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AXEMAN2415Posted - 23 Jul 2007 : 13:20:31
I am going to have this posted as a sticky, so that those of you who refer to my Guitar Points column will have some kind of standard to referred to. I will be expanding this and updating this on a regular basis.

TAB Legend

Glossary of Terms and Symbols

"v" = Downpick or Downstroke
"^" = Uppick or upstroke
"H" or "h" or "h.o." = Hammer-on (Slur, or legato)
"P" or "p" or "p.o." = Pull-off (Slur, or Legato)
"T" = Pick hand Tap, Pick hand Hammer-on (Slur, or Legato)
"Tp" or "Tt" = Tap with pickhand Thumb
"Ti" or "T1" = Tap with pickhand 1st finger (index)
"Tm" or "T2" = Tap with pickhand 2nd finger (middle)
"Ta" or "T3" = Tap with pickhand 3rd finger (ring)
"Tc" or "T4" = Tap with pickhand 4th finger (pinky)
"T.H." = Tapped Harmonic
"T.H.(9)" = Tapped Harmonic @ 9th Fret (Tap right on to fretwire)
"Sw" or "v--|" = Sweep pick, downsweep, pick rake
"Sw" or "^--|" = Sweep pick, upward, pick rake
"|--H--|" = Hammer all notes within lines
"|--p--|" = Pull all notes within lines
"P.H." or "A.H." = Pinch Harmonic, Artificial Harmonic, or False Harmonic
"N.H." or "*" = Natural or Open string Harmonic
"sl./" = Frethand slide, up
"sl.\" = Frethand slide, down
"Tsl./"= Pickhand Tap and slide, up
"Tsl.\"= Pickhand Tap and slide, down
"p.s./ = Pickslide, up
"p.s.\ = Pickslide, down
"P.M." = Pickhand Palm Mute
"x"= Frethand mute or unpicked string, usually deadened or muffled
"B" or "b" = Frethand Bend
"R" or "r" = Release Bend
"B1" or "b1" or "1" = Bend up one step (2 frets pitch)
"B1/2" or "b1/2" or "1/2" = Bend up a half-step (1 fret pitch)
"Vib." or "V" = Vibrato
"Vib.1" or "Vib.W" = Vibrato a whole step in pitch (2 frets pitch)
"Wide Vib." = Wide Vibrato, usually larger than 2 frets pitch worth
"Trem Bar" or "Vb. Bar" = Tremolo Bar, Tremolo Arm, Vibrato Bar
"Trem.Bar-1" or "Tbar-1" = Drop pitch w/ Tremolo Bar 1 whole step
"Trem.Bar-1/2" or "Tbar-1/2" = Drop pitch w/ Trem 1/2 step
"Open String" or "0" = A string played with no fingers on the fretboard.



E|-------------------------|(1st) B|-------------------------|(2nd) G|-------------------------|(3rd) D|-------------------------|(4th) A|-------------------------|(5th) E|-------------------------|(6th)

Letters (E,A,D,G,B,E) represent the string names in Standard tuning. The Lowest string ("E") represents the 6th string, or the thickest string closest to your face, when looking down at your fretboard.The Highest string (also an "E") represents the 1st string, or the thinnest string farthest from your face.


E|-------------------------| B|-------------------------| G|-------------------------| D|-------------------------| A|-------------------------| D|-------------------------|

This represents a "Drop D" tuning, where the 6th string is tuned one whole step below standard pitch, or dropped from "E" to "D".


Eb|-------------------------| Bb|-------------------------| Gb|-------------------------| Db|-------------------------| Ab|-------------------------| Eb|-------------------------|

This represents a "Half-step Standard tuning." While it is not really "Standard", as all of the pitches are now 1/2 step below standard, the relative intervals between each string is the same as in Standard. All scale and interval shapes are the same as in Standard, but are now dropped in pitch a 1/2 step below. Now, "E" becomes an "Eb" in pitch, but the chords are usually referred to as if the guitar were tuned in Standard. An Example;
Ex. 1: E5 Eb|------| Bb|------| Gb|------| Db|--2---| Ab|--2---| Eb|--0---|
The actual pitch is "Eb5", but for ease of reading, reference to the chords is in Standard.


Example of Up and Down strokes:
v ^ v ^ ^ v ^ v E|-0-0-0-0-| B|---------| G|---------| D|---------| A|---------| E|---------|


Example of Bend and Release

|---B-r--| |--B--r--| E|-7-(9)-7--|------7---| B|----------|-7(9)--7--| G|----------|----------| D|----------|----------| A|----------|----------| E|----------|----------|

The number in parentheses represents the actual pitch bent up to. In the above example, the 7th fret bend is bent up to the pitch at the 9th fret, but the 7th fret is still held.


Example of Hammers and Pulls
v-------| v---| v---| |-H-p-H-| |-H-| |-p-| E|-0-2-0-2-|-----|------| B|---------|-----|------| G|---------|-7-9-|-9-7--| D|---------|-----|------| A|---------|-----|------| E|---------|-----|------|

The first example is called a "trill" or a repeated pattern of hammers and pulls, utilizing only one pick. The second example shows a single pick on the first note (7) and "hammering" onto the 9th fret with another finger. The third example shows the reverse: Pick the 9th fret, and then lift the finger off, without picking again, and let the 7th fret on that string ring.


Example of Natural Harmonics

|----N.H.----||-----------N.H.-----------| * * * * * * * * * * * * E|-----------0-|---------------------(12)-| B|---------0---|-----------------(12)-----| G|-------0-----|-------------(12)---------| D|-----0-------|---------(12)-------------| A|---0---------|-----(12)-----------------| E|-0-----------|-(12)---------------------|

Both ways mean the same thing. The first one uses less space than the second, but the second is clearer. You must pluck the open harmonic DIRECTLY over the fret indicated, or if no indication, assume 12 frets above. Another way to view this (and probably more accurate) is;
|------------N.H.----------------| * * * * * * E|--------------------------0(12)-| B|---------------------0(12)------| G|----------------0(12)-----------| D|-----------0(12)----------------| A|------0(12)---------------------| E|-0(12)--------------------------|

You play (or more accurately, pluck) the open string (as indicated by the "0"), but place your finger DIRECTLY over the 12th fret (as indicated by the "(12)"). The actual pitch sounded is exactly one octave above the note at the open string. Another example uses different fret locations for open or "Natural" Harmonics;

|----------N.H.------------| * * * * * * E|---------------------0(5)-| B|-----------------0(5)-----| G|-------------0(5)---------| D|---------0(5)-------------| A|-----0(5)-----------------| E|-0(5)---------------------| OR |----------N.H.------------| * * * * * * E|---------------------0(7)-| B|-----------------0(7)-----| G|-------------0(7)---------| D|---------0(7)-------------| A|-----0(7)-----------------| E|-0(7)---------------------|

You can put any number in parentheses, but the Harmonic will then be a different pitch, even though the open string is utilized. Also, the higher the fret number in parentheses does NOT indicate a correspondingly higher pitch, but a division of the octave across the string. Actually, the 12th fret Harmonic is lower in pitch than the 7th fret Harmonic, and the 5th fret Harmonic is higher than both.


Examples of "Pinch" or "Artificial"("False") Harmonics;
A.H. or P.H. P.H. * * E|-5--|-5-5-5-|-------| B|----|-------|-------| G|----|-------|-------| D|----|-------|-------| A|----|-------|-------| E|----|-------|-------|

The terms "Artificial" and "False" are somewhat misleading. It is not that they are any less than real harmonics (for they are real harmonics), but that the technique for generating them is different from utilizing the open strings. When you generate a "Pinch" harmonic, you are utilizing 2 different techniques in conjunction: You strike the string with the pick, and then bruch the side of your thumb or fingernail to produce the harmonic. Different pitches will be produced depending upon where on the string length you strike the string.

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