Hey Joe

Tab 'n Chord Diagrams.....

Understanding chord diagrams..

The Finger Numbers on the hand correspond to the numbers on the chord diagram.

Chord diagrams can show you.....

  1. Which finger to use...

  2. Which string to hold down....

  3. Exactly which fret to hold the string down at....      

In the examples below I have laid out the tab, musical notation and chord diagrams along side each other, so that they can be compared and the relative merits of each seen at a glance.
When only part of the fret -board is shown in a chord diagram, the fret position is usually marked with  Roman numerals (see E barre and E7#9 below right) V11 = 7th fret and V1 = 6th fret.  
The strings are laid out as you would see them when holding your guitar in the playing position. Running top to bottom, from Low E (6th string) to High E (1st string) See my Tuning Page  for complete details on string identification
If you are still having trouble relating the chords to the actual guitar check out my Picture Chord Guides

Understanding Tab

Tab sheets can convey much more information than a chord diagram. In addition to the information provided by chord diagrams they can show you..

Playing one note, then sliding up the string to another.. See Intro Tab
Playing one note, then pushing or pulling the played string to sound another
Hammer - ons
Playing a note then bringing you finger down on to another note while
the string is still sounding.. See Intro Tab Part 4
Playing a note while lightly touching the string with a finger - or slightly pinching the string between the thumb and pick edge - to produce a note much higher in pitch than the one created by normal means..

Tab diagrams are read from the bottom to the top. The lines represent the guitar strings. take a look at the C Major chord below.

One of the drawbacks of tab is that it cannot display timing accurately, In order to get the best out of it, you  should ideally have a CD of the song you are working on and use this in conjunction with the tab to recreate the track.
(The musical notation below, is only there for demonstration
purposes and is not necessarily totally accurate. An explanation of standard music reading is beyond the scope of this brief tutorial.)


C Major + G Major

D Major + A Major

 E Major + E7 Sharp 9
(2nd Fret)

  E Major + E7 Sharp 9
(7th Fret


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