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Dobro Lessons: How To Read Tabs

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Let's talk for just a minute about how to
read tablature.
Now in these lessons that I'm gonna be
we're gonna be using tablature as an aide
if you would like to use it.
I'm gonna provide it for most of the
exercises and
songs that I'll be teaching and it'll be
available to you.
So I wanna just give you a little bit of
an overview on how to use the tab.
So what you've got here is you'll see the
The music notation above the tablature.
Now, I provide the music notation just for
that one person that
is things that they can learn Dobro using
music notation.
I've tried it, it's quite difficult but it
can be done and I know a few
people who like to try and use actual
traditional music note, notation
as it can give you access to a lot of
music that is only written that way.
For myself, I always just learn using
tablature, which is, I say,
is the lower staff.
And what it is, is it shows there's six
lines and
each line represents one of the strings.
So this being the lowest one, the lowest
string and
it just goes up like that with the six
And then there'll be a number on each one
of those strings or lines in the
So in this case, in this piece of tab, you
see zeroes going up from six,
five, four, three, two, one.
That means open.
That means there's no frets.
So the number refers to what fret you're
going to put the bar on.
So in this particular piece of tab in the
first bar and a half,
you see it's just all zeros.
So that means, you're just playing this.
If I were to say if it were to have a one,
for instance on the highest string,
then you would just place your bar on this
first fret.
In the next piece of tablature here, we
see in the second two bars.
I've got a four, four on the third string
and then a five on the fourth string.
So what that means is I'm gonna place my
bar on the fourth fret and
play that string.
[SOUND] All right.
So there's one four, then the second four
has a little line going up to it.
That means it's a slide.
So you play a four.
[SOUND] And then you play a four with a
slide into it.
[SOUND] So that's just a little bit of
tablature notation.
Then you have a five on the fourth string,
so you play the fifth fret.
You can just count, one, two, three, four,
[SOUND] And you play the fifth fret of the
fourth string.
Now on the second line, we have a few
zeros going on the third,
second and first string.
[SOUND] Just like that.
Those are just zeros open strings, then we
have a few more notes.
Five on the top string, that's a fifth
[SOUND] And then fourth string to the
third fret.
[SOUND] Open.
[SOUND] Seventh fret of the third string.
[SOUND] And then seventh fret of the
second string.
[SOUND] Now in this example, I was
just playing these sort of out of time.
I wasn't using the rhythm notation, but
the reason that, the other reason that
the notation that you see in the line
above is really important,
cuz that's what's gonna tell you the
So, as you can see, on the top line,
you've got whole notes, four per bar.
You've got a couple rests in the second
A couple rests in the third bar.
So these rhythmic notations will help you.
You can also hear most of, the majority of
the examples I'm gonna be playing,
I'm gonna be playing in time.
So you'll be able to hear what that sounds
like, what the rhythm sounds like.
But the rhythm is really important and so
that's provided in the notation above.
Also a few other just little bits that you
will notice there are will be markers for
a hammer-on.
Which will be this mark here, which is
just like a little swoop.
[SOUND] For one of these.
[SOUND] Though, maybe an x would mean a
[SOUND] Just a muted string.
And and
a few more little markers that we'll get
into as we continue on in our lessons.