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Whats All This Mean?

Active Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 16
Topic starter  

So while looking for songs to attempt to play, I was looking through some of the bands on my Ipod and came across Dragonforce so I looked some of their tabs up and to my surprise it was super long and had all this mumbojumbo:
Symbol Legend:
Duration Legend
W - whole
H - half
Q - quarter
E - 8th
S - 16th
T - 32nd
X - 64th
. - note dotted
|-n-| - n-tuplets

Tablature Legend
L - tied note
x - dead note
g - grace note
(n) - ghost note
> - accentuded note
NH - natural harmonic
AH - artificial harmonic
TH - tapped harmonic
SH - semi harmonic
PH - pitch harmonic
h - hammer on
p - pull off
b - bend
br - bendRelease
pb - preBend
pbr - preBendRelease
brb - bendReleaseBend
n/ - tremolo bar dip
n - tremolo bar dive
-/n - tremolo bar Release up
/n - tremolo bar inverted dip
/n - tremolo bar return
-n - tremolo bar Release down
S - shift slide
s - legato slide
/ - slide into from below or out of upwards
- slide into from above or out of downwards
~ - vibrato
W - wide vibrato
tr - trill
TP - tremolo picking
T - tapping
S - slap
P - pop
< - fade in
^ - brush up
v - brush down

Now is there anyone out there that could guide me to something that explains all of these techniques? or is someone brave enough to explain them?

Any help is greatly appreciated :D

Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5134

It's more information than you need at the moment -- some of these are advanced techniques that you'll pick up as you learn. For now, just stick with learning to play the notes and chords.

Well we all shine on--like the moon and the stars and the sun.
-- John Lennon

Famed Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 3998

Hi Sledneck,

First, welcome to GN. This is a great site and if you stay here from some time you will learn alot.

Now, I also read in another of your posts you are playing guitar for a couple of weeks. I don't now the song but the tablature doesn't include all the symbols in the legend. It is generated with a program which includes all the symbols.

IMHO, try to start with an easier song. Review the Songs for beginners in the main site and also read the articles on theory. Some of the info that you are asking for it will there.

(Edit: Musenfreund replied while I was writting. I completely agree.)

Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 168

You rarely see most of those symbols in guitar tab, and many of them are very advanced techniques... I would try to explain but I don't know what half of them are myself...

Anyway, I think that mumbo jumbo is the least of your worries... You've chosen an incredibly difficult song to play. That's the most insane tab I've ever seen, and since I've heard the song, I'm not surprised...

(Youtube link for those who haven't heard it...)

Very ambitious, but I'd work on some easier songs first.

To be fair, someone could come up with a simple arrangement of that song - it sounds like 4 chords if you ignore all of the crazy picking - but that would take a more advanced guitarist than me.

Active Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 16
Topic starter  

Oh don't worry I am trying easier songs but it was more of my brothers idea of me trying to play that song so I told him I didn't know what barely any of those symbols meant, and i was just trying to figure it out.

Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 1029

Hey Sled,

Welcome to Guitar Noise.

Yeah that song is insane!! :) Nothing wrong with having it as a goal but honestly; you probably won't get very far with that song, even in six months or a year. The techniques those guys use are some of the most advanced....but hey, keep practicing.

The honest truth about guitar is "You must crawl before you can walk, and you must walk before you can run."
Start with something slow, and learn the music. Your appreciation for music will do nothing but grow and grow but it takes time my friend.

As others have said, those symbols in the tab are like symbols on a map. You usually don't see most of them and never have I seen them all on one song. Its more of a legend of sorts. Actually they look like they're out of Guitar Pro but I could be wrong.

Anyhoo.. Keep practicing. Don't give up and you'll get there.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. - Wernher Von Braun (1912-1977)

Honorable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 659

Cool song. But as one beginner to another, not yet.

The tremolo release up/ tremolo release down stuff sounds like it calls for equipment I don't have anyway.

And a lot of the other stuff calls for skills I don't have...


Active Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 16
Topic starter  

I look at it and then moved onto something easier sorta... I like to play the intro to Whats my age again by blink 182 thats my kind of playing :D for now that is.

Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 168

Here you go... Dragonforce's guitarists demonstrating how to play the song.

The rhythm really is a simple 3-chord pattern... a vastly simplified version probably wouldn't be too hard to play.

I have no desire to play this, but the video was quite entertaining nonetheless. Includes a brief tutorial on making Pac-Man noises with the guitar and a mention that the chord at the end of the song sounds the way it does because he broke a string recording it...

Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 108

I can't believe you've only been playing a few weeks and you're trying to learn the melody/solo part of a Dragonforce song. No offense, but it's not going to happen. That's not an insult towards you, it's just a realistic observation based on the amount of time you've been playing. But there's really nothing wrong with trying to learn the song, even if you're not going to be able to learn it. I think that trying to learn songs you won't be able to play because you lack the experience is good for helping you improve. I think that pushing yourself hard like that helps you improve much faster than trying to learn only songs you know you will be able to play. That's just my personal experience though, and it probably doesn't work for everybody. It might not even be generally accepted to be good advice, I don't know really know.

Sorry for rambling, I've slept 3 hours in the past 74 hours.

Active Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 16
Topic starter  

Just to point something out I AM NOT trying to learn this song, lol I was jsut curious what the little symbols meant, I looked at the first tab and all it said was W so i went to something a bit easier.

Can anyone explain how I play a muted note :? I need to figure that out to play Car Underwater by Armor For Sleep, well atleast the start of it anyways.

Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1744

Sorry for rambling, I've slept 3 hours in the past 74 hours.

What's up with that?

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."