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Lots of my old and new students have been asking about guitar tabs, since they are so freely available on the Internet, so today I thought I would post you some pointers on how you can use tabs most effectively. So first off, for those of you who aren’t familiar with tabs yet, a quick definition.

Tabs vs. Standard Notation

Tabs vs. Standard Notation

Tabs are a form of music notation for stringed instruments. In contrast with standard music notation, tablature shows you the fingering of the notes you need to play, which is very useful on the guitar, given that you can play any single note in at least 6 places on the fretboard. If you don’t know how to read tabs yet, go ahead and check out our compilation on learning how to read guitar tabs. The lesson details what tabs actually are, and teaches you the standard notation used in tablature. Once your guitar skills reach an intermediate level, you will be able to play any song just by listening to it and downloading its tablature off of the Internet. There are a LOT of sites offering free guitar tabs, for example


The biggest problem with tabs is that they generally don’t show you the rhythm you should be playing, which means that you’ll have to be familiar with the song already. There is a great piece of software called Guitar Pro, which is a tablature editing software that can play tabs with rhythm and real instrument sounds.

I advise all of my students to use Guitar Pro instead of Internet tablature. Why?

If you want to learn a song, the software’s ability to play it for you, along with the other instruments used in the song is much much better than trying to figure out text based tabs Guitar Pro song files are freely available, just like traditional tablature. You can browse from 50,000 songs from over 6,000 artists right here on You can download Guitar Pro for free as well, the only limitation is that the songs are played back in MIDI format, not the realistic digital sound as in the payed version

Remember that if you are a premium member, you are entitled to a 30% discount off of Guitar Pro, and that you can download all the Guitar Pro tabs you want from our database of 50,000 songs, absolutely free. The downloads are available to anyone, regardless of whether you are a premium member or not.

So in summary, learning to read guitar tabs is important in learning to play the guitar. All of our beginner guitar lessons use animated tablature during the video as well, since this is an easier way of learning songs. However, if you are annoyed by the fact that text based tablature doesn’t show you the rhythm of the song, and want a more musical form of learning any song you want, check out Guitar Pro. is your source for beginner guitar lessons.

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