Introducing Guitar Tabs

Featuring PraiseCharts Posted on December 5, 2011

We are excited to announce the launch of yet another great resource from PraiseCharts: Guitar Tab.  If you have electric guitar players that want to sound amazing, and learn to play riffs, progressions, and formations that are a perfect fit for some of the best songs in our catalog, then Guitar Tab is for you.  You can find a list of the latest Guitar Tabs available in our catalog here.

The reality is, your guitar players are never going to play exactly according to the tabbed music.  These charts are not really designed for the stage.  The are designed to give your guitar players a tool to practice with, and get ideas for what to play that sounds appropriate.

How To Read Guitar Tab

The first thing you'll notice in our Guitar Tab charts is a list of the most common chord shapes found throughout the song.  Generally, these are not your familiar acoustic guitar shapes.  They are specifically for electric guitar, and usually chosen to fit the song.  Learning these chord shapes in the beginning will make it a lot easier to read the tab.  Once you learn the song, you'll find that most chord shapes are easily transposible - so that if you are playing the song in another key, just use the same chord shapes moved up or down a few frets.

The underlying template for Guitar Tab is the Rhythm Chart.  The arrangements match all our other charts, measure for measure.  Most tab charts have 3 staves: the Rhythm part, Guitar 1, and Guitar 2.  The rhythm line gives you a basic sense of the rhythmic flow of the song that the rest of the band is following.  Guitar 1 and Guitar 2 are playing complimentary parts.  If you just have one guitar, you can either alternate between the parts, or just choose the one that has the sound you like.

There are six lines on a guitar tab staff.  Each line represents a string on the guitar.  Instead of regular note heads, there are numbers.  The numbers represent the fret.  So, a number "5" on the third line represents the third string, fifth fret.  Note beams are placed above the tab staves to indicate the timing.

How To Practice with Guitar Tab

Rhythm Tracks are the perfect compliment to Guitar Tab.  Rhythm Tracks have the bass, drums, and synth. There are no electric guitar sounds in a Rhythm Track, so you have lots of room in the mix to add your unique guitar sound.  If you want a fuller sound, go with Band Tracks, which have piano and electric guitars added.  Take note that the electric guitar sounds in the Band Tracks (and Multi Tracks) may not match the Guitar Tab exactly - but they will be close.

More than likely, you are not going to be able to read guitar tab charts on stage in a live setting.  You have to focus on getting the basic idea into your head.  Don't just learn guitar notes.  Learn the guitar shapes found at the beginning of the song.  Match the guitar shapes to the guitar notes.

Learn one section at a time.  Then, when you have learned all the sections, put the whole song together with the Rhythm Track in the background.  The end goal is to be able to play the song without the music.  If you can't do that, you are probably not ready to play this level of guitar in a live band setting.

From Guitar Tab to Chord Charts

Once you learn the basic rhythm and patterns of a song, you might find it helpful to transition to the chord chart.  That way, you can follow the lyrics, chords, and flow of the song, with everything fitting on one or two pages.  You can take a chord chart on stage, after you have practiced at home with the Guitar Tab.

Playing with Confidence

Our guitar tab charts are designed to help you understand what is appropriate to play.  So many songs in contemporary worship music have hooks that are defined by the electric guitar.  These hooks can have a tremendous impact on shaping the sound of a song if they are played in the right way, at the right time. The electric guitar has such a piercing sound that it is very hard to hide behind.  If you are going to play, you want to play the right thing.  Now you have the tools you need.

Stay tuned for a constant flow of new Guitar Tabs.  Take each song that is available as an opportunity to learn patterns, shapes and hooks that you can apply to other songs.


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