View Full Version : Uke chords shown with numbers 2000 (Am). How to show unplayed strings

11-03-2015, 02:08 PM
Hey gang,

Maybe I'm missing something but I just can't find an answer for this problem.

If I want to show Am as 2000 and I don't want the 2nd string E played, do I put an X in the number? (i.e. 20X0)


11-03-2015, 02:11 PM
That is my understanding.

11-03-2015, 02:21 PM
Would it be a big X or a little x?

11-03-2015, 02:45 PM
Big X I think. I've never seen a small one that I can think of.

11-03-2015, 02:51 PM
Thanks Freeda!


11-03-2015, 02:58 PM
Don't worry, I'm sure someone will come and contradict me soon! Lol! :)

11-03-2015, 03:11 PM
Don't worry, I'm sure someone will come and contradict me soon! Lol! :)

Fairly standard fare around here! ;-) hehe

I only brought this up because I have a ukulele student who is totally new to TABs, etc... The student asked me about how do you show an unplayed note in a chord like 2000. Great question, since we do write 2000 to exchange chords via text but TAB (though similar) is not the same in the sense that you only put fret numbers on the strings you want. So, I think the student was wondering the difference between TAB and just random chord sharing like 2000.

I'm finding it's very true that students make the teacher learn more! It's very easy for me to do YouTube tutorials and be funny, informative and charming but it's all one way. Teaching a student is a whole other ball game. That requires a lot of planning, understanding, and work.


Jim Hanks
11-03-2015, 05:43 PM
If you want to shout the fact that "the 'e' note will ruin everything and must absolutely not be played", use the big 'X'. If it's just a suggestion that "maybe you might want to consider not playing the 'e'" then you can use the small 'x'

11-03-2015, 07:10 PM
To confuse things:
In tab-notation an unplayed string is just left blank, so if your chord is written inside a tab you should NOT put an x for unplayed strings. An x in tab notation means play-it-muted (to get a more percussive sound).

11-03-2015, 10:34 PM
h - hammer on
p - pull off
b - bend string up
r - release bend
/ - slide up
\ - slide down
v - vibrato (sometimes written as ~)
t - right hand tap
x - play 'note' with heavy damping

That last one, the x, is used to get a choppy, percussive sound. You usually use your fretting hand to lightly damp the strings so that when you pick the note it sounds dead.

Note that the use of 'x' is *totally* different from the use of an 'x' when giving chord shapes.

http://www.classtab.org/tabbing.htm (http://www.classtab.org/tabbing.htm)

11-04-2015, 02:09 AM
Thinking about it you could as well consider using a dash/minus to avoid confusion with the x in tabs.

Question remains whether this makes sense at all - I would always consider "numeric chords" for strumming whereas unplayed strings to me are more a matter of fingerpicking. Which brings us back to the x because you'll hardly be able to strum 20-0 without touching the 2nd string, so it would become a 20x0 anyway.

11-04-2015, 03:56 PM
Thanks everyone!

@Jim Hanks: Good call with the little "x"

@Rodney.: Good call! Thanks for the percussive info as well!

@ukuleleden: Thanks for the tab explanations and the percussive info and the tab link.

@Louis0815: Danke! Good alternative and also you are right that it would descend into the realm of fingerpicking. My thoughts exactly. Vielen Dank!