Guitar tabs are a necessary resource for guitarists, especially if you want to learn your favorite songs. Not everyone has the ability to purchase licensed sheet music, and not everyone can read standard notation.
Fortunately, some guitarists have taken it upon themselves to transcribe the songs for others to learn. These transcriptions are published on tab websites in a sort of humanitarian effort for the learning guitarist.
In 2022, we are blessed with a wide range of different tab resources to source our tabs from. But which is the best?
Ultimate Guitar – Best Overall
No matter how long you’ve been playing guitar, you’ve undoubtedly come across Ultimate Guitar. This is one of the oldest tab websites on the internet, having been founded in 1998.
Because of its age, it also happens to be one of the largest resources for guitar tabs. In fact, there are over 1.1 million submissions available on the site for guitarists to use. The best part is, the majority of this is absolutely free.
No matter what song you’re looking for, you’re likely to find a tab for it on Ultimate Guitar. For that reason, Ultimate Guitar will likely continue to be a go-to source for those learning new songs.
What Makes Ultimate Guitar A Good Tab Resource?
One of the best things about Ultimate Guitar is that there are often multiple tab submissions available for a song. Of course, this can be a double-edged sword as it requires some investigation to see which is most accurate.
Because each tab is a submission from another user, a tab could be fraught with errors and inaccuracy. We are all human, after all, and mistakes can (and will) be made.
However, Ultimate Guitar has an excellent system that makes this investigation a little bit easier. Each tab is prone to receive ratings from other users. This is displayed in a star system, with the number of votes next to it.
Tabs with the highest rating are often more likely to be more accurate. Though, while this may be true, you still need to do a bit of due diligence. Always assume that a tab is going to be somewhat inaccurate, and instead use it as a starting point.
Ultimate Guitar really encourages community involvement, which is one of the best features of the site. Should a user find an inaccuracy, they are free to leave a comment directly on a tab. Users are encouraged to submit their own corrections in this event.
The end product is a resource that is completely regulated by guitarists. Like you, they only want the most accurate tab possible.
Depending on the song, you’re likely to find a wide range of different tabs. Some could be more oriented to the song’s chords, while others might cover the intro or a specific solo.
You are also highly likely to find submissions for entire albums of music and live versions, too. This alone makes Ultimate Guitar worth checking out.
A wide range of music genres is covered here. Its users have left no stone unturned.
Does Ultimate Guitar Have Tabs For Other Instruments?
Ultimate Guitar is not just limited to guitar tabs. In fact, this can be a one-stop-shop for all of your common band instruments.
The resource of tabs for other instruments is nowhere near the number available for guitar. However, you’re likely to find something usable for the instrument you need.
Aside from the guitar, there are tabs for:
Does Ultimate Guitar Have Any Other Special Features?
Ultimate Guitar sets itself apart from other tab websites with the special features it offers. Depending on your level of membership, you’ll have access to a range of benefits not available on other tab websites.
On Ultimate Guitar, you’ll have access to tabs submitted in Guitar Pro format. These tabs go above and beyond standard tabs.
With these, each instrument is tabbed out, allowing you to learn the part you desire. More importantly, the tab actually plays music, which you can play along with. You can set the speed and create loops within the tab for practicing.
You also have the option of having access to officially licensed tabs. These are also in Guitar Pro format, so you can easily play along and learn the song. Licensed tabs will ensure that what you’re learning is accurate.
Another interesting feature that sets Ultimate Guitar apart from any other site is the fact that it offers lessons. There is a wide range of different courses available here, with over 2,500 different video lessons in the library.
Ultimate Guitar also has a section of articles that are regularly published. These can be submitted by any user and works similarly to Reddit.
Another way that users can connect with other guitarists in the community is through Ultimate Guitar’s forum. This is a pretty active message board, frequently seeing 10,000 online users at any time. You’re sure to meet some new friends here.
Ultimate Guitar really promotes its community. As such, you can easily submit your own tabs if you have a transcription of your own. The submission form is extremely clean and easy to use.
The site even holds contests to incentivize users to continue to submit tabs. You can also gain points by submitting tabs that are in the “Most Wanted” section.
Personal Thoughts On Ultimate Guitar Overall
When it comes to guitar tabs, Ultimate Guitar is often the first place to look. The site is well built and highly organized, making things easy to find.
There are some instances where a tab will be unavailable at the artist’s request. This can be a bit of a bummer, but this is usually when other tab sites come in handy.
You won’t really find such an open-source tab website anywhere else on the internet. The fact that the site has grown above and beyond traditional tabs should tell you how popular this site is.
Ultimate Guitar is likely to continue being the largest (and best) resource available. Guitarists really do owe a lot to the site for providing an excellent free resource of tabs to learn from.
If you can’t find something on Ultimate-Guitar, you’re likely to find a tab on E-Chords. This resource has been around since 2003 and has continually grown to accommodate guitarists.
E-Chords currently has well over 1.2 million tabs on its website. Its library is completely free to use, making the site a great resource for any guitarist.
What Makes E-Chords A Good Tab Resource
The best thing about E-Chords has to be the depth of tabs in its library. Simply search a song title or artist and you’re going to find what you’re looking for.
Even better is that, once you do perform a search, you can choose which type of tab you want. This allows you to easily choose whether you want a detailed tab or just the chords.
Currently, there are over:
- 390,000 tabs for guitar chords
- 45,000 detailed tabs for guitar
E-Chords also has a difficulty scale for every tab submission. You’ll want to take this with a grain of salt, though, as it is not always the most accurate.
When you do find a tab you wish to use, you can easily add it to your account’s songbook. This will give you quick access to the tab every time you log into the site.
You’ll also be able to download text file versions of each tab so you can save it on your computer. Want to print a tab? E-Chords makes this extremely simple as well.
Another interesting thing with E-Chords is that it has an email function. This allows you to send tabs to 5 different email addresses at once, directly from the website.
E-Chords is also handy in that it has a few different tools within the tab window. You can easily:
- Add chord charts
- Hide chords
- Simplify chords
- Split the tab into columns
- Change the color of the lyrics and chords
- Increase/decrease text size
- Enable auto-scroll
- Enable a rhythmic beats clip if the tab has one
You can easily visit a YouTube video of each song on the tab page. A little window will pop up, which you can move anywhere on your screen.
Does E-Chords Have Tabs For Other Instruments?
E-Chords does in fact offer a wide range of tabs for other instruments. This helps to set it apart from other websites offering tabs.
On this site, you can find over:
- 390,000 tabs for keyboards
- 390,000 tabs for ukelele
- 9,000 tabs for bass
- 5,500 tabs for drums
- 400 tabs for harmonica
- 350 tabs for flute
Does E-Chords Have Any Other Special Features?
Aside from its extensive library, E-Chords does have quite a few special features that can be of great benefit. These features help make E-Chords one of the best tablature resources available on the internet.
One of the best features of E-Chords is the video lessons. These lessons teach songs as well as certain technique and theory-related subjects. The best part is that many of them are free to view.
Outside of the videos, E-Chords has a few in-depth tutorials available to help you get started learning guitar. These are completely free and are graciously submitted by kind users.
You’ll also be able to take advantage of some unique tools. For instance, E-Chords has a chord dictionary and a chord builder. These are available for both guitar and piano.
Another resource available on E-Chords is the scale finder. This will show you a complete neck diagram for any key, tonality, or mode.
E-Chords also has premium content available for those with a paid account. These accounts have access to things such as:
- Lessons on guitar riffs and songs
- Backing tracks
- Video lessons
- Chord explorer
If you would prefer to use the site in Spanish, E-Chords has a Spanish version available. You can find this option in the footer of the website’s page. All of the contents in E-Chords will be translated.
Personal Thoughts On E-Chords
E-Chords is one of the best tab sites currently available. Quite often, this will be my go-to if I can’t find a specific tab.
It’s pretty refreshing to see that E-Chords has a wide range of extra resources available for free. You’ll be able to learn the basics of how to play guitar directly from this one website.
Ultimate-Tabs is another excellent resource for guitar tabs that is frequently visited by guitarists. The website officially started in 2002 and has seen continual growth and a few facelifts.
Like Ultimate Guitar, Ultimate-Tabs is one of the largest tab resources available on the internet. There are currently well over 1 million different tab submissions to be found on the site.
But what does Ultimate-Tabs have that makes it one of the best sites for tabs? Let’s take a closer look at the different features that can be found on its site.
What Makes Ultimate-Tabs A Good Tab Resource?
Ultimate-Tabs is a great resource to check, especially if you can’t find a particular tab on any other resources. The website relies on user submissions to add tabs to its library.
As such, you will have to go through the tabs to ensure how accurate it might be. However, this is pretty much a normal thing when attempting to use tabs to learn a song.
There is a wide range of guitar tabs available and you’re likely to find something of use. Currently, there are over:
- 100,000 different guitar tabs
- 296,000 tabs for guitar chords
The library on Ultimate-Tabs is fairly extensive and there are likely tabs available for the most popular guitar songs. However, there is one small gripe I have with this website and its organization of tabs.
You’re going to have to really investigate the accuracy of each tab. There are no ratings available for the tabs.
Instead, there are only a few tabs available for each song. Many songs only have 1 submission.
I’m not sure if these have been analyzed for accuracy by the website’s team. Even if they have, you will need to test each tab. There is no indication of vetting, so take accuracy with a grain of salt.
With Ultimate-Tabs, you also have access to Guitar Pro files for different tabs. Unlike Ultimate Guitar, you will have to download these files. There is no web-based player.
Either way, having access to a Guitar Pro file will likely be far better than relying on a traditional tab. You’ll have plenty of tools within the tab that can greatly aid your practices. When you come across a Guitar Pro file, you’ll know ahead of time which instruments are included in the transcription.
Does Ultimate-Tabs Have Tabs For Other Instruments?
Perhaps where Ultimate-Tabs really shines the most is that it has a massive resource of tabs for other instruments. If you do play other instruments, this is an obvious go-to resource for your needs.
Currently, there are over:
- 296,000 tabs for ukelele
- 33,000 tabs for bass
- 296,000 tabs for keyboard/piano
- 6,500 tabs for drums
- 420 tabs for harmonica
If you’re in a band and you want to cover a song, be sure to check out Ultimate-Tabs. It is rare to have such an offering for a range of different instruments.
When looking at tabs for a specific artist, you can easily search for a specific type of tab. Each artist has clickable buttons that will filter the tab results by the instruments available.
Does Ultimate-Tabs Have Any Other Special Features?
Ultimate-Tabs does have a few special features. But, for the most part, this website is primarily a resource for guitar tabs only.
There are some lessons available on Ultimate-Tabs that can be beneficial. However, there are currently only 3 lessons available on the site at the time of this writing.
If you have an account on Ultimate-Tabs, you’ll have access to a songbook. This allows you to easily collate tabs into a group. Having this function makes it easy to quickly access the tab if you don’t have access to a printer.
Ultimate-Tabs has also recently ventured into video-based song lessons. This is offered through a partnership with GuitarCamera.
You’ll need a paid account for access to GuitarCamera. It can be a great resource if you learn by video. Each video is professionally shot and taught by professional instructors.
Personal Thoughts On Ultimate-Tabs
Ultimate-Tabs is nowhere near the kind of resource that something like Ultimate-Guitar offers. It doesn’t promote community involvement at all, and because of that, its library suffers a little.
The addition of lessons on the site is nice to see, but the amount of lessons is completely underwhelming. A partnership with GuitarCamera is nice, but it’d be better if the two were offered directly through the same site.
Also, the fact that the tabs are not rated can be pretty annoying. You won’t know ahead of time how accurate a tab will be. Others opinions do matter and unfortunately, the community lacks the involvement to allow for participation.
Another issue is that all of the Guitar Pro files must be downloaded. This is a sticky situation as downloading any file from the internet could pose a massive risk.
With that being said, it can be a great place for tabs if you cannot find them anywhere else. For that reason alone, Ultimate-Tabs has made it onto this list.
It would be nice to see Ultimate-Tabs develop and promote community involvement. If they also added rankings and upgraded its platform, it would likely be a great competitor.
TabCrawler is another tab resource that has been around since the early golden days of the internet era. This website got its start in 1999 and has been a go-to resource for guitarists for over 20 years.
There are currently over 2.1 million different tabs in TabCrawler’s library. Like most tab sites, the kindness and hard work of its users are solely responsible for the library collection.
Let’s take a closer look at what TabCrawler has to offer within its website. You might gain some insight into why this site has been around as long as it has.
What Makes TabCrawler A Good Tab Resource?
TabCrawler is a barebones resource to find guitar tabs. Because of this, it’s pretty simple to find what you’re looking for.
You can search by the artist or song title directly. Or, you can browse the various lists of tabs. These are categorized as:
- Most popular
- Top rated
- Recently submitted
- Top Artists
The community on TabCrawler is fairly active on the site's tabs as comments can be made about submissions. As such, you can even browse the site by most recently made comments.
Each tab on TabCrawler is also rated to a certain degree, which can help you vet for accuracy. You’ll also see how popular each tab is by the number of views it has gotten.
Does TabCrawler Have Tabs For Other Instruments?
TabCrawler does have tabs beyond simple guitar tabs. In fact, you’ll be able to find tabs for keyboards, bass, and drums. In addition to this, TabCrawler also offers lyrics for songs.
The website allows you to easily search its database for specific instrument tabs. You can do so by entering the instrument in TabCrawler’s search bar.
Does TabCrawler Have Any Other Special Features?
For the most part, TabCrawler is perhaps best for tabs only. However, there are some extra features that you might find worthwhile.
There is a small number of video lessons available on the website. These cover basic topics related to how chords are played.
A section of articles is also available on TabCrawler. These articles cover a wide range of topics that are likely to be useful for any guitarist. Some of these topics include:
- Guitar effects
- Home recording
- Alternate tuning
- Guitar tone
- Amp maintenance
Personal Thoughts On TabCrawler
Compared to other tablature websites, TabCrawler is extremely outdated. Perhaps this is part of its charm, but the site’s interface looks as if it hasn't been updated since 1999.
There are parts of the website that are absolutely dead, and clicking certain links will retrieve a 404 error. It’s pretty obvious that the owner of the site has no desire on keeping up with the times.
You might also be disappointed to find that there isn’t much activity on TabCrawler anymore. The last latest tab submission happened in 2020, and the last article was written in 2019.
With that being said, TabCrawler can still be a great place to find tabs you might not find anywhere else. You’re likely not going to find any newer released songs, though.
A-Z Guitar Tabs (GuitareTab.com)
If you’re looking for a no-frills guitar tab website, A-Z Guitar Tabs will likely suit your needs. This site is fairly basic but very easy to navigate.
A-Z Guitar Tabs has been around since 2002. It might not be as popular as some of the other sites. However, it can be worth checking out if there’s a tab that’s hard to find.
What Makes A-Z Guitar Tabs A Good Tab Resource?
The simplicity of A-Z Guitar Tabs is what makes this a good resource. You can easily find what you’re looking for without all of the fluff seen on other websites.
While the site doesn’t have a tab rating system, it does list search queries in order of popularity. Because of this, you won’t waste too much time when you are looking for tabs.
A-Z Guitar Tabs currently has over 200,000 different guitar tabs available in its library. This is pretty small in comparison to other sites, but there’s a good chance you’ll find the tab you need.
Does A-Z Guitar Tabs Offer Tabs For Other Instruments?
Unfortunately, A-Z Guitar Tabs seems to be primarily oriented towards guitar players. You might get lucky and find a bass tab every now and again.
If you’re looking for tabs for other instruments, you’re better off checking out other resources.
Does A-Z Guitar Tabs Have Any Other Special Features?
You won’t find any other special features on this website outside of guitar tabs. Whether the site decides to add more features remains to be seen.
Personal Thoughts On A-Z Guitar Tabs
Although this site is pretty basic in its offerings, I find that its simplicity makes the site easier to navigate. For that reason, I often visit this site in the event that a specific tab cannot be found on other sites.
It would be nice to see the site grow and offer more for its users. However, the no-frills, basic feel of this site is perhaps one of its best features. It allows you to get in and out with little time needed to browse.
Best Free Guitar Tab Websites, Final Thoughts
We are absolutely blessed that other guitarists have taken it upon themselves to transcribe songs. Without tabs, we would have to rely strictly on our ears as well as licensed sheet music.
Guitar tabs will always be a vital aspect of any learning guitarist’s diet. We are fortunate to be able to have such resources readily available, often at no cost.
Side note, do you want to learn to play guitar songs the easy way? Learn how here – results are guaranteed!