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Might I inquire as to the best way to play the note marked by the red ink? I am having trouble with the muting part of it.

In "normal" cases, like the case marked by the blue ink, since the thumb isn't occupied, I'd just play it with a percussive slap. But in this case, the thumb is required to play the open 6th string. I tried to do the usual slap/mute with my other fingers, but well, let's just say I ended up with much noise pollution.

Any suggestions guys? Really appreciate your help guys. Thanks in advance.

Edited: The tab isn't supposed to be played in standard tuning. The 6th string is an F instead of the usual E in Standard Tuning.

  • 1
    It's poorly written and doesn't exactly make sense. If you have a recording of it available, I would use that as a guide to understanding this mess. Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 14:11
  • wait. do u mean the tablature is poorly written or my post is poorly written?
    – Anthony
    Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 14:31
  • The staff portion of the music. It makes no sense for there to be xes in the places they are in the treble clef, and also the tab indicates a low E but the staff indicates a low F (as Tim mentions). Also the "let ring" instructions don't make a lot of sense, especially the first one. Let the chord ring for as long as the duration of the chord? That's the default behavior. Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 21:14
  • I agree that the standard notation and tablature do not appear to agree. And if the first string is to be played open as indicated by 0 and the 6th string is also to be played open - and if the X indicates muting, then what is supposed to be done with the 2nd and 3rd string left with no markings at all - something besides play them open or mute them? It makes no sense to me. Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 12:46
  • Please check my re-edit. Think it makes sense!
    – Tim
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 11:32

2 Answers 2


Trying to understand the way the tab's written! In the red, the A and D are actually specifically marked as muted. However, the F(#?) previous is tabbed as an E, in the wrong octave, and in the blue, the A and D are tabbed two octaves higher. Someone explain, please! As it's written it's not even clear what is going on.

Trying to answer, you have four fingers and a thumb, with which to play a maximum of four 'notes' at the same time. Use them.

EDIT - there's a small possibility that whoever attempted to write the tab meant harmonics where the 'x' has been put. Still makes the F/# wrong.

RE-EDIT - the xs in the 'proper' notation are actual pitch harmonics, which are made using open strings as shown in the tab with xs also.Think they'll be 5th fret natural harmonics,easy to execute with the other notes being open strings. Probably best using fretting hand fingers above 5th fretwire.

  • hi. thanks for the answer. I'm pretty new with all these stuff. Just picked up the guitar from this june. I could email you the full tab so that you could try to read it? Can you leave me your email address?
    – Anthony
    Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 14:34
  • @CodeBreaker - apart from being a died-in-the-wool tab knocker, but still able to decipher some efforts, I feel the need for some anonymity on this site! Publishing email addresses opens all sorts of cans of worms! Work from just about any other means - proper dots, charts, lead sheets, and you could turn into a proper guitarist!!
    – Tim
    Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 15:04
  • hi. I just checked back at the tab's document. They did say at the beginning that the 6th string was tuned as an F. It means it isn't supposed to be played in Standard Tuning. My apologies. I did not mention that in the post. Will edit it now.
    – Anthony
    Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 16:00
  • Still appears spurious - to me. Does it mention what 'x' is representing?
    – Tim
    Commented Dec 28, 2016 at 16:03
  • 1
    @SaggingRufus - have you considered the first F? As in 'F/F# previous'.
    – Tim
    Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 17:58

The X means play the open string muted so it doesn't sound. It should make a percussive sound.

So what you would do is use your thumb to pluck the low e string (or F in this case) the middle and index finger would pluck the mutes strings and the ring finger would pluck the other open string.

Guitar music if crazy to understand for most people who read standard notation. What the composer is getting at is the open string should ring out what the muted strings (played percussively) should be staccato. The reason the Xs are on the staff is to indicate what note is muted.

  • If so, please explain the note/tab on the beginning of beat 2.
    – Tim
    Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 18:01
  • I think you are correct about the octave mistake, I was only looking at the highlighted part. Assuming that note is a mistake, the rest of my answer is correct Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 18:20

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