Guitar Tablature

Guitar tablature is another form of written music specifically designed for guitarists. Rather than having five lines as in traditional music notation, tablature has six lines – one for each string of the guitar. We then place a numeral on the line of the appropriate string, which tells us the fret number on that string to be played:


This form of music is easier to read and understand than traditional music notation, however it does not convey as much information to the musician. The most considerable limitation is that there is no information on the timing of the notes. It is for this reason that it is recommended to use this form in conjunction with traditional forms of music notation.

We can write corresponding notes of the guitar in both forms to show the relationship between the two types of written music.


It would take an entire book to explain all the details of written music. If more information is required, I suggest purchasing a book like “The AB Guide to Music Theory” by Eric Taylor (ABRSM publishing), or a similar book dedicated to the subject.