What Musical Instruments Use Tabs


Music tabs or tablature offer a simpler, visual roadmap for playing tunes, especially on fretted instruments like guitars, basses, and ukuleles. Each line represents a string, and numbers show where to press your fingers, making it intuitive for beginners to grasp notes and chords, bypassing the complexities of traditional notation.


What Musical Instruments Use Tabs

Tabs are primarily used for instruments with frets or similar systems that indicate finger placement, although less commonly, they can be found for other instruments as well. Here’s a breakdown:

Instruments primarily using tabs:

  • Fretted string instruments: Guitar, bass guitar, banjo, mandolin, ukulele, dulcimerFree-reed instruments: Harmonica, melodica

Instruments occasionally using tabs:

  • Bowed string instruments: Violin, cello, bass (for simplified learning/teaching purposes)Woodwind instruments: Flute, recorder (in simplified forms)Keyboard instruments: Piano (less common, for specific techniques or arrangements)

Instruments rarely using tabs:

  • Brass instruments: Trumpet, trombone, saxophone (not designed for fretted notation)Percussion instruments: Drums, cymbals (rhythmic notation used instead)Voice: Singers generally use conventional sheet music notation

It’s important to note that tabs primarily focus on fingering or note location, often lacking details like rhythm, dynamics, and articulation. While simpler and beginner-friendly, they may not provide the full complexity of conventional music notation used by more advanced musicians or for classical repertoire.

Free Tabs

Free Ukulele Tabs
Stylophone Tabs
Melodeon and Diatonic Accordion Tabs
Banjo Tabs
Dulcimer Tabs
Kalimba Tabs
Mandolin Tabs
Dobro Tab