If you're a bluegrass guitar player, you're probably on the lookout for free tablature that will help you learn to play your favorite songs. Since many online resources are available for bluegrass musicians, you'll have no problem finding plenty of tabs for your fingerpicking pleasure.
At Bluegrass College, you'll find a wealth of bluegrass music resources, including lessons, video tutorials, and bluegrass tabs for guitar, as well as for other instruments, such as banjo, bass, mandolin, dobro, and fiddle. On the menu to the left, click on "Tab and Notation." You'll be directed to a list of bluegrass songs, arranged in alphabetical order by title. When you click on a song title, you'll have a choice of tabs specific to various bluegrass instruments, including guitar. Click on "Guitar," and you'll get a PDF of the tablature, which you can either download or print. You can also find very simple tabs through the Free Tab Fakebook, accessible from the menu to the left. Just click on a song title, and you'll get a PDF for downloading or printing.
Bluegrass Guitar is one of the go-to sites in the online bluegrass universe. You'll find pretty much any information you wish to learn about bluegrass here, including guitar tabs, whether lead tabs or rhythm tabs. The lead tabs are arranged alphabetically by song title for which difficulty level and key signature are given, while the rhythm tabs are more general and include various patterns and exercises to help you when you're jamming with a band. Tabs are available for download in various formats. Click on "PDF" to get a file you can download or print. You can also get them in Scorch format for your web browser or iPad. Scorch is a plug-in that allows you to display tabs or sheet music on either a desktop computer or a mobile device.
Named in honor of Doc Watson, the legendary, Grammy Award-winning bluegrass guitarist, Doc's Guitar offers a wide selection of bluegrass-related material including instruction books, video tutorials, and free guitar tabs of some of Doc's best-known songs. The tabs are arranged alphabetically by song title, and they're available as PDF files, Scorch web pages, or downloads for the Scorch iPad app. If you want to display the tabs as a Scorch web page, you'll need to download the plug-in for your computer. Doc's Guitar gives interesting tidbits of information about each song for which tabs are offered, pertaining to how Doc Watson used the music, whether on one of his albums or in his medleys, and how difficult the piece is to play.
At Flatpicker Hangout, you'll discover bluegrass-related resources, including forums, classifieds, product reviews, guitar lessons, and an impressive offering of tabs for your perusal. On the tab page, you'll find a search function which you can use to search for tabs by genre, playing style, guitar tunings, key signatures, and difficulty levels. When you obtain a list of search results, you can scroll down through the songs, which can be downloaded in a wide variety of different formats since the tabs are arranged and uploaded by users of the site. Formats include PDF, GIF, Powertab, and TablEdit. Audio files are also available for listening or downloading. Click on "play" to listen to the song and "download" to download a MIDI file.
Jay Buckey's Sheet Music and Tablature
You'll find a great selection of bluegrass guitar tabs on Jay Buckey's Sheet Music and Tablature site. Jay also offers innovative guitar designs like harp guitars and fanned fret guitars. On his free tablature page, the tabs are arranged in three sections. The first section has tabs for harp guitar, and the second section has tabs for harp ukelele. The third section is where you will find tabs for guitar, mandolin, fiddle, dobro, banjo, and bass, arranged in alphabetical order by file name and song title. To download the tabs, click on a file name, and you'll get a PDF which you can then download or print. Some of the PDF files include both tabs and bluegrass sheet music.
Raccoon Bend Flatpick Guitar
Raccoon Bend Flatpick Guitar features excellent bluegrass resources, including biographies on famous musicians, information about guitar manufacturers, and plenty of free guitar tabs. Some of the tabs are arranged by Mike Wright, the owner of the site, while others are uploaded by members of the FLATPICK-L mail list. On Mike Wright's page of guitar tabs, you can click on the name of a song, then print the tabs directly from the web page. He also offers WAV and MP3 files so you can hear the songs. The guitar tabs uploaded from FLATPICK-L members don't have associated sound files, but you can still click on a song title, then print the tabs directly from the web page.
Flatpicking Tabs offers a variety of bluegrass-related goodies, including guitar lessons and a good selection of free tablature. On the main site, you can scroll down and find guitar tablature, including songs and instrumentals. You'll need to have TablEdit installed on your computer to use the tabs you download from this site. To obtain the music, just click on a song title. You will immediately download to your computer a TEF file, which you can then use in TablEdit to display, print, listen to, and edit the tabs.
Ranger Brad's How to Play Bluegrass Guitar
On Ranger Brad's How to Play Bluegrass Guitar, you'll find a series of free guitar lessons, available both as web pages and as video tutorials, and a group of free bluegrass guitar tabs, which are combined with standard notation. Ranger Brad offers commentary on the tabs that he has arranged, providing tips on how to play the song. To print the tabs, click on a song title, then right click on the music and choose "save as" to download it as a JPG. Ranger Brad also offers a free guitar chord chart in PDF format and Jam Session Tune Cheat Sheets.
Dan Mozell's Music Files
Dan Mozell, a flatpick guitar player, features tabs for bluegrass tunes along with traditional Irish and Scottish songs, a style of music from which the bluegrass genre descended. The music is available in a variety of formats, including PDF, GIF, and TEF, for which you'll need to have TablEdit installed on your computer. Click on a song title that interests you. If it's a GIF, you'll need to right click on the music and choose "save as" to download it to your computer. If it's a PDF, you'll need to click on the song title to bring up the music, which you can either download or print. If it's a TEF file, it will immediately download to your computer when you click on the song title.
E-Chords offers eighteen bluegrass songs arranged in tabs. When you click on a song title, you'll be taken to a web page where you can see the tabs. Near the top of the page, you'll also see a menu of options from which you can choose. To use these options, you must become a member of E-Chords, but membership is free. The menu options include printing the tabs, saving the file to your computer, adding the tabs to your E-Chords songbook, and emailing the tabs to a friend. With each song, you'll also find a visual aid representing the difficulty level of the song, ranging from one bar, which indicates beginner level, to five bars, which indicates expert level.
On Layne Publications, you'll find guitar lessons, jam tracks, and a wide range of tablature for guitar, mandolin, and banjo. The tablature is a mixture of free and paid, and when free tabs or jam tracks are available, you'll find them placed at the top of the page for each instrument. For instance, when you click on Bluegrass Guitar, you'll find the free tabs at the top of the web page. To obtain the tabs, click on the title you want. You'll be taken to a page where you can listen to an audio track of the song. Click on "add download to cart." The total for your shopping cart will read $0. Then click on "proceed to checkout," where you'll need to give your name and email address to complete the free download. Each download includes two MP3 files, chords, and tabs for the song.
A Good Foundation
Guitar tabs make an excellent foundation for learning to play your favorite bluegrass music. You'll want to use the tabs to practice regularly and consistently. As you become comfortable and familiar with the songs you're learning, you'll no doubt be inspired to improvise, and soon, you'll be blazing through the songs with your own unique style.