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Books & Music :: Easy To Learn Guitar Tabs For Peter Gunn



It is easy to learn guitar tabs. Only one basic idea needs to be understood, the rest falls into place. To illustrate this idea I will be using tabs for a simple piece of music called Peter Gunn. Guitar tabs are seen by learning guitar players as an easy way to start playing guitar right away. That is true but it is wrong to think that guitar tablature just needs to be read. Like all languages it needs to be understood. So if you have an idea that you would like to become a guitar player and tabs would be a great way to sidestep any difficult learning, there are a couple of things you need to get straight.

For somebody who just wants to play along with the singing around a campfire, it must look like a fairly easy job to play the guitar. Lots of people can do it and many of them are idiots. But when you look at a piece of guitar tab it looks kind of scary. Well, look again. It is just a picture of a guitar. Visualize it in your imagination. The tuning end of the guitar is to your left, the body of the guitar is to your right. The thinnest string is on the top, the thickest string is on the bottom. Nothing scary about that.

Moving on, we see numbers on the guitar tab. What are they? The numbers running down the left side are the notes sounded when you play the open strings, the numbers that run along the strings represent frets. Frets are the metal strips on the neck of the guitar. You put your fingers a fraction behind the frets to alter the length of the string, so that when it is plucked, strummed or picked the sound is higher or lower depending on how far up the fingerboard you are. So the number one, for example, indicates that one of your fingers must be placed behind the first fret of the guitar. This is the fret closest to the tuning gear on the end of the neck.

Now let us look at a section of guitar tab. This is a short riff from a piece of music called Peter Gunn. It was written by Henry Mancini who probably wrote most of the orchestral music that most of us have ever heard, and it has been recorded by many artists, notably The Blues Brothers, Jimi Hendrix and Emerson, Lake And Palmer. The first recording of it was a hit for electric guitar pioneer, Duane Eddy.

All the notes are played on the sixth string - the thickest string, remember? If you play the piano, try it out, the notes are E E F# E G E A G# played as one bar in 4/4 time.

e------------------------------

B------------------------------

G------------------------------

D------------------------------

A------------------------------

E--0--0--2--0--3--0--5--4--

To play the tabs use down strokes with the pick or your thumb. Once you have played the notes once, go back to the start and play them again until you are tired. Congratulations, now you know first hand that it is easy to learn guitar tabs. Really you have all you need to go on and learn your favorite songs. Not many songs have not been put into tab form, so it is just a matter or searching on the net. As your technique gets better, you will find that there are symbols that represent any left hand guitar technique you will learn. If you find tabs for a song that you like, and it contains symbols you do not understand, the tab often has an explanatory key at the top or the bottom. Or you can just look on the popular tab sites for explanations of any symbols you do not know.