The Finger Numbers on the hand correspond to the numbers on the chord diagram.
Chord diagrams can show you.....
Which finger to use...
Which string to hold down....
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
Tab sheets can convey much more information than a chord diagram. In addition to the information provided by chord diagrams they can show you..
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.
In this instance the number 3 represents the third fret and it's on the 5th or A string.
The number 2 is the second fret. on the 4th or D string.
The number 0 means open string. Don't hold down the string at all. on the 3rd or G string.
The number 1 is the first fret on the 2nd or B string.
Single notes are played individually i.e. Number 3 third fret on the 5th or A string. But when the notes are displayed as a group in line with each other i.e. Numbers 2, 0 and 1. They should all be struck at the same time.
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.)
D Major + A Major
E Major + E7 Sharp 9
E Major + E7 Sharp 9