Skip to main content

Guitar Tabs Notation

This document describes the notation used for guitar tabs in my-guitar-tabs.

Muted String

A string is plucked whilst being muted. It is represented with an "X" instead of a number:

Muted String

You can add it by pressing "x" in your computer keyboard or the "X" button on the virtual keyboard

Guitar Techniques

You can add the following markings to the tablature to describe common guitar techniques. All of these can be found on the special markings menu:

Special markings menu

Hammer-on

Strike the first (lower) note with one finger, then sound the second note (higher) with another finger on the same string without picking it.

Hammer-on is denoted with an arc over two notes on the same string, with the second being a higher note:

hammer-on

Pull-off

Place both fingers on the notes. Strike the first note (higher) and, without picking, pull the finger off to sound the second (lower) note.

Pull-off is denoted with the same arc as a hammer-on, however, the first note is higher than the second:

pull-off

Slide

Strike the first note and slide the finger to the second note.

A slide is marked with a line slightly inclined, indicating whether the slide is up (from lower to higher note) or down (from higher to lower):

slide-up

slide-down

Both types of slide are added with the slide marking, and the resulting inclination (up or down) will automatically be added depending on the adjacent notes.

Vibrato

The string is vibrated by rapidly bending and releasing the note.

A vibrato is marked with a squiggly line on top of the tablature:

vibrato

Bending

Bending a string can be marked with an arrow and a number indicating whether the bending is a quarter step (1/4), half a step (1/2) or a full step (1):

bend

Releasing a bend can be indicated with a down arrow:

bend-release

By pressing the marking button repeatedly, a different step can be marked for the bending. Bending and release markings can be combined through different notes:

bend-and-release

Bars

There are different markings for bars that can be added to a tab. These are available on the bar buttons of the markings menu:

Bars menu

Bar line

A vertical line denoting the end of a bar:

Bar

Double Bar

Double line to denote the end of a section:

Double Bar

Repeat Bar Lines

Marks a section to be repeated, like a catchy melody. It is represented as a double bar with 2 dots:

Repeat Bar

End

Double bar marking the ending on the song, it is automatically added to your tabs after you finish editing:

End Bar