How To Read Bass Tablature: Extended

author: Rahkshinaw date: 06/18/2012 category: bass lessons
rating: 2.2 / votes: 48 
How To Read Bass Tablature: Extended
Tabs can be fun but sometimes it has other symbols like a / or a letter like h. Here I am going to tell you what those mean. Note that the tabs are examples and were not played out for this. They are there to show what it would look like on a tab.

01. the / symbol

When you see this, it's a simple help that tells you to slide up the string to the next note. Here is an example.
G|----------------------------------|
D|----------------------------------|
A|----------------------------------|
E|---------5/9----------------------|
Here you would play on the fifth fret then slide up to the 9th fret. You would never see something like this next example.
G|----------------------------------|
D|----------------------------------|
A|-----------9----------------------|
E|---------5/-----------------------|
If you do then the tabber must've been high, drunk, or made a mistake because you cannot carry the sound of one string to another one.

02. The \ symbool

This symbol means the same thing as the / symbol except it directs you to slide the opposite direction of the / symbol. Take this example for instance.
G|----------------------------------|
D|------------------------12\7------|
A|----------------------------------|
E|----------------------------------|
You slide up the fret board to the directed note.

03. the ~ symbol

This tells you to "whammy". You do that on a note followed by that symbol. Take a look at this example.
G|----------------------------------|
D|----------------------------------|
A|-----------7-5-1------------------|
E|--0--0-0-5---------3~-------------|
If you don't know how to whammy on your bass, you keep pressure on the note then wiggle the string to give it that effect.

04. The h symbol

I know that an H is not a symbol but I am going to call it one for the sake of someone not getting confused. The h symbol is key for learning more advanced bass tabs. the h on a tab is short for "hammer-on" as in you play a note and then WITHOUT PLUCKING IT AGAIN landing on the next note without reasonable speed and pressure to keep the sound going strong. This example is from Cage The Elephant- Drones in The Valley to show how it takes place in a more advanced song. Tabbed By : X_bassist_X
G|-----------------------------------7---------|
D|---------------7-9-9-----------7h9---9-7-----|
A|---------------------------------------------|
E|--------7-7------------7--7------------------|
And there you have it. You now know what those symbols mean and how to apply them to playing with tabs. If you have suggestions to what other things I should put in another article for the beginning bassist, email me at jonasvland@esrock.net. Happy Plucking!
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