The song (or at least the 1st melody part) goes like this:


I know what 12/17 means, but not

  • 1
    This tab is written indicating that it is to be played with your guitar tuned one whole step flat as indicated by the letters to the left of each string indicator. It can be played the same in standard tuning but will not match up with the recording. Jul 18, 2019 at 15:37
  • That's not the problem, It wasn't even formatted like that, the top said that it was a whole step down, my problem was what the /17 was with nothing behind it
    – Lycandusk
    Jul 18, 2019 at 20:03
  • 1
    I know that is not the problem, I was just making a comment in case anyone reading your posted question was not aware. Jul 20, 2019 at 18:39
  • Oh, sorry. Yeah, that's usefull.
    – Lycandusk
    Aug 17, 2019 at 5:12

1 Answer 1


You know what 12/17 means: you play the note at the 12th fret and slide to the 17th fret. In this case both notes are important.

But, when you see /17, this means that the first note is really not important. You slide into the note at the 17th fret, but the starting note is not emphasized; this is just an ornament or part of the way that the line is phrased. In practice, usually you would start one or maybe two frets below the target note and just slide right on up to the 17th fret, without lingering at all on the first note; the idea is just to get that sound of sliding into the note to come out.

When you are trying to learn music from tab or even from staff notation, it is not a bad idea to listen to a recording to get help in understanding the phrasing and make sure that you aren't misinterpreting something. If you listened to the recording that this tab goes with, I bet that you could figure out what the notation was trying to tell you.

  • How do you slide from 12th fret on the F string to 17th fret on the A string? I think the slide is probably from 13 on A string to 17 on A string. I think maybe play the note on the 13th fret of A string then 12th fret on F string while holding the note on the A string and then sliding into the note on the 17th fret on the A string. Jul 18, 2019 at 15:33
  • @RockinCowboy -- I wasn't saying that you slide from 12 to 17 switching strings. 12/17, as OP has it in the question, refers to a single string. /17 is not connected to the 12 on the other string. If the intention is to slide from 13 to 17, then there would be a 13/17 on the A string, above a 12 on the F string. As it is, /17 just indicates a little pop up from below into the note at 17; this is a very common phrasing device in jazz guitar playing. It could start at 13, or someplace else; it isn't really important where the slide starts.
    – user39614
    Jul 18, 2019 at 15:58
  • Oh I see what you are saying now. I misinterpreted your answer. Did not pay close attention to the second paragraph. My bad. You actually did a great job explaining. Plus 1. Jul 20, 2019 at 18:42
  • Much appreciated, @RockinCowboy ;)
    – user39614
    Jul 20, 2019 at 19:09

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