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GuitaroJam Learning Centre > Guitar Tablature



         Guitar Tablature

About Tablature

  • How To Read & Write Tab
    Comprehensive information about guitar tablature, including what TAB will and won't tell you, understanding Tab notation and how to write Tab.  Very well known article written by Howard Wright.

  • Tablature Explained
    If you are a beginner and are not familiar with reading guitar tablature, the
    Tablature Explained Web Page explains the various symbols you will come across and suggestions on writing guitar tab as well.
  • What Is Tablature?
    A good introduction and explanation of how to read guitar tablature from our friends at Guitar Alliance, one of the very best learning sites on the web.                        
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Great Guitar Tablature Sites

Guitar tabs from the sites listed below are not intended to be accurate or official tabs for the artist, but are merely by-ear transcriptions. Quality guitar tab sites such as these aim to provide a valuable resource for musicians who want to further their instrument skills - they do not seek to violate copyrights, and encourage their visitors to purchase the artist's album and official sheet music.

Browse the guitar tab sites below - you are sure to find the tab you want!  Generally, tablature on these sites can be used for study, skill development, and scholarship.


  • mxTabs
    Large archive of guitar tabs, also offering bass tabs and drum tabs.  From the most obscure bands to the most popular.  New tabs added almost every day.
  • 911 Tabs
    911 Tabs is a fast, easy & accurate search engine, targeting guitar tabs-related information only.  It operates in a similar manner to the major search engines, crawling several hundred music websites and archives. Employing the best of search technology to produce highly relevant & organised results, 911 Tabs has over 350,000 tabs indexed.

    This guitar/bass site indexes 220455 songs from 12020 artists from all genres of music, including rock, pop, jazz, country and blues. For the guitarist there is the added bonus of guitar tablature and chords being provided as well as the lyrics to most songs.  Most of the songs have graphical chord grids, and can automatically be transposed to a different key.                                                                                                
    Comprehensive tabs archive with over 250000 tabs. One of the fastest growing guitar communities on the net -- also features gear and cd reviews, music news, guest columns, guitar and bass lessons and guitar tabs in one place.

  • Acoustic Tab
    Large collection of easy-to-find acoustic guitar tabs and chords

  • Classical Guitar Tablature
    950 classical guitar tabs in plain text format.  These tabs are primarily for classical music played on a standard nylon acoustic classical guitar



Guitar Tab News Update

(Excerpt from 14.8.2006) 

"First it was services that provided music, then it was sites that offered lyrics. Now the music industry has trained its legal guns upon guitar tablature, and several of them have already been shuttered.

Last December, the Music Publishers' Association (MPA) chose to take action against web sites that posted either sheet music or tablature (a simplified form of notation used by guitarists) in order to "protect the interests of the creators and publishers of music so that, [sic] the profession of songwriting remains viable and that new and exciting music will be continued to be created [sic] and enjoyed for generations to come."

The campaign has already had notable success. "Guitar Tab Universe" went dark back in July after receiving a letter from attorneys hired by the MPA and the National Music Publishers' Association.  Now one of the largest tab respositories in the world has taken down its archive. The Online Guitar Archive (better known as OLGA) also received a letter back in June, and has recently gone dark.

While the MPA may be well within its legal rights here (and it seems as though they are), it's less clear that the campaign in general is a good idea. As someone who learned to play the guitar before ever learning to send an e-mail, I might point out that the tablature situation for guitarists was never ideal. While billions upon billions of accurate transcriptions of my favorite bands no doubt existed on shelves somewhere, the most important shelves for my purposes were the ones at the local music center. These were well-stocked, but still never had more than a couple dozen books, meaning that if you wanted music for some band that you loved but which had not yet cracked the top 50, you were out of luck.

While I can understand the frustrations of sheet music publishers, the people who want to play these songs are fans. They want to learn a band's songs. That's the sort of popularity most groups would kill for, and it's not clear that alienating this group of fans is ultimately good for musicians. Music publishers might do a bit better, but the musicians who license their rights need to be aware of what these groups are doing on their behalf."

By Nate Anderson

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