TAB (tablature) is a way of reading music that is specific to stringed instruments with frets. Once you learn the basics of reading TAB you can begin to perform recognisable melodys and riffs. 

Here is a simple tutorial on reading TAB through an iconic theme:

Peter Gunn Theme

Each horizontal line represents the strings of a guitar.

The bottom line is the nearest E string and the top line indicates the E string furthest away.

From bottom to top: E, A, D, G, B, E

The numbers tell us three key things:

  • Which string to play (E)

  • Which Fret (3rd)

  • Ideally which finger to use (3rd)

*The 0 represents an open string 

The face represents your perspective in relation to you and your guitar when reading the notes.

The top section is the TAB written in standard notation. Eventually you will read this more than TAB, but see this as the universal language amongst musicians.

After this tutorial you are ready to try and play the whole melody.

*TOP TIP: Get a copy of the audio and compare how your version sounds against the original

As always, practice makes perfect! Reading TAB will become more complex as you develop your skills, but here you have the fundamentals to get you started.


More iconic melodys, riffs and themes on the website soon!