Guitar Tabs and Lessons

History of the Classical Guitar and Guitar Tabs, Part 1

Guitar Tabs Explained

Before we examine the history of the classical guitar, let us explain guitar tabs and guitar tablature. What are guitar tabs, and why are they or guitar tablature so important in guitar music?

Guitar tabs are forms of musical notation that use letters and symbols that represent the musical direction, rather than using musical tones. Guitar tabs are actually a very ancient system, dating back many, many years.

When using guitar tabs, the vertical lines represent the actual strings of the instrument, the horizontal lines of guitar tabs represent the frets, and the dots on a guitar tab represent the position that the fingers should be in.

Now that we have explored what guitar tabs and guitar tablature are, let us examine the word guitar. Do we know where it is derived from? Not really, actually. There are many different theories as to where this interesting word is derived from. Here are some of the explanations.

The word "guitar" can be traced back to the middle ages. Back in the day, there was an instrument called a "guittern", which is very similar in spelling to the word "guitar." A guittern was a middle ages instrument that looked like a violin. Could the guitar have evolved from this dark ages musical instrument?

The word can also be traced back to the Greek word "kythara" (citharis). For purposes of clarification, these words can be spelled many different ways, but we are just providing you with one kind of spelling. This was a Hellenistic lyra, and the actual word is derived from the times of Plato. It has been argued by Aristotle and others that the kythara and the kitaris were not the same intstrument. The kitaris was a lyra, whereas the kythara was mainly for entertainment (such as games and such). Hence, the kitaris seems to have been used for educational purposes.