How To Read Tabs and Teach Your Kid to Read Them (Plus my cover of Blackbird!)

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As a music teacher, it’s important to me that my students love music.

I want them to have a great time with our lessons, and I want playing to be something awesome for them.

I always have students choose what songs and genres of music they want to learn so they can play stuff they care about and so they have the most fun possible.

In addition to music enjoyment, another big goal of mine is quality lessons.

I strive to give valuable, accurate, helpful instruction that will set them up for musical success.

I want to help my students build good habits and learn what they need to know.

I want to help them keep growing.

One way I try to do this is to include a variety of formats and skills in our time together, so each of my students can build a well-rounded base of music knowledge. For guitar, students learn to read notes (the treble clef), play chords, play melodies, count rhythms, play duets, practice finger picking, try different strumming patterns, etc.

And one important thing I include is guitar tabs!

So I made a short video explaining tabs and showing you a song I play that
I learned from a sheet of guitar tabs!

I’m a fan of practicing your strengths and your weaknesses.

For example, if a student prefers playing treble clef sheet music but also knows how to read tabs, awesome! If you started as an all-on-the-paper kind of musician, I advocate branching out, experimenting, making up your own tunes, and playing by ear!

Whether tabs are your preferred form of reading and playing music or a secondary type that you don’t spend too much time on, it’s great to be comfortable with them.

If you want to learn the basics, here’s a video I created explaining tabs and showing you a song I learned with tabs! (Spoiler: it’s Blackbird, by The Beatles!)

You can also get my free workbook and short video series on the basics of guitar
(including tabs!!) here:

This free resource is awesome for the very beginning guitarist, and it will even have you playing The Imperial March, from Star Wars, by the end of the day! (Yes, by reading tabs!)

By the way, the workbook and videos are aimed at parents teaching their kids to play… if you have a child who loves music, I made this for you! But even if you’re not a parent, it’s still a great resource to teach yourself. ;)

I hope all this helps you figure out tabs and inspires you to keep (or start!) playing music and expanding your abilities with your instrument.

Enjoy, and happy playing!

P.S. Guitar tabs are an awesome way to learn and share music! Check out this video explaining them (plus my cover of Blackbird, which I learned via tabs!) and get my free workbook and video series for teaching your kid to play tabs, too!