I never use tablature. Especially with jazz guitar students, I discourage them from using it. All the energy you put in learning tablature, you could be putting into learning to read music. You have to remember, tablature is just a guitar thing that the rest of the musical world doesn’t use.

The first step is to memorize your notes, your chord positions and your scale shapes. You have to start simple. I recommend using a method book to learn the various patterns — Musicians Institute has a series, and I used the Berklee books back when I learned. The books take you through each of the patterns, an open position, and then up the fretboard. It’s a solid foundation for learning how to play up and down the neck and learning where certain notes lay. Without knowing how to read music, I wouldn’t have had as much opportunity as a guitarist because some jobs require it. It opens you up to a whole world and helps clear up the mystery of where things lay on the guitar.