What Does V Mean in Guitar Tabs?

If you're learning to play guitar using tablature (or "tabs" for short), you may have come across the letter "V" in your sheet music. But what does this mysterious symbol mean, and how does it affect your playing? In this article, we'll explore the meaning of "V" in guitar tabs and how to incorporate it into your guitar playing.

Understanding Guitar Tablature

Before diving into the specific meaning of "V" in guitar tabs, let's quickly review what guitar tablature is:

  • Guitar tabs are a simplified form of musical notation
  • They show which strings to play and where to place your fingers on the fretboard
  • Tabs are easier to read than traditional sheet music for many guitarists

The Meaning of "V" in Guitar Tabs

When you see a "V" in guitar tablature, it represents a technique called vibrato. Vibrato is a musical effect that adds expression and emotion to your playing by slightly altering the pitch of a note.

Key Points About Vibrato:

  1. Vibrato involves slightly bending the string up and down
  2. It creates a wavering or pulsating sound
  3. The intensity and speed of vibrato can vary depending on the style of music

How to Play Vibrato

To execute vibrato when you see a "V" in your guitar tabs:

  1. Press down on the indicated fret with your fretting hand
  2. Rock your finger back and forth along the string
  3. This motion should be parallel to the frets, not across them
  4. Experiment with different speeds and intensities to find the right sound

Types of Vibrato

There are several types of vibrato techniques you might encounter:

  • Finger vibrato: The most common type, performed by rocking your finger
  • Whammy bar vibrato: Using the tremolo arm on electric guitars
  • Horizontal vibrato: Moving your finger side to side (less common)

When to Use Vibrato

Vibrato is a versatile technique that can be used in various musical contexts:

  • To add expression to sustained notes
  • During guitar solos to enhance emotional impact
  • In slower passages to create a singing quality

Tips for Mastering Vibrato

  1. Start slow and gradually increase speed
  2. Practice with a metronome to develop consistency
  3. Listen to your favorite guitarists for inspiration
  4. Experiment with different widths and speeds of vibrato


Understanding what "V" means in guitar tabs opens up a world of expressive possibilities in your playing. By mastering vibrato, you'll be able to add depth and emotion to your guitar performances, taking your musicianship to the next level.

Visit PaidTabs and explore our comprehensive library of guitar tablature and learning materials.

Keywords: V in guitar tabs, vibrato, guitar technique, tablature, guitar playing, musical expression, PaidTabs

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