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On some tabs, I sometimes see a "NC" text on top of the tab.

What does it mean ?
How should it be played or interpreted ?

25

NC (or N.C.) is short for "No Chord".
It means that you should only play the indicated notes or melody, and not try to infer or add a chordal accompaniment. This is as opposed to the chord symbols that you probably find everywhere else than where the N.C. notation is.

See for example
http://dictionary.onmusic.org/terms/2344-no_chord
(Although their example doesn't use tabs.)

  • i.e. you don't play any notes other than the melody, but you still have to play at least one note. So the question becomes: to which chord does this note belong? It seems likely that it would be a note in the preceding chord. – user10056 Mar 27 '14 at 0:47
  • 3
    I guess that when it's written NC, it means that you can't determine the chord of that section or it's not relevant for that part of the song (for small licks or leads...) as there is no accompaniment. – Julien N Mar 27 '14 at 15:02
  • Note that in many cases, you can mute the strings and play rhythm similar to how a mandolin player would "chop". – JakeD May 27 '18 at 1:08

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