The parallel lines on the page represent the six strings on the guitar.
Note that the the stings are listed with the high notes at the top and the base notes at the bottom.
1st string —————————————————— E string
2nd string —————————————————- B string
3rd string —————————————————– G string
4th string —————————————————– D string
5th string —————————————————– A string
6th string —————————————————– E string
A symbol that looks like this I (capital letter i) on each string represents the beginning or end of a measure or a certain amount of time or beats.
The symbol that looks like this II (two capital letters i) on each string represents the end of the finger picking pattern. It will also have two * (asterisks) one over the other in the middle of the strings to represent a REPEAT sign. This symbol means you should repeat what is between the symbols.
So REPEAT signs looks like this;
A single I (capital letter i) in the middle of the strings only represents the end of a measure. It is not a repeat sign.
So this above would mean you play the tablature for two measures and then repeat to the beginning and play two measures again and continue repeating over and over.
The numbers on the strings represent the frets that are to be played.
As time progresses the numbers progress from left to right.
So this is how a D chord would look if it were slowly strummed.
II————————-2——I = press down 2nd fret on 1st or E string
II———————3———-I = pres down 3rd fret on 2nd or B string
II—————–2————–I = pres down 2nd fret on 3rd or G string
II————-0——————I = open 4th or D string
II———0———————-I = open 5th or A string
II—–2————————–I = press down 2nd fret on 6th or E string
This is how a D chord would look if all the strings were played at the same time
Note that the number representing the frets to be played are all in a line over top one another
This means that they are all played at the same time.
Occasionally above the strings you may see left hand symbols. You will see these only when the left hand fingering is needed. Otherwise you will just play the chord the way you normally would.
Under the strings are the fingers of the right hand assigned to play the note above it.
The below tablature (Tab.) is a D chord picked with thumb and fingers.
For a D chord
… t f r m t = thumb; f = forefinger; r = ring finger; m = middle finger; l = little finger
__T T T 1 2 3 Thumb, thumb, thumb, 1st finger, 2nd finger, 3rd finger playing notes in Tab.
Some other symbols you might see in the Tablature are listed below.
The P means Pull off the string from 3rd fret to 2nd
Hammer from 1st fret to 3rd fret
Pull off from 2nd fret to open string
Slide from 2nd fret to 4th fret
Hammer from open string to 2nd fret
Bend string on 3rd fret to raise pitch
Read About Right Hand Position before beginning the picking patterns
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