I am looking at this particular guitar tab:

enter image description here

and I am trying to make sense of the notation where you have a triad with the "x" on the top string and the other strings below are in parentheses. Please see the picture.

I believe this is a finger slap but how do you perform a finger slap only on one string and at the same time strum the other two strings? How is this possible at all? Or am I reading it wrong? Could you maybe share a video where this is shown in practice?


This is the song itself:

Gabriella Quevado - While my guitar gently weeps

My screenshot starts at 0:14 sec. It sounds a bit like a finger slap, at the same time like strumming but not exactly. I hope this woukd help in figuring this out.

  • 1
    The fat string is usually called the bottom, rather than the top. Yes, it's at the top of the neck, but it's lower sounding.
    – Tim
    Jun 25, 2016 at 10:00
  • Normally an x like that indicates muting, not slapping. The slap/pop notation I've seen has been done with articulation marks (like +) above the notes. Jun 25, 2016 at 18:13

2 Answers 2


It looks like the idea of these "slapped" chords is to produce the sound of the snare on 2 and 4 in a rock groove -- the "chick" to the "boom" of the bass drum. There are lots of ways to do this; Quevado's style is pretty subtle, but you can be much more rhythmic, like this guy shows:

In essence, I wouldn't obsess over the actual notes on the second and fourth beat where there is an "x". What the tab is showing you is that you can keep the same chord shape, but let your fretting hand fingers relax a little to deaden the strings while you strike them with the front of your picking hand fingers to get the "chick" sound. In every case, the numbers in parenthesis are already being fingered in the previous chord, right?

This is a great trick; where would acoustic rock troubadours like Ed Sheeran be without it?


I think you are misreading. X is usually used to denote damped strings.

So in the first example you'd go from a partial Am (minus the E on the 3rd string) and then as you pop that E on you need to damp the open A in order that when it is played you just hear the damped noise of it being picked, but no note ringing out.

It is possible the X could be used for something else in your instance (there should be a key if non-standard symbols are used) but generally that's what I would expect it to represent.

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