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Home > Lessons > Guitar For Beginners > How To Read Guitar Tabs

Guitar For Beginners Lessons - How To Read Guitar Tabs, Rhythm

In this free lesson you'll see how rhythm shows you how long the note lasts. The notes on the top section aren't always included in tabs but it is very helpful to show you the rhythm of the song or guitar lick. The tab should be divided into measures to help you keep correct rhythm. The time signature shows you how many beats are in each measure. The top number shows you how many beat are in each measure. The bottom number shows you the note value for one beat. So for a 4/4 time signature there are 4 quarter note beats per measure. Also the double bar line indicates the end of the section.


Tab Rhythm

Figure 1 - Tab Rhythm





I will use a 4/4 time signature as an example for the notes below. A whole note is 4 beats long, a half note is 2 beats long, a quarter note is 1 beat long, an eighth note is 1/2 beat long, ect. This is because the bottom of the 4/4 time signature is used to show you the note duration for one beat, which is 4. The notes are played faster as you move to the right in Figure 2.

How to read guitar tabs

Figure 2 - Notes and Rests


This example shows you how different duration notes can be played together and how they make the rhythm different. Remember in 4/4 time the notes must add up to 4 beats long to keep correct time. Keep practicing and learn to play the guitar!

How to read guitar tabs

Figure 3 - Tab Rhythm Example





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