Guitar TAB stands for Tablature which is a system guitar players use to notate music especially for guitar. It’s much easier to learn to read guitar TAB than traditional music notation with most people acquiring the ability within just a few days. It’s a very important skill to have for taking guitar lessons.
As a guitarist it’s very important to be able to read TAB, if you want to learn songs exactly as they are played on the records practically all the guitar books will use TAB to show you how.
Guitar TAB sites on the internet have become extremely popular and are probably the most visited guitar related sites of all. Here you’ll find literally hundreds of thousands of song TABs some of which will be accurate while others will be totally incorrect. You have to use your best judgement to decide which versions you can trust. The problem is created by the fact that these sites and the TAB sheets they offer are not officially proof read or by the artists/publishers. They are being uploaded by other amateurs as their ‘best guess’ of how a song is played.
For this reason you need to use your discretion when learning from online guitar TAB sites. The biggest and most popular is probably www.ultimate-guitar.com.
For best accuracy in guitar songs transcripts or TAB you should buy the official TAB books which come directly from the publishers. Of course unlike the online versions, they are not free. It’s a personal decision each person will make for themselves.
One thing which TAB tends to fail miserably at is notating the actual timing and rhythm of songs. What most people do is simply listen to the recordings of the original track and compare the written notes with the music. This will give you the correct rhythm however in many cases the songs are so well known to you anyway that you won’t need to hear them.
It’s also possible to buy machines which will slow down music for you while still keeping the same pitch. This is a good investment particularly for electric guitar solos and it gives you a much better chance of successfully learning all your favourite solos no matter how intricate or fast they may be on the actual recordings.