Guitar Tabs
    April 18, 2014
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Symbols: What Do the Symbols on Tab Mean?

Listed below are types of symbols that you would encounter in tabalature and the different ways they appear.


v , ~ = means vibrato. Vibratos are consistent bends of the note to produce a sort of vibrating sound. How many usually depends on the amount the symbol is written.

e|-------13vvvvvv--------- or e|-------13~~~~~-----


h = means hammer-on. They are pressing down (hammering) on a note without picking the string.

e|-------13h15----------- While pressing down on the 13th fret, hammer on the 15th


p = means pull-off. It is the opposite of what you would do with a hammer-on.

e|---------15p13--------- While holding down both th 15th and 13th frets, release the hold on the 15th.


h p = means hammer-on the note then pull-off.

e|---------13h15p13------ While having picked the 13th fret, hammer down on the 15th fret and release it to go back to the 13th frets sound.


\ , / , s = means to slide either up or down on a string holding down the frets. The \ symbol means to slide up and the / symbol means to slide down. The s symbol can mean both up and down.

e|------5/16------------- While holding down the 5th fret, slide up on the string and stop at the 16th fret.

e|---------16\5---------- While holding the the 16th fret, slide down the string and stop at the 5th fret.

e|------------5s--------- While holding down the 5th fret, slide either up or down


b , ^ , ( ) = Bends are shown in many different symbols. The b and ^ are common symbols used for bends. The ( ) usually contain a number in between and tell the player to bend to that note. Notes without ( ) usually have the note to be bent to next to the original note.

e|--------5b7---------- or e|-------5^7------------ or e|------5(7)--------
Bend the 5th fret higher until it sounds like the 7th fret

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