding and practice. Courses can help, you have to put yourself into it, to get the pleasure and rewards that are waiting for you on the other-side. Many, many people have done this, you can too. Don't give up! You can do it.

Well this just about rounds off my page but I put a little example of how some of this used in a real song below. Which guitar to use? There is no real best guitar for beginners but you won't go far wrong with an acoustic one.


More by this Author

  • Learn Guitar Chords

    Learning a guitar chord is all very fine but once you know the chord you really should practice and practice. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect.

Comments 136 comments

thisishard 5 years ago

im having a lotta trouble...... i still havent learnt the chords..... AHHHHH!!!!!

Braden 5 years ago

its really godo site it helped me a lot, but im still 80% stuck. but thanks anyways =D

Cupcake_Girl 5 years ago

I was looking for a beginner way to play harder songs. I just learned how to play yesterday and can play part of "Smoke on the Water". I wnated to learn how to play "Let the Rain" by Sara Barielles. Thanks for the help though!

Hello 5 years ago

Hey malc if u still answer this, i had a question, im trying to teach myself to play but i just cant get the rythm of the song, anyone plz help me. I also like this site it has helped me.

bhavik 5 years ago

grt work dude i loved it thanks

Rachel 5 years ago

Never picked up a guitar before tonight but wanted to play a bit of Nirvana, thought I better google a bit of information first. This made a lot of sense compared to some other sites. Thanks heaps. Here goes.... XO

reeseha 5 years ago

I asked for songs not to place fingers on frets,

but it was still awesome thanks

c ya l8er

(see you later)


guitartabsforbeginners 5 years ago

Good article. Trudi, you hold the 5th string and pluck it, then press and release the 7th fret. You only pluck the first string and use the sustain to sound the string. Hammer ons and pull-offs work much better on an electric guitar.

Easy Guitar Tabs-I am trying to build a site but I am having trouble putting tab on the page. Do you know what software other sites use so I can make my tab and then publish it.

guitar boy 6 years ago

i want to know how to do this doh reh on

Angela  6 years ago

It help me but i am still 95% stuck.

Christina 6 years ago

Thanks helped alot

Trudi 6 years ago

Thanks, this was a great help. Just one bit im still not sure about is the pull on/off. Does your example mean i keep one finger of the fretting hand on 5th fret of the A string and one finger touches then pulls away from the 7th fret of the same string, or do i kinda pluck the same string with another finger of fretting hand at the 7th fret. If im not using the pick how is the string "played" to create the you get what i mean!! Apart from that it was very very helpful. Im 42 years old and love the sound of guitar (especially the electric guitar). When i decided this year what the hell im gonna learn to play, many people laughed and thought i was going through a middle age crisis. I am really having fun (yes also getting frustrated) and glad i finally got started. So anyone who is struggling, i sympathise, but if its in your heart stick with it. Pages like this are a great help and there is loads of support out there, its never too late!!!!

jay 6 years ago

I just wanna say thanks and that I have been looking at tabs trying to figure them out and getting frustrated and then I stumbled on to your page and it all clicked I wanna say thank you so much awsome. Job and the people that say different are mindless nut bags great intro course it feels good learning something new. Have a happy holiday I hope you stick with the web site

Caitlin Beadles 6 years ago

Hey yaa thnx it useful your page and lessons now thnks to u am a pro of guitar

ryuweaver 6 years ago

i want to learn dango daikazoku.

anela 6 years ago

do i strum one string or all? im still confused but i really want to learn how to play :(

leigh 6 years ago

this help 0% i still can't play guitar

Brandon 6 years ago

Nice guide for begginers, iv'e been playing guitar for a while now and iv'e started to teach others, iv'e used this page a lot recently and it works really well!

nice job!

Chris Scoble 6 years ago

Thanks mate i never wanted too learn guitar because the idea of chords scared me but thanks to this demonstration i have confidence too learn guitar now. thanks

en 6 years ago

Thank you, this page helped me out of confusion.

Robz 6 years ago

wow im really confused with all this....wish i could play fade to black by metalica :( got anymore advice?

arvind 6 years ago

it is nice stuff dear friend my finger s tip are paining too much after the 1 month of practice now i cant touch the string so much is the pain please suggest

sarah 6 years ago

This was quite helpful.

The one thing that would make it better is if you had clips of what the music was supposed to sound like.

Huggy 6 years ago

Very Helpful , Thank you

em 6 years ago

hey, i learned how to play tabs like 20 min ago and i already can play the first part of "wake me up when september ends" its really easy once you learn how (its only three notes but still..) so just get tabs from your fav songs and practice!

guard 6 years ago

Guitar players who know the names and location of all the notes on the fretboard have a distinct advantage over players who learn via guitar TAB. In fact, the guitar offers many alternative ways to play most musical phrases

Jacqui.M 6 years ago

this is better than what my Guitar teacher:)

Aleisha 6 years ago

Thank you sooo much, i've been playing for a couple of months now, and didnt really understand how to play tabs or anything, and the way that i was learning songs was really awkward. but i now understand.

i think what confuses me the most is that the strings on the tabs are upside down to the way they are on the guitar. lol. it feels good to be able to play songs. i just have to keep practising so that i can play faster without having to stop and ask okay, where is that string/fret.

thanks for your help :)

LEXI 6 years ago


cyn 6 years ago

Hi is anyone who can give me a simple chords for whatever whatever whatever by maxwell for a begginer like me. i really love the song. i want it to play in guitar. i really appreciate if you can help me.

thanks a lot.

kelsey 6 years ago

hey, this site helped me a lot! I'm a beginner, and I understand everything! except pull offs, that's still a little foggy, haha.

but I just saw a lot of negative comments so I wanted to let you know that you did a good job. (: thanks!

mits 6 years ago

I have a piece of guitar tablature that looks like:


Does this mean what it seems like:

hold down 7th fret and pull off on the 8th fret followed by hammering on 7th fret? The music does not seem to fit and sounds better by playing the note on the 7th fret, hammering on the 8th which sounds the note on the 7th after.

Guitar Tabs For Beginners 6 years ago

Is it all songs that are not allowed to be published? and is it not even allowed to publish your own translation of tabs to a song? I don't hope it's a no to the last question, then I have some cleaning to do myself.

Easy Guitar Tabs profile image

Easy Guitar Tabs 6 years ago from The UK Author

Just updated my comments.

Several people are looking for songs ect on this site.

I'm not allowed to publish that stuff on here.

I ran into copy write issues with publishers.

There are resources on the web - just Google what your looking for.

Thanks for all your comments.


treovr  6 years ago

this was very helpfull thanks alot

zoe 6 years ago

this is a great begginer lesson- very helpful. I'd like it if you put up some more tabs, though. I've been playing guitar for almost a year now and i love it!

sebastian 6 years ago

u should put some beatles songs~!!!!!!!

skuxy 6 years ago

put songs on there duuuuuuuuuh

hippykid katie 6 years ago

i need help!

mike 6 years ago

Great information for learning about the guitar. I taught myself the piano. Next year I will try learn to play guitar also.

Greg 6 years ago

I was looking for an easy song in tablature form, not how to play a C. This was too easy.

Ebel 6 years ago

Thanks man, I already knew tab and a few songs and whatnot but just lookin over your stuff and seeing what music can do for people was kinda cool.

Acoustic Guitar Man 6 years ago

Great Hub man

Good beginner lesson

cool 6 years ago

thnxxx a lot

yo dad 6 years ago

ya rock on

Uhh 6 years ago

;D My hands hurt from playing the guitar for so long. :S

Damian 6 years ago

That was excellent

maxwell 6 years ago

I want to learn about guitar and how to play guitar

Affordable Entry Level Electric Guitars 6 years ago

Great Instructions

Here's a loose translation to one of Orianthi's guitar runs of the week.

1st part







second part







Cheers Justin

2nd day guitarist 6 years ago

Thanks this helped me a lot!

piggzy 6 years ago

this is a finger exercises try it over and over







makayla coss 6 years ago

i realy think that learning the guitar is easy and fun it is the best thing that ever happened to me because it got me closer to the boy i like and he is realy cute so cute like justin bieber

Ali Ahmad Bin Mohd Hanif 6 years ago i play more confident n quite goog

Emily! 7 years ago

Hey I also just got a guitar and can't wait to start playing...but I have NO IDEA how to. I mean I don't know one note. Can anyone help me out give me some urls and what-not?

gg 7 years ago

i just got my guitar and i will get lessons but i still dont get how to play the songs on the guitar

bubba 7 years ago

i cant read none of this stuff

Liz 7 years ago

Ok, so I'm TRYING to learn guitar (too cheap for lessons), and this really didn't help me. You really didn't explain WHERE these said frets are located, kind of confusing, and all I really learned from this was what frets are, and the notes of a guitar.

fainter 7 years ago

will u plz get some other links for other songs

army3891 7 years ago

just like a few other people i agree its confusing

John 7 years ago

Thank you that was very helpful and educational. =]

pinkhawk profile image

pinkhawk 7 years ago from Pearl of the Orient

this is's not easy than I think it was but I'm eager to learn something about music so I will not give up just like that...thank you again for sharing... :)

Marissa 7 years ago

thanks so much! this has helped a lot

Beginners Guitar Lessons 7 years ago

Great explanation on how to read guitar tabs, I have many in my time and not all are the best

mark 7 years ago

Thank you for sharing this stuff.

Tucker  7 years ago

Awesome site. thanks.

nicksstuff profile image

nicksstuff 7 years ago from Going for a swim in the ocean.

Great hub man. Thanks for the detailed info and time you put into it. I understand what you are talking about. There is so much great info out there if you read the right stuff!

Dee 7 years ago

hey friend!!!

it would be good if you add some would be a great help!!!!

Easy Guitar Tabs profile image

Easy Guitar Tabs 7 years ago from The UK Author


Hi yes I made a mess of that.Your quite right.

I'll take it out as this is really only beginners.

Thanks, Malc

guitarlearner 7 years ago

wat do you mean by hammering on or nammering on

Easy Guitar Tabs profile image

Easy Guitar Tabs 7 years ago from The UK Author

Hi Theresa,

I did a Hub on that subject - Learning guitar chords.

Learning a chord or two is only the start to actually playing your guitar.

Like anything you want to well at, it takes time and practice.


theresa 7 years ago

this made me even more confused than i was. i just want to learn how to play a chord. if i wanted to learn all this stuff i'd take real lessons!

Kim 7 years ago

Great way to teach tabs, and easy to understand.

Guitar tabs for beginners

beginner 7 years ago

the best! thanks!!!:D

Salem 7 years ago

Thank you soooo much!!!! You are awesome!!!!

Waz Up?  7 years ago

It really healp if you don't know how to read notes!

Easy Guitar Tabs profile image

Easy Guitar Tabs 7 years ago from The UK Author

randumskatergrl - All power to you! Glad I could help in some small way.


randumskatergrl 7 years ago

thanks to this site i am playing guitar again!!!!! i just got over a sevrly broken hand and wasnt able to practice my guitar for 2 years!! now i really suck but this site is helping me regain my talent!

dizzygirl 7 years ago

Hey cool site! since you're here to help beginners I figured I'd mention a site I came across recently that is claiming to have free video tutorials for players of all ages and talent. They are also promoting a tab player that is, according to them, the only device of it's kind. I found an article on harmony central originally but thought what the heck I'd pass it on.

Easy Guitar Tabs profile image

Easy Guitar Tabs 7 years ago from The UK Author

mastercheif - Sorry about that.

Due too editorial issues I had to heavly revise this site. I'll take the referance to 'Horese with no name' out as it doesent make any sence now.


mastercheif 7 years ago

hey dude i dont know what the last part is like the thing for horse with no name it sounds nothing like it

Jerry 7 years ago

Thanks man I've been wanting to read tabs for a while and this helped alot.

Now I am going to learn a new song....Keep up the good work!!!

learningguitar 7 years ago

hello, i went through your hub it is really wonderful and well- designed. i would like to tell you that i really liked your hub. oh god, you are terrific with your work. i think i better start trying hard.

Steve 7 years ago

I love guitar, and I had never tried to play my whole life. I picked up guitars but felt I was always way to far gone(old) to begin. I went out bought a guitar and downloaded then bought a guitar chord poster. I went on youtube and tryped in how to play 2 and 3 chord songs, easy guitar songs, etc. and now I am playing quite well. I understand all chords and notes and read tabs easy. I do practice every day when I find time here and there. I would say go to youtube and start there. Another thing I would say to motivate you is to learn an old song you heard when you were a kid. Play the old over and over again. You'll get better and you will want to move on to other songs. The chords will come with practice and repitition.Start with an easy song like knocking on heavens door by bob dylan. 3 easy starter chords, G,A,D then G,C,D

Alex 2 7 years ago

Yeah this sight was quite helpful, especially for a begginer such as myself.

It was a big help but i would like to see some more TAB links posted.

Thanx Malc.

cody 7 years ago

good site!!! but you need more songs for people to look at to play!!!!

Easy Guitar Tabs profile image

Easy Guitar Tabs 7 years ago from The UK Author

Becci / Casey.

This not a 5 minute 'Wounder Course',I leave that to others. These pages I've popped up are just stepping stones to the art of playing your guitar.

There is only one rule and thats Practice,Practice and even more Practice. Just like anything you want to get good at.


becci 7 years ago

thanx for the help but it wasn't much

casey 7 years ago

i just started to learn and everything still seems confuding ive got the nomber part down but everything else im confused. ill keep reading to see if it gets clearer

Easy Guitar Tabs profile image

Easy Guitar Tabs 7 years ago from The UK Author


khamm 7 years ago

HI, im a ameture guitarist and im glad you were able to demonstrate how this works, thinks bud.

kory 8 years ago

its is great help but im not sure if ill ever be able to read the actual notes i like the number but yeah it doesnt show you the rythm so i guess ill keep learning

Justin 8 years ago

this was a really good site but I was looking for something a little more advanced.

belle 8 years ago

thanks! this was really helpful!

farah 8 years ago

i don't know what is an AM and CM and DM all of this i don't understand

and i want to learn lucky by jason mraz...

Sam 8 years ago

I understand the tabs and everything, but are there a few easy chords? I never learned these chords I learned them in easier form.

Easy Guitar Tabs profile image

Easy Guitar Tabs 8 years ago from The UK Author

Thanks Zauron X.

Its nice to know at least someone like it. Malc

Zauron X 8 years ago

Hey mate, thanks a lot! this is really good help.

lana 8 years ago

this page was really confusing. i am trying to learn to play the guitar and all i can play is happy birthday. you just need to make this page less confusing

mike 8 years ago

hey tabs just had a guitar given to me an electric i also have an amp and a distortion pedal but haven't a clue how to play can you help me

obder 8 years ago

thanks for the help, but can you put some easy song tabs on?

like easy punk songs just to get me started.


jackie 8 years ago

i read all this atleast 10 times and i still dont understand it....

ekc908 8 years ago

I wanbt tabs not how to play gutiar b

george 8 years ago

it was prty tough. it also looked confusing. it kinda sucked, sonnnnnnn.

Easy Guitar Tabs profile image

Easy Guitar Tabs 8 years ago from The UK Author


Have a look at some of my othe Hubpages Taya. These pages will give you a feel and many of the basics, but if your really serious about playing the guitar well, try the link to Jamorama guitar course on this page and see what you think.

taya 8 years ago

thank you for the site .. but i really think that it would help me more if you out on pictures of where to put your fingers becuase not alot of people understand this ! No critisicm ! Just helping out :)

Easy Guitar Tabs profile image

Easy Guitar Tabs 8 years ago from The UK Author


Just keep trying. Practice makes perfect. It will slowly come.


melissa 8 years ago

as much as i want 2 learn i cant get it! but thanx 4 trying 2 help

Easy Guitar Tabs profile image

Easy Guitar Tabs 8 years ago from The UK Author

Alex - Glad the page helped you.

I like the Jingle Bells and Halloween theme. Not too sure Meowmix.


Alex 8 years ago

hi, ive just started playing guitar, and this page has really helped me understand some of the basic guitar techniques (hammer ons, slides etc.) thanks a lot.

also, ive found some really easy tabs that ive learnt, they are simple and short, but some are really ridiculous!

Jingle Bells(Great to show off with at the right time of year)-

Meowmix (The ridiculous one I was referring to)-

Halloween theme(Quite easy and fun to play too)-

Easy Guitar Tabs profile image

Easy Guitar Tabs 8 years ago from The UK Author

Dh - would you mind putting up some Niel Young tunes?

Hi Dh, I'm trying to keep this page fairly focused on Beginners starting out,great idea though and yes he did some truly outsanding music. I'll have have a think about that one.


DHurwitz187 8 years ago

This is very helpful...a bunch of things i was too afraid to ask about... would you mind putting up some Niel Young tunes? that would be great also...

Thank You

- dh

Easy Guitar Tabs profile image

Easy Guitar Tabs 8 years ago from The UK Author

ashley. Thanks for the postive waves...nice feeling.

Any way I could improve it a little?


ashley 8 years ago

All i have to say is amazing, once a beginner now i can play bassically any song mentioned to me.:) thanx man

Easy Guitar Tabs profile image

Easy Guitar Tabs 8 years ago from The UK Author

OK. Malc

blah 8 years ago

this webite is very helpful, but like many others are saying you need to add actual song, full length. im a new guitar player and im only 13 so nothing to hard! thanx.

Easy Guitar Tabs profile image

Easy Guitar Tabs 8 years ago from The UK Author

Tamara. See if I can do something like that over the weekend.If I do it I'll put a link on this page. Malc.

tamara 8 years ago

i need a full page of guitar tabs because i wanna learn how to play my guitar and no url has it can someone tell me a good website please

Easy Guitar Tabs profile image

Easy Guitar Tabs 8 years ago from The UK Author

Josh & humphrey don.

Thanks guys. I have a link here on the page if you really want to know more Don.

Hammer-on's & Pull off's,I should get of my bottom and put up a seperate page/s for these I suppose.


humphrey don 8 years ago

well i need some advice cos im looking for lessons

Josh 8 years ago

Hey man, this has helped a ton! Especially the hammer-on and the Pull-off section. I still get goofy sounds with the slides, but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it in time.This has been the easiest lesson thing I've seen so far.Thanks!

Easy Guitar Tabs profile image

Easy Guitar Tabs 8 years ago from The UK Author

Nick - Interesting comment. How about a new Hub page just for finger excersies?Could put a link from this page to the new one.

Cory p. Seems your getting to grips with it - well done.

Cory p 8 years ago

i just started playing on halloween. and there r a bunch of easy songs out there 4 beginners if u play chords knockin on heavens door, who'll stop the rain, turn the page, and there are songs like sounds of silence and down on the corner that arent that hard 4 tab

Nick 8 years ago

You guys should get some finger excersices up for people like me that are still trying to learn, if u put up the finger excercises it would be a nice written way that every body can see, like speed and placement excercises would be nice

Easy Guitar Tabs profile image

Easy Guitar Tabs 8 years ago from The UK Author


Hammer on - a stonger note needs to be played.

Pull Off - your pulling off the chord/string with your finger here. May be should expand the descripsion here.


andrumatus 8 years ago

thanks Malc, it really helped me out but I'm kind of confused with hammer on and pull off.But anyway thanks lot

Easy Guitar Tabs profile image

Easy Guitar Tabs 8 years ago from The UK Author

Joe - try strumming down to get started,change the chortd and down once again,next chord and so on.

Then then try a few finger excerices ... Malc

joe 8 years ago

i dont get it ... do i strum up or down?

Easy Guitar Tabs profile image

Easy Guitar Tabs 8 years ago from The UK Author

Savin & Looking for beginner songs,

Thanks Chaps.Much apprieciated. Just trying to help people along.


savin 4 electric 8 years ago

thax mate ur awesome

Looking for beginner songs... 8 years ago

I came on this page by accident, I understand tabs, but I was looking for some beginner songs, in tab form. the only ones I can do now are smoke on the water, and 7 nation army...

Easy Guitar Tabs profile image

Easy Guitar Tabs 8 years ago from The UK Author

yo mama - any kind of particular song/tune?

Something easy to get started? Malc.

yo mama 8 years ago

yea kinda helped but u need 2 put some songs on hurrrrrrrrrr pceee outttt sonnnnnn

Easy Guitar Tabs profile image

Easy Guitar Tabs 8 years ago from The UK Author

Practice and more practice...

I wish I could play! 8 years ago

I tried to catch on but i didn't understand it at all. Oh, well. Maybe piano is easier...?

Nick 8 years ago

Thanks very much. it was helpful.

Easy Guitar Tabs profile image

Easy Guitar Tabs 8 years ago from The UK Author

em ,

Thanks for the kind words.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article