Ukulele 101: How To Read Ukulele Tab Part 6


Slides are another method of moving between notes without re-picking the string.

Slides are produced by picking one note then sliding along the string to the new note.

Example 1
ukulele slide tab

Slides are tabbed in a similar way to hammer-ons and pull-offs. They are shown with an arch between the two notes but they also have a diagonal line between the notes (an upward sloping line for slides up the neck and a downward sloping line for sliding down).

Shift Slides

Shift slides are slightly different. As well as sliding up, the new note is re-picked. This is tab by removing the arch and just having the diagonal line.

Example 2
shift slide tab ukulele

In plain text tab, no distinction is made between regular slides and shift slides. They all look like shift slides. You have to listen to the music to decide which is correct.

Slide In/Out

Some slides do not have a definite start point or end point. These are indicated by the same diagonal line but with a number at one end only.

Example 3
slide in out tab

In this example, the note slides in ‘from nowhere’ up to the fifth fret. Then the fifth fret is played again and then slides off to nowhere.

Read the rest of the series here: How to Read Ukulele Tab.

This series was derived from my ebook Ukulele 101: 101 Things Every Ukulele Player Needs to Know.

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View Comments


  1. zymeck February 21st, 2008 5:06 pm

    well, you learn something new every day


  2. Woodshed February 21st, 2008 7:03 pm

    I certainly do. But I’ve usually forgotten it by the next day.

  3. EnergonCube March 19th, 2011 9:42 pm

    I’m a complete noob here. (Excellent site, btw). I don’t know what you mean by sliding “from/to nowhere” for a slide in/out. Can you elaborate?

  4. Woodshed March 21st, 2011 7:35 am

    EnergonCube: It means you start sliding before you actually pick the note. So the slide doesn’t really have a firm starting point.

  5. lchunleo September 17th, 2013 6:27 am

    Can i check if in a tabulature, it shows “xxx_” where _ is unmarked (there is no notes, no “o”, no “x”) what does it meant? Thanks

  6. Woodshed September 18th, 2013 8:37 am

    Ichunleo: I’m not exactly sure what you’re referring to but where there’s an x you mute that string. If there’s nothing on the string you don’t play it. But when you’re muting the strings is doesn’t matter much whether you hit three or four.

  7. daisyuke September 28th, 2016 8:20 pm

    What do you do if it has, for example 10/0. (looking at “your touch” riff). How do you slide from fret 10 to zero? Wouldn’t it just be the same as example 3?

  8. Woodshed September 30th, 2016 11:03 am

    daisyuke: On the Your Touch riff it’s just the tab layout that makes it look like those are connected. It’s just a slide out from 10, then playing the open string. So, yes, it is just a like example 3.

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