I've recently been learning songs from a tab book and I've run into quite a few sections I I don't understand. It's the tab for Thunderhorse by Dethklok if that helps anyone. I'm aware this is will most likely be hard to visualize but it's all I've got right now.

Question 1)

The first question is about a couple of fills in a measure: fills 1 and 1A. I don't really understand the difference between the two. They are laid out as such on the page:

Fill 1A
- - - - - - - - - - - - - (and so on for two bars)
(a sign that looks like a long 'greater than' sign (> aligned over the 2nd and 3rd measure)

the sheet music for 3 measures. The first note is a small dot above the 2nd ledger line above the staff (B) which has a line which goes from the note to a long vibrato mark above the note for 3 measures. The next two notes are whole notes: a C on the 2nd ledger line and an A on the staff. These two notes are in the same column so they should be played in unison.

Below this sheet music section it says Fill 1, which is followed by a tab section, which is of course also three measures. The 19 has a 1/2 bend and a vibrato.


I used to be be confused because I thought that in Fill 1 fret 19 and fret 10 were played one after another but in Fill 1A they are played at the same time. Now I'm confused because it appears the two sections are exactly the same. This begs the question then why are they named differently. Does the same number for both fills means that they're played by 2 different guitars? The confusion is compounded by the fact that there's a section immediately to the right of the aforementioned fills labelled Fill 3. The sheet music and the tab appear the same and there is no mention of another fill to further mystify the matter.

It might be easier to understand if I explain what is written where - from the top of the section to the bottom - for each section. If it helps I'll gladly include it in another post.

Question 2)

There is a section that's roughly laid out like this:

w/Riff D (Elec. Gtr. 1) 2 times
Elec. Gtr. 2
Riff E1
- - - - - - - - - - - - - (and so on for two bars)

(sheet music)

Riff E
Elec. Gtr. 3

and then the tab part.

Here are the two measures of the tab section (4/4 time):


The way the tab is written I thought that those forward slashes were slurs but the sheet music above the tab has them played at the same time. I can't tell whether the person(s) who wrote the tabs were trying to put two separate measures in the same space or is trying to convey something totally different.

Question 3)

In another song there is a section that has plus signs over some of the notes. The notes with these signs always slide to another note. I've looked around on the web but I haven't found any explanation for what this means on guitar. I made rewrote a chunk of question 1 in an attempt to clarify things so forgive me if the train of thought is somewhat fractured.

Thanks for your help.
I have trouble understanding the questions but will answer what I can

8va would be that the music should be played an octave higher than what's written. It's not used in tab but in sheet music (so they won't have to read above the lines I guess.)
The "greater than" should be decrescendo/fade out (gradually lower volume). If it's "less than" then it's the opposite

The slashes would normally be slides. They should be notes with the same duration that aren't picked after the slide. However it sounds like it's not. It sounds like there are 2 tracks from what you're saying

The + is a tapped note
Last edited by fanapathy at Feb 26, 2013,
I couldn't seem to find out what the + symbol meant. Thanks for that one. I was pretty sure about the others you answered but it's good to get some validation on them as well.

Any thoughts for the other parts, specifically question 2? What parts do you need clarification for?

Slides aren't typically represented in standard notation by two separate notes played at the same time right? The slide would be written left to right with the initial note coming first, then probably a line, then the note the slide progressed to.