1. I checked one of the guides on the site for reading tablature, but one thing it didn't mention which I've seen in a few tabs (i.e. Stupid Kid by Alkaline Trio) is an X. An example is below.

What does it mean, and is there a difference between the capital X and regular x?

2. I noticed it is recommended that for different frets you use different fingers, such as using your index finger for one fret and your ring finger for the fret 2 down. However, even using my pinky finger, I often can't get my fingers to cover the distance of two frets (my index to ring is just over one fret), despite the fact I have rather long fingers. Any ideas what I'm doing wrong?

Thanks in advance.
The large X's mean to scrape the strings. Usually while you mute with your left hand. The small x's mean that you have to mute that string while you play the ones around it.
OK, I'll start off by admitting I'm totally ignorant, but what do you mean by scrape? With nails, or... Also, how do you 'mute'? I only got a guitar yesterday, know almost no terminology whatsoever though I've looked some up (like bending, hammer down, some guitar parts etc.)
Thanks for stating what you have thus far, though.
Last edited by ManaMiyavi at Feb 4, 2007,
LOL. It means that you put your fingers on the strings, but don't push them down. Then pick.
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You lay your fingers across the fret board, making sure it's not on a fret that is harmonic (eg. 5, 7, and 12), and the just strumming so it has that "dead" sound to it.

Also. You can't get you ring finger to play a fret two away from the 1st fret? You mus be doing something wrong.


Use your index for the 2, ring for the 4d, and pinky for the 4g.


Use you index for the 7, and ring for the 9. You can either mute the D string with your middle finger, and while you are fretting the 7 with you index, lay your finger down a little further, so it also sits atop the D string, thus muting it.

Also, if you're not putting your thumb on the back of the neck, and more or less "grabbing" the neck instead, don't. It can greatly decrease your reach.

Hope that helped a little bit.
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Thanks for clarifying about the 'scrape', but now I have a question about the positioning too... Sorry.
I've seen many people talk about the classical position (the one alluded to by Greendayguitar) being better than the baseball bat position. However, when I place my thumb in the middle of the back of the neck, my fingers still can't stretch that far. It makes me think I'm doing something wrong with my thumb, is it supposed to be parallel to the neck pressing into it? Resting along it? I've looked at a few of the lessons on here but none make it particularly clear.
Try getting into the positions you've seen and just rolling your hands forward a little, and remember to keep your fingers a little bent and not straight.=)
It makes me think I'm doing something wrong with my thumb, is it supposed to be parallel to the neck pressing into it?

If you have your thumb parallel to the neck, that is your problem. Your thumb is supposed to be at a 90° of the direction of your neck. + <- Thumb is the vertical line, neck is the horizontal line. Just take your hand and turn it all the way left like you are turning a doorknob as far as you can. Place the thumb on the middle of the back of the guitar neck, bend your wrist slightly upwards, and fret with your fingertips only making sure they are angled so the tip comes straight down on the string.

As you get more comfortable, you can relax your wrist and allow your thumb to rest on the top of the neck, which is useful for Thumb-fretting and muting the 6th string.
X means sweep pick while tapping on harmonic nodes. Little x means "play any note on this string".