If you would like to learn to play the guitar then at some point you may decide to purchase sheet music in order to learn new songs. The sheet music used for playing guitar is more commonly known as guitar tablature or guitar tabs for short. If you have looked at guitar tabs before and felt somewhat overwhelmed by them then try not to worry. In truth tabs are rather easy to read and you will find yourself reading them like a pro before you know it.
One thing you will find out about people that play the guitar is that they tend to be a breed of their own. Learning to play it can be interesting for those who are self-taught. Some people also will take a few lessons from friends or a teacher. These methods tend to be less formal than those used for other instruments such as the piano. The piano can take many years of study which will focus rather intensely on both sight reading lessons and music theory.
The informal methods of learning to play guitar can make it go much faster, but it can make it much more difficult if the budding musician has no exposure to reading the guitar tabs in order to learn new songs. Teaching yourself to sight read the music can be laborious and may not show you any benefits right off. That is why many musicians that are self taught will avoid it.
Something else you will find out is that no matter how long you have been playing it will never be too late to learn to read guitar tabs. To be able to make a career as a professional musician you will absolutely have to learn to read them. One benefit to learning to read tabs is that over time guitarists have created their own way of writing the sheet music so that it is easier to pick up. It does have its downs but the benefits definitely outweigh them. One of these benefits is the ability to easily share music with others.
When you look at the staff of a guitar tab you will see six horizontal lines. Each of these represent a single string on the guitar. The lowest line on the staff will represent the low E string on your guitar. The next line up will be the A string and the strings will advance as such from there. This makes identifying a note easy. There will be numbers located right on the lines (or your strings, in other words). This number simply refers to the fret that the tab will tell you to play for example, a lower E with a 2 on it would tell you to play the first string on the second fret.
This gives you a very basic understanding of guitar tabs. With a bit more advanced knowledge you will soon find it getting easier to pick your guitar up and play a new song right from the tabs.