View Full Version : Help please.

Some Bloke
07-15-2011, 07:31 AM
Hi Guys,

Idiot question (if you don't answer, fear not there will be plenty more idiot questions to come).

If I google a tune it mostly comes back in chords, with or without pictograms, which is fine by me. But, sometimes it results in "tabs" which is represnted by strange looking lines with circles spaced along it. It's not standard musical notation. So, what is it? How do I read it? How do I play it?

Which is three questions really, hope you don't mind.

07-15-2011, 07:34 AM
sometimes it results in "tabs" which is represented by strange looking lines with circles spaced along it. It's not standard musical notation. So, what is it? How do I read it? How do I play it?

Can you post a link to an example of this? AFAIK tab is numeric notation on four lines; I can't even picture ever seeing anything that looks like what you have described.

07-15-2011, 07:49 AM
First there are no idiot questions. Yours is a good one, tab is very important to many.
The spaces between the lines represent the strings (4 each in reverse order, top space = bottom "A" string). the numbers or a zero represent the fret the note is played on (where you put your finger). if it is a zero the string is played "open" (unfretted). Tab is mainly for picking single notes, but if more than one "string" has a number or zero directly on top of each other than you play them at the same time. There are many site that can explain tab better. Perhaps one of our experts will post a link. I'm a newbie and don't use tab yet.
Good luck,

07-15-2011, 09:36 AM
This link is for the guitar, but the same applies to the ukulele except for the number of strings (unless you have a 6 string uke)


Hope this helps

07-15-2011, 09:42 AM
this link looks pretty good....


Susie A
07-15-2011, 10:39 AM
Dear Mr. Bloke,
Do not feel like the Lone Ranger. I too can't read TAB. I am going to pay close attention to this thread in hopes of learning something that will help me with this issue.

07-15-2011, 11:24 AM
On Uke Minutes Dominator has done a few on how to read tabs, they might help :)

07-15-2011, 04:45 PM
in addition to all the good advice, i'll clear up something fairly important that may have been overlooked a little....for the most part....tabs are used to show how to play complex picking or soloing...think somethin by Jake...whereas chords generally suffice for something you just strum along to....Also tabs generally don't explain how LONG to play a note, only what not to play...so tabs are often unplayable unless you know the song already, or have a recording to listen to....good luck...

Some Bloke
07-16-2011, 09:23 AM
Thanks guys,

I appreciate the response. One more question please, I've looked at the tab posted for The Beatles "In My Life" which is posted on this forum. I can follow the logic of the numbers and zero's, but the second line begins with an "H" and three "L" symbols. What do they mean?

Thanks Again.

07-16-2011, 09:59 AM
Hope this helps25670