What is cigar box guitar tablature?

What are cigar box guitar tabs?

Cigar box guitar tabs are a simple language used to learn how to play songs.

Like sheet music, tabs have a series of horizontal lines to help you figure out what notes to play for a given tune.

However, cigar box guitar tabs are much easier to read.

Why use tablature?

Here's why: sheet music requires you to learn a more complex language of symbols that indicate pitch and rhythm.

Tablature shows you which note to play at which fret and on which string using a simple number system.

How do you read tablature?

For example, here's what 3-string cigar box guitar tablature can look like:

In the picture above, you can see three courses of three lines.

Each line represents a guitar string.

The grouping of lines (each course) represents the three strings on a cigar box guitar.

  • the bottom line of a course is the lowest pitch string, 
  • the middle line is the middle string, 
  • and the top line is the highest pitch string.

And each number you see on a line indicates at which fret that note should be played.

Here is a video from my Youtube channel to teach you how to read 3-string cigar box guitar tablature.

Where can I get free tabs?

Below is an ever-growing list of tablature for 3-string cigar box guitars.

In them, I always intend for the guitar to be tuned 1-5-1 like a power chord (e.g., GDg).

Each song title in the list below is a link.

Click that link to view the tab.

Download the tab (it's a free PDF that I've put together myself.) or

Plus, you can print the tab to have something for your records, to bring with you to a jam session, and to pass along to a friend.

If you find something useful or helpful, please share it. After all, sharing is caring.

Above all, have fun learning how to play songs on your cigar box guitar!