The Basics of Tablature
Tablature (or tab for short) is a form of musical notation indicating instrument fingering rather than musical pitches.
Tablature is common for fretted stringed instruments such as the lute, vihuela, or guitar, as well as many free reed aerophones such as the harmonica. Tablature was common during the Renaissance and Baroque eras, and is commonly used today in notating rock, pop, folk, ragtime, bluegrass, and blues music. While standard notation represents the rhythm and duration of each note and its pitch relative to the scale based on a twelve tone division of the octave, tablature is instead operationally based, indicating where and when a finger should be placed to generate a note, so pitch is denoted implicitly rather than explicitly.
Tablature for plucked strings is based upon a pictorial representation of the strings and frets of the instrument, keyboard tablature represents the keys of the instrument, and woodwind tablature shows whether each of the fingerholes is to be closed or left open.