What does this mean, is it an hammer-on? Is it a pull-off? What is it?

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4 Answers 4


It is the same note, so no, not a hammer on or pull off. The tab should have a sheet explaining all the symbols they use (as there are variations)

In the absence of other guidance I'd read it as simply holding the note, whereas the others may be staccato or shorter.

  • 5
    "whereas the others may be staccato or shorter" I'd read the other notes to just be "normal" length notes. The tie is there because this tab uses a crossover between tab and notation (note the stems and beams above the tab)
    – Edward
    Apr 9, 2021 at 22:46

The other answers already have good explanations of what this is. I would like to add that in order to understand this and other things you will encounter in the future you need more than someone telling you what to do in this particular instance. You need to learn to understand and read rhythmic notation. Tab notation sometimes includes rhythms, which are the horizontal and vertical lines above the staff. Read this page in order to get started with a basic understanding of how rhythms are notated and counted, it will be helpful to you:


Aside from Tab you will get better knowledge and understanding of music in the long run if you also start learning standard notation as well. Tab is great but it has its limitations. First, the Tab is showing only one way something can be played. On a guitar there are usually 2 or 3 options. Second, when you learn with Tab you find out where to put your fingers but really don’t get any indication of what you’re doing (what key you’re in, the relationship between notes, etc.).

  • It might also be worth pointing out that in standard notation (i.e., not tablature), some might have a strong preference for writing this with as two tied eighth notes, rather than as a (syncopated) quarter, particularly because it spans the first and second halves of the measure. Apr 11, 2021 at 1:33
  • @JoshuaTaylor the TAB is already written as two 8th notes tied together. Standard notation that is written correctly would be no different, the 2& would be tied to the 3 to show the middle of the bar. Apr 11, 2021 at 2:22
  • 1
    Yes, that was my point. I imagined OP wouldn't have been asking about the "repeated" note had it been written as "e e e q e e e" (one dot for each attack), so I figured there was an implicit question of "why was this written as two eighths tied rather than a single quarter?" The way it's written now is the strongly preferred way. Apr 12, 2021 at 10:39
  • @JoshuaTaylor Got it, I was glad to see that they included rhythmic notation in this TAB. Sometimes they just float the notes on the staff approximately where they fall rhythmically, Apr 12, 2021 at 15:53

It can't be either. Hammer-ons move to a higher and pull-offs move to a lower note - generally on the same string. That note stays on the D (2nd string, 3rd fret) for the duration of one whole crotchet (beat, here), and is written as two quavers tied across the centre of the bar. Writing like that makes it easier to read, and the effect is pushing that note early - just as the C does at the bar's end.

It's good that some tab actually uses standard (?) notation as well as fret/string numbers. At least that way, one is able to keep the timing as written.


What is irritating you? The fret numbers (3_3 and 1_1) or the ties?

This is a simple correctly notated syncopation - picking on 2 a_3 and 4 a_1.

  • 4
    How does this help the OP? Q: I don't understand this. A: That's how what you don't understand is written. Apr 9, 2021 at 18:53
  • I.e. a "tie". Two notes (of the same pitch, trivially) tied together.
    – Divide1918
    Apr 10, 2021 at 9:22
  • I guess that OP doesn't know the "tie" and it's function and meaning and asks how the tied note has to be played. Apr 10, 2021 at 9:52

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