Monthly Archives: January 2015

Getting To Know Guitar Tabs

In the simplest terms, a guitar tab is a word that is used to describe a musical notation, which may contain either numbers or letters and explains to the musician where to place his/her fingers on the instrument. Guitar tabs consist of multiple lines and is often called a ‘staff notation.’ These lines, which are present in guitar tabs, each represent one of the guitar strings.

New musicians often find guitar tabs to be especially baffling in that the strings are written backwards. The highest string is found at the top of the guitar tabs, which is often difficult to learn since most people would expect that guitar tabs would be written from top to bottom instead of the other way around. In actuality, guitar tabs are written from the highest to lowest and the numbers on each line represent the guitar fret. In order to understand guitar tabs, all new guitarists need to learn string placement and how to correctly read frets.

Generally written in standard format, guitar tabs may slightly vary depending on the sheet music publisher. Even still, guitar tabs are easier to read than learning staff notation. Because of it’s visual representation, new musicians are often more comfortable reading guitar tabs than any other kind of music.

When learning the guitar, musicians will become familiar with the instrument and how it works. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways, including private instruction, informational reference books and videos. In some cases, classroom lessons may even be used to help better equip the musician to learn guitar and how to read guitar tabs. As the musician becomes familiar with the terms used to describe a guitar, including the neck, fret, string, chord, etc., he/she will also begin to easily read guitar tabs.

In the beginning, guitar tabs can be intimidating. Multiple lines and letters, numbers or other symbols may seem quite confusing. With practice and time, a guitar tab will be as easy to understand as the links found your favorite website. Few musicians can play by ear without first learning a song via sheet music, which is why reading guitar tabs is the first step that a guitarist must take before learning how to play.

If you need further information on finding a guitar instructor, check the local yellow page listing or stop by your local high school or college and ask the music director for a recommendation.

Guitar Pickups

If you know a guitar player, or live with one like I do, you probably have heard of guitar pickups and wonder what the big deal is. My husband can go on and on about them for hours, and he is always talking about new ones he hopes to get. Though I don’t really understand why the different types are indeed different, he seems to know what he is talking about, and he has become an expert at installing new ones. He even knows when they can be resold and when they really aren’t worth much any longer. I wish he applied the same knowledge to other things around the house, but that’s a different story all together.

Guitar pickups, apparently, are all different. The kind you want to buy will depend on what style of music you like to play. Each of the different guitar pickups has a different sound, and if you have the wrong type, it just isn’t going to sound right. The pickup actually picks up the sound from the string before it is sent to the amplifier. So if you have a pickup made for a country sound, it’s not going to sound right when you play Metallica songs. Though for some people, this may be the perfect way to get a unique sound in your band that no one else has.

You can find guitar pickups online and in your local music store, and you will find that the prices range from pretty cheap to oh my goodness who has that kind of money to spend on a guitar part. My husband seems to like the latter type, though I guess I can understand that. He wants a good sound and if that’s what he wants, who I am to judge? I spend enough money on my things; he should be able to buy the guitar pickups that he really wants to get.

That doesn’t mean I understand completely, but it’s not my job to understand. As long as he lets me go see the Wiggles whenever I want, and lets me redecorate the bathroom whenever I feel the urge to do so, then I guess I can’t complain about the cost of his guitar pickups, or any other guitar accessory for that matter. Now when he starts to talk about diamond studded guitar pickups then I might just have to draw the line. They don’t make those, do they?