Hey guys, sorry to ask such a newb question, but one thing has been confusing me a little bit about reading tabs. I'm a beginner and starting out by learning chords, but also looked up some tabs for my favorite songs and such. I basically understand how to read tablature, but one thing I don't seem to get is say, in the following tab:


What strings do I strum? say for example the very first note/line whatever, I'm supposed to press down the 3rd string on the 9th fret, the 4th string on the 9th fret, and the 5th string on the 7th fret, correct?

Now where I get a bit confused is how do I strum that part? Do I only strum those 3 strings, or do I strum all the strings, but with those strings pressed on the frets? The reason it confused me was because some tabs I've read had some awkward fret/line combos where it would be like:


I'm assuming the X in the middle means to not play that string, but how the heck do you pluck two strings, and not the rest? It just seems really difficult to do something like that, so that's why I was wondering if when I read tab, do I just pick/strum the strings with the fret numbers on them only, or if I strum all strings every time. Thanks a lot guys.
the basic thing for reading is the number is the fret, no number means no string being pickedso if it says 0 it means play open
Jackson DKMG Dinky (EMG 81/85)
Ibanez GIO (i put a Dimbucker in the bridge)
Crate GT65 (65 watts) to be upgraded soon, suggestions welcome (must be tubed)
Floor Pod (for sale)
You are correct in assuming the X means you don't play that string. You only play the notes that are indicated by numbers, nothing else. Since you're only playing the two strings in that case (referring to the bottom part) I just put my first finger on the 10th fret and lay it across all the other strings lightly. This way it mutes the other strings so you can still strum to your heart's desire and not have to worry about making noise with the other strings. It may take a bit of practice and such for your hand to loosen up and you to get a feel for it, but just keep at it.
Breedlove Studio D25/SM Acoustic
Epiphone Les Paul Custom w/ EMGs
B-52 AT-212 Tube Amp
MXR 10 Band EQ
Digitech Bad Monkey
Boss RC-2 Loop Station
when you play a chord like this


instead of pressing on the "x" string, rest your finger on it so it doesn't make a note, but more of a "chick(?)" noise. kinda hard to explain without showing you
Quote by cakeandpiemofo
Quote by tuwyci
why are metal musicians prone to fatness?
Cause there music is heavy.

Writing music is hard D:
You only strum/pick the strings with the fret numbers on them. The x shows that the string should be muted.
To play that simply use your index finger, which is fretting the 6th string (top string) at the 7th fret, and make it touch the 5th string, thereby muting it. You strum the top four strings.

If tab was like this, you would strum all the strings.
The 0 represents an open string which means to play the string without putting a finger down on it.
Last edited by Negative Burn at Jul 3, 2007,
Cool, thanks a bunch guys. I guess I understand it now. It's just kinda hard looking at how I'm going to strum some of these notes in TAB, when I'm only used to basic open position chords, where you pretty much just strum all the strings, so I got a habit of not paying too much attention to my right (strumming) hand. I guess I have to change that now