Is It Better to Learn Guitar Tabs or Notes? | Discover the Best Way

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When it comes to learning how to play the guitar, one of the most common questions beginners have is whether they should learn guitar tabs or notes. Both techniques have their advantages and disadvantages, so which one is the best option for you? In this article, we’ll explore both options and help you decide which method is right for you.

Learning guitar tabs first is the better option for beginners. They are easier to read and understand, more visually appealing, and depict the placement of your fingers on the fretboard. Contrarily, standard notation requires a greater understanding of musical theory, and it can be more difficult to read at first glance.

When you start learning to play the guitar, one of the first things you’ll likely encounter is the option of learning tabs versus notes. While they may both seem like complex systems at first glance, learning tabs first is better for aspiring guitarists. So, what are the features that guitar tabs possess to be positioned first? Read on to learn below!

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Reasons Why Guitar Tabs Are Better than Notes

When you’re starting out learning to play the guitar, one of the most important things to do is to learn the basics, such as learning how to read tabs before notes. Below we’ll take a look at some of the major reasons why that is the case:

Guitar Tabs Are Easier to Learn than Notes

The main reason why it’s better to learn guitar tabs before notes is because they’re simply easier to learn. Unlike standard musical notation, which uses a complex system of symbols to represent different notes and chords, guitar tabs use a simple numbering system. 

Tabs Are More Visually Appealing

Another advantage of tabs over standard notation is that they are more visually appealing. If you’re looking at a sheet of music with nothing but notes, it can be quite daunting, especially if you’re a beginner. However, tabs are usually much simpler and easier on the eyes, which can make them less intimidating to learn from.

Tabs Are More Common than Notes 

Finally, it’s worth noting that tabs are much more common than the standard notation. This means that they will be easier to find online and in music stores. 

Tabs Show You How to Play Chords and Melodies

Tabs also have the advantage of showing you how to play chords and melodies more easily. When you’re looking at a tab, you can immediately see which strings need to be fretted. This can make it much easier to learn a new song or piece of music, as you won’t need to spend time deciphering the notation. 

Tabs Show You Where to Place Your Fingers on the Fretboard 

Tabs show you exactly where to place your fingers on the fretboard. This can be extremely helpful for beginners, as it can be difficult to know where to put your fingers when you’re just starting. With tablature, you’ll always know exactly where to go.

Tabs Can Be Learned Quickly

Tabs provide a quick and easy way to learn new songs, and they can be acquired in just a few minutes. In contrast, the notation can take months or even years to master. Not only does it require a more in-depth understanding of music theory, but it also requires a good deal of practice.

The Benefits of Learning Standard Notations as Your Next Step

Now that you know the advantages of learning the tablature first, it’s time to move on to the next technique, i.e., standard notations. Standard notation is the scientific way of writing down music so that it can be read and understood by everyone. While it may seem like a lot of work at first, learning standard notation has its benefits, such as:

It Makes Learning Songs and Pieces Much Easier

Once you know how to read standard notation, you can simply look at a page of music and start playing. Moreover, understanding standard notation is essential for learning music theory. Without being able to read and understand standard notation, it would be nearly impossible to grasp complex concepts such as harmony and counterpoint. 

It Is a Universal Language

Standard notation is the written language of music. It allows musicians to communicate their ideas clearly and unambiguously, regardless of their native tongue. While there are many different musical traditions, standard notation is understood by musicians worldwide.

It Will Make You a Better Sight Reader for Other Instruments

Once you have a solid understanding of standard notation, you will be surprised at how easy it is to play music written for piano, violin, or other instruments.

Tips for Learning Guitar Basics

If you’re new to playing guitar, it’s important to know the basics so you can get started on the right foot. Here are some useful tips:

  • Start by learning the basic chords, such as, C, G, D, and Em.
  • Make a practice schedule, such as 30-90 minutes daily.
  • Find a guitar teacher who can help you with your technique and give constructive feedback.
  • Experiment with different techniques and styles.
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – everyone starts as a beginner.


Q. Can I learn guitar in a month?

  1. While it is possible to learn the basics of guitar in a month, becoming proficient enough to play complex songs can take much longer, at least 3 to 6 months. For those serious about learning guitar, it is important to be patient and consistent with their practice.

Q. How do guitarists play so fast?

  1. Good fret hand technique is the key to playing fast. When done correctly, it allows guitarists to quickly and efficiently move their fingers up and down the neck of the guitar. This in turn makes it possible to play complex patterns and arpeggios at high speeds.

Q. Are drums harder than guitars?

  1. Drums are considered as one of the hardest instruments to play. This is because they require a high level of coordination and physicality. Drummers need to be able to keep time while also playing complex patterns with their hands and feet. In addition, they need to have the endurance to play for long periods without tiring. All of these factors make drums a challenging instrument to learn.

Final Thoughts

As a beginner, it is better to learn guitar tabs before notes. This will help you develop a strong foundation for the instrument and make learning more complex concepts easier in the future. Once you have those basics mastered, you can move on to learning notes.


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