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  2. Learning Paths
  3. Getting Started with Clawhammer Banjo
  4. How to Read Banjo Tablature

How to Read Banjo Tablature

Lines, Numbers, and Letters

Tablature, or “tab” for short, is one of the most popular learning tools available. Tunefox features tabs for all of its Clawhammer songs, licks, and lessons. To prepare you for the rest of the site, let's talk about how to read a clawhammer banjo tab.

First, let's take a look at the staff. The 5 horizontal lines on the staff represent the banjo strings. The lowest line on the tab represents the 5th string and the highest line represents 1st string. Again, the 5th string on your banjo is the one closest to your face when you're holding the instrument properly - it's the short string that uses the tuning peg on the middle of your banjo neck. When you see a number on one of the tab lines, this is an indication for you to push down that string behind that fret. So if you see a number '2' on the top line, this means you'll push down right behind the 2nd fret on the 1st string and strike it. Numbers above the tab indicate which finger to push down the fretted note with.

As mentioned in the video, below is a link that details some of the Tunefox tools that will help make your learning experience more effective and efficient.

Tunefox Features

Next up, we'll learn about holding the banjo properly.