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Zharth's Quick Riffs

notes on the six-string guitar fretboard (Standard Tuning)

Chord List

Do you play guitar? Are you looking for some quick and well-known rock riffs to learn so that you can show off in front of your friends? Then check out my Quick Riffs; just click on the links below and you'll have the following awesome riffs added to your playing repertoire in no time! Pick up your guitar and play!


Tablature is simple to read, provided you know what you're looking at. There are six lines in the guitar tab, corresponding to the six strings on the guitar. The top line of the tab is the thinnest and highest pitch string on the guitar, and the bottom line of the tab is the thickest and lowest pitch string on the guitar. If you're holding your guitar like you're about to play, lift it up to the computer screen, and spin it axially so that the strings are facing you. The strings of the guitar will now match up with the strings on the tab. It might seem upside-down to you at first, but it's something you'll get used to.

You read the tab from left to right, just like a musical staff, and play a note whenever you see a number on the tab. The location of the number indicates which string you should play and the number itself informs you by which fret you should place your finger (a 0 indicates that you play the open string). Remember to place your finger just behind the fret (closer to the head of the guitar than the body), and not directly on top of it. Note that the tab does *not* generally indicate which finger you should use on a certain fret, except where explicitly stated - you'll have to use your judgement to decide which finger to use, and is most comfortable, although this becomes natural after a little practice. When more than one number appear in a vertical line (on different strings), you should play all those notes together, as in a chord. There are other symbols, for slides and vibrato and such, but you can learn those as you go along.

Some common symbols:
b: bend
r: release (from a bend)
h: hammer-on
p: pull-off
s or / or \: indicates a slide
~ or vvvvv: let ring/vibrato
x: mute

Example: Take a look at the following tab.

e |--0--------------------0-------------------|
B |-------3-1--0------0-1------3----1-0--1-3--|
G |--------------2----------------------------|
D |-------------------------------------------|
A |-------------------------------------------|
E |-------------------------------------------|

Now, follow the tab. Begin by playing the first string (the high 'e') in the open position (no fingers pressed down on the frets). Then play the second string with your (third) finger positioned just before the third fret. Then, play the same string with your (first) finger on the first fret, then play the open string. Then play the third string with your (second) finger at the second fret. Continue through the rest of the tab just like that. By the way, this is the opening riff to Like A Hurricane by Neil Young.

Choose your riff (alphabetical by band/artist, then by song title):

Disclaimer: Most of these tabs have been created from a combination of online tabs, books of sheet music, and my own customization. All of the tabs I put on my site are from riffs that I like to play, and this is the way I play them. If you think any part of any of these tabs is incorrect or inaccurate, then please let me know (, so I can adjust them if necessary. Thanks and enjoy!

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