A tablature (tab) is a special type of note font that is used instead of standard sheet music. It was created in the Renaissance and Baroque period, and nowadays it is used mainly for musical instruments with fingerboards and bridges, but also for wind instruments with openings. You don’t have to know your notes to read guitar tabs, but you miss out on information about the length of tones and rhythm, which you don’t need if you know the composition well.
Modern guitar tabs feature six horizontal lines. Each line is actually a string on the fingerboard. The numbers on the six lines indicate the bridge number before which the string must be pressed to the fingerboard. Zero means striking a blank string, the letter x means damping with the edge of the palm of the hand with which you are playing the strings. Tone lengths are very approximately suggested by the distance between individual numbers. There is a vast amount of songs processed and recorded in this manner on the internet. Classic guitar sometimes uses a combination of standard scores and tabs, which more precisely express the length of tones, rhythm and position in which the tones should be played. The fingering of the left and right hand is often added to standard notation.
Examples of guitar tabs with notes:
Compositions that include tabs: