Here's the tab: https://stevenlaw.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/e68891e5a49ae5969ce6ada1e4bda0e4bda0e69c83e79fa5e98193.pdf

And here the first two staves of that tab:

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I specifically need help with few legends that I don't understand. Such as:

  • How do you play the note with a slash? The first one which is open 1st string then 1st fret 1st string whereas the 0 appears to be smaller? I tried doing a hammer on and it works perfectly but what is the right way to play that?
  • How do you play 3‿3 and 0⁀0, I believe that symbols signifies pull offs and hammer on on most tabs but how will I do that in this case where the notes are the same?

Sorry for the dumb questions and if I can't specify terms correctly. I'm still just starting out. Thank you

2 Answers 2


The smaller note with a slash is called a Grace note. It is to be played quickly to lead into the next longer note.

The 3‿3 and 0⁀0 are ties, which mean you play the note once but let it ring for the combined duration.

In tablature, Hammer-ons are usually indicated with H and Pull-offs by P, although the link between the notes does look the same.


These are from proper musical notation and aren't specific to Chinese tab. Looking at the musical notes themselves always helps me work out what I'm meant to be doing with my playing - even if my sight-reading of normal sheet music isn't as up-to-scratch as my tab reading!

A tie between two different notes is a way of denoting legato, which can be played on guitar with hammer-ons and pull-offs. Legato is basically just trying to play a string of musical notes as fluidly as possible, as if there is no defined break between notes (as opposed to picking every note individually). A tie between two of the same note, however, denotes that the note should be held on for the duration of the notes. For example, two of the same quarter note with a tie between denotes that you should hold on the note for the same duration as a half-note.

The small note with a slash through it is telling you to play that very quickly before the main note. It is a type of ornamentation or embellishment called a grace note. Specifically, a small note with a slash through it shouldn't take up any space of the main note, whereas a small note without a slash through it should take up a small part of the duration of the main note. In other words - with a slash through the small note, the main note should fall on the beat and the slash note should be played early, but without the slash through the small note, the small note should be played on the beat. I believe that is a point of contention though...

  • 1
    I'm not sure it's helpful to say a tie is a type of legato? I mean, it does literally mean "tied together", but legato doesn't forbid re-articulation. You should never re-articulate tied notes. Legato is a type of expressive technique, whilst ties are a fundamental part of notation.
    – endorph
    May 1, 2018 at 10:15
  • When saying "A tie between two different notes", I was referring to the ⁀/‿ notation, but I suppose that is true... I guess they're not technically ties in that scenario. Would it would be referred to as a slur when talking about legato? I'm a little rusty with my technical definitions as I've not studied music theory formally in a number of years! May 1, 2018 at 10:28
  • 1
    That's fair, I misread what you wrote. The correct term in that case is slur, yes.
    – endorph
    May 1, 2018 at 10:31

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