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What is Tab?

"Tab" or "tablature" is a method of writing down (or transcribing) notes and chords in music.  Tabs, unlike standard musical notation, do not use symbols (ie: ) to represent notes. 

Most tabs are easier to read - but not nearly as detailed - as traditional "sheet music".  Tabs enable both beginners and experienced musicians alike to learn, share, and expand their music making talents.

 How to read piano tabs - Как Читать Табулатуру

Don't play guitar? Don't do tabs? No problem. Say hello to our little friends:

  • Guitar Tab to Piano Tab converter
  • Guitar Tab to Sheet Music converter
  • Piano Tab to Sheet Music converter
  • Tab to Midi converter (play your tabs!)
  • How to read guitar tabs  
    How to read sheet music


    Как Читать Табулатуру


    Это мои клавишы. “c4” означает ноту «До» в третьей «4» октаве, что является средней октавой (нота «До» находится посередине клавиатуры). Обратите внимание на то как я пометил клавишы.


    Чтение табулатуры (простая):

    Вот простой пример клавишной табулатуры – фа мажорная гамма сыгранная в двух октавах:

    piano tab

    Табулатуру нужно читать с слева направо (ноты над друг другом играются одновременно)

    • Цифры (3,2,2, и 1) означают номер октавы. Третья октава находится посередине клавиатуры.
    • Прописные буквы (a,b,c,d,e,f,g) означают названия целых нот (белые клавишы)
    • Заглавные буквы (A,C,D,F,G) означают диез, тоесть A#,C#,D#,F#,G# (черные клавиши). Можно добавлять знак "диез" после ноты, но мы рекомендуем использовать заглавные или прописные буквы для экономии места. Замечание: Для упрощения табулатуры и чтобы не путать прописную «b» со знаком "бемоль", используются диезы как эквиваленты бемолей. Например, вместо Си бемоль «Bb» используется Ля диез «А».
    • Симол "|" означает границы тактов
    • Символ "-" означает паузы между нотами


    Чтение табулатуры (экспертам):

    Клавишная табулатура может означать как одиночные ноты, так и аккорды. Перед вами более продвинутый пример клавишной табулатуры:

         [D]      [Gm]
    R 3|--a-d-F-|--g-d-g-|--------|
    L 2|F>d>>>>>|g>d>>>>>|F.------|
    L 1|F>F>>>>>|g>A>>>>>|F.------| 

    • Буквы над табулатурой ([D] и [Gm]в данном случае) означают названия аккордов.
    • Символ ">" означает длительность ноты
    • "R" означает что нота играется правой рукой
    • "L" означает что нота играется левой рукой

    Let us know if you have an addition or improvement to the tab notation!

    Иллюстрация для любителей классических нот

    Sheet music to

    Это: (стандартные ноты)  
    (нотная табулатура)  
    [Em]   3b   4D# 
    (табулатура аккордов)  


    How to play piano chords - аккордов


    File Types 

    What is a file type? 

    As there isn't a commonly accepted way of transcribing and reading music on the web, tabs, sheet music and scores come in many different file types.  Here are the most common file types:

      A text tab.  See how to read tabs for more.
    A text tab containing chords instead of individual notes.
      A midi file.  Technically midi files are not tabs or sheet music, but the notes inside midi files can be viewed in our Midi to Piano Tab Converter and by some music composition software (such as "Finale ").
    .nwc NWC is used by "Noteworthy Composer", free music composer software. Scores written in "Noteworthy" have the file extension .nwc. You can download "Noteworthy Composer" for free! .
    .mus   MUS files or "Coda Notation Files" are used by "Finale" music composer software.  Scores written in "Finale " have the file extension .mus. The "Finale" software is not free, but another software called "Notepad " is (made by the same company) which allows you to view MUS files.
    .ove OVE files are used by the software "Overture" made by GenieSoft .  Scores writtin in "Overture" have the file extension .ove.  "Overture" is not free software, but there is a slimmed down version of the product called "Score Writer" which is slightly more affordable.
    .pdf   PDF files are used by "Adobe Acrobat" or "Adobe Acrobat Reader" software made by Adobe Adobe .  These files are not easily editable because typically they have been scanned from a paper version of a music score.
    .ptb PTB files are Power Tab files created with the freely available (at least for now) "Power Tab Editor" music composer software.  Get it here .
    .jpg .gif
      JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIF, BMP are just a few of the many image file types that exist today.  The files are not easily editable (like Adobe Acrobat) because typically they have been scanned from a paper version of a music score.  
    .zip   A file compressed using WinZip software , usually containing sheet music.
    .rar   A file compressed using WinRAR software , usually containing sheet music.



    Above Mentioned Topics:


    Comments / Corrections (129):  


    (5 months ago)
    @SexPistol happy to try to help, if you can give us some more what instrument do you play, how long have you been playing and what's your bank account #?
    (6 months ago)
    i can't understand this... (slow learner)
    (9 months ago)
    yeah buddy this was awesome

    (1 year ago)
    @calvin Jackson - By tap music do you mean tap dancing music? Never heard of it, whats it sound like?
    calvin jackson
    (1 year ago)
    Is there a book or sheet for practicing tap music. beginners piano books have practice pages...

    (1 year ago)
    @jazz - playing several letters/notes at the same time is seen when the notes are lined up vertically, for instance:

    This means play both the c and the e notes at the same time.

    You mentioned the blue arrows don't play anything, can you check to see if this link plays anything?

    That's a link to a standard midi file which is playable in most media/audio players such as windows media player, quicktime, winamp, etc.

    Hope that helps, do let us know!

    New Tabber
    [New Recruit]
    (1 year ago)
    couldnt find how to play 2 3, or 4 letters together. I get the tab method and I love...just need this info. I didnt see it on how to read tab. blue arrow doesnt play any thing also. the coda dont seem to line up with the notes on so many utube videos. I been trying by best to get this song down from watching videos then write the note down, but cant get it. tab method would make this so

    (1 year ago)
    @calvinJackson can you provide more details? where are you searching from and what are you searching for?
    (1 year ago)
    I found CODA song (sammys song) on your site in tab form, came to the library so I can print it but cant find it again. you tell me to search but it doesnt link me back to your site.

    (4 years ago)
    I have to say. I've always thought about a notation system similar to that of guitar tablature, but never thought it would catch on.

    When I 1st started out all I had to go on was the relation between piano and guitar
    That system looked something like this.
    Strings = Down
    Frets = across


    Whenever I'd read guitar tabs
    I'd do math to convert it

    ex: 6 on the 12th fret is 5 on the 7th fret and also 4 on the 2nd fret
    and so on (i think you get the picture)

    Basically My version of tablature looked almost
    the same as guitar tab
    only nothing went over the 5th fret

    Ex: Enter Sandman went from looking like this

    Rhythm Fill 2:
       E5                        G5 E5 G5 E5 F#5 G5 F#5
              sl       V          PM------------------|
    (Repeat Rhythm Fill 2 once)

    To looking like this

    Rhythm Fill 2:
       E5                        G5 E5 G5 E5 F#5 G5 F#5
              sl       V          PM------------------|
    (Repeat Rhythm Fill 2 once)

    Ever since then, That was how I knew Music
    Never read sheet music. (Okay I tried once with "November Rain")
    I always get the weirdest looks from people when I tell them
    "I don't read sheet music, I read Tablature"

    But this takes me back to those days (many years ago) when I first started out.

    (4 years ago)
    learning piano is a good habit .

    (4 years ago)
    Sure, how can we help piano gurl?
    Piano gurl
    (4 years ago)
    I need help can the owner of his help me? Really...I need it for school plzz help... Thxs plz reply sap( soon as possible)

    (4 years ago)
    @Learning: Thanks for the feedback! The goal of this site isn't to save you a buck from purchasing a licensed copy of sheet music, so that's good that we weren't able to help you there! If you would like to view the best songs we have to offer, we recommend what's featured:

    Or the highest rated:

    @10Shades: We can! Please see our "How to Read Sheet Music Page":
    (4 years ago)
    Thank you! It's an very easy way to learn playing keyboard^^
    (4 years ago)
    so can you show a demonstate of how to read the sheet notes on the piano
    (4 years ago)
    This theory is great and says something about "Tabs" but none of the websites that have tabs/chords say anything about how the music is played. It is completely ridiculous and seems to have no order to it. This article has been the most helpful in learning "Tabs/Chords" but when looking side by side at these sites that show Popular songs and "How to Play" them, it makes no sense. I went to I song that I currently know how to play -- It makes no sense at all.

    Basically, as helpful and broken down as this article is, these Tab/Chord sites still do not teach these popular songs. I thought I could save a buck instead of buying sheet music -- I was dead wrong. Basically it gives you chord after chord which might be the right notes, but definately do not teach the song. If you went by these "Tabs" you would never learn a song.

    I would suggest taking a look at as many tab sites as possible and you will see how ridiculous these things are. So dead wrong and horrible with timing. It might be free but you do not learn a song in minutes. Sheet music has never made me want to scream like these crap sites have.

    ((Then again, if they all went by your example -- it would all be perfect. Why does this make sense and the other ones make none at all?))

    (4 years ago)
    @Josh - we'd need to know the type of keyboard to know exactly, but your theory sounds good. Playing the exact octave a tab specifies isn't all that important anyway, if it sounds too high just move down an octave. A lot of keyboards have an "octave adjust" option to expand the range also.
    (4 years ago)
    We bought a cheap keyboard w/ 44 keys. Should I assume that the layout is similar to the 49 key piano, but with the first 5 keys on the left removed? I'm trying to get my 9yr old to read tabs but we don't know where the octaves begin and end. Thanks!
    (4 years ago)
    Thank you! This site was very helpful
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