Ultimate Guitar

Ultimate Guitar, also known as Ultimate-Guitar.com or simply UG, is the largest guitarist community website including guitar and bass guitar tablature, chord sheets, reviews of music and equipment, interviews with notable musicians, online written and video lessons, and forums. It was started on October 9, 1998, by Kevin McArdle, a student of the economic faculty of Kaliningrad State University, Russia.[1]

Ultimate Guitar
Type of site
Tablature archive
OwnerKevin McArdle
Created byKevin McArdle


UG has over 12 million registered users.[2] It is a strong community of forum users who frequent the site. The website is regulated by an administrator and moderators, who are privileged members who can edit and delete other users comments. Moderators are users that are rewarded for being particularly helpful and knowledgeable in a specific subject and are responsible for moderating forums that focus on the subject they specialize in. Inappropriate words used to be censored by a computer that searched for and replaced undesired words posted within the community, until September 1, 2015, when censorship of curse and swear words was lifted on the website. Community members may also create guitar lessons, and have their approved works published on the website and read by its users. Reviews of albums, DVDs, or gear and news articles can also be submitted by members.

Like the tabs, the lessons and column are also rated by users, which attributes towards UG Points (or rather number of contributions), your UG score also increases, or decreases as the members rate your contribution.

Although UG encourages participation, they also have a strict guideline and set of rules that all UG users must follow. Members must be over the age of 13 to use the services offered by the site[3] and only one account is allowed to be made per person.[4] Strong media is also prohibited from use on the site.

Some members of the community have collaborated with other fellow users to develop musical projects via the website's forums and some of these community projects have been released as compilation albums. One of the most notable of these recent projects was the "Blues & Jazz Album II", which featured fourteen original tracks submitted by a number of community members, released for digital download with all profits going to Tipitina's Foundation. The project's community page can be found here, and the digital download is available on iTunes. There have been several other collaborative albums made by community members that are available for free download within the forums, including two electronic albums, a rock album and an acoustic album.

The Pit

The Pit is the part of the site where the registered UGers can discuss multiple topics, including those that do not necessarily have to do with guitar or even music, including political, religious and topical issues. Although The Pit is a miscellaneous section, all standards are upheld.


On August 12, 2007, the Ultimate Guitar site launched "UG Profiles". This added another feature to UG that other tablature sites do not feature. UG Profiles can be used for networking, advertising gear, and bands in a similar way to other sites such as MySpace; unlike other networking sites, UG Profiles are focused on those who share the interest of guitar, or to a lesser extent, bass. Users are able to add profiles for each of their bands, upload pictures of themselves, as well as gear, display their "guitar skills", join groups of interest, and add other users to their friends list. At one time the site featured MP3 functionality, allowing users to upload their own recordings to their profiles, however that feature was disabled as of September 1, 2014 due to lack of use and legal liability in the case of copyright violations.

Relationships with music publishers and songwriters

In late 2004–05, after taborama and mxtabs.net began closing due to legal threats from the Music Publishers Association of America, UG saw a surge of new users flock to the community.[5] UG was not affected by the MPA legal actions, since UG has license agreements with thousands of publishers, including Sony, EMI, Peermusic, Alfred, Hal Leonard, Faber and Music Sales, through which the songwriters receive compensation for the display of the tabs.[6]

On April 10, 2010, Ultimate Guitar entered a licensing agreement with Harry Fox Agency.[7] The agreement included rights for lyrics display, title search and tablature display with download and print capabilities. HFA's over 44,000 represented publishers have the opportunity to opt into the licensing arrangement with UG.


Tabs may be requested in the Tab Talk forum.

Tabs can be voted from 1 star (the worst) to 5 stars (the best), and comments can be made about the tab. Tabs of entire albums can also be submitted.

Files such as basic guitar tabs and bass tabs can be read from an Internet browser, or copied and viewed off-line in a text editor in ASCII format. Guitar Pro and Power Tab files are run through programs that can play the tablature. These files can be saved and opened on the user's computer.

Tabs are searchable by artist, album, or song name.[8] Songs in non-European languages are often romanized.[9][10]

See also


  1. "About". Ultimate-Guitar.com. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
  2. "UG Community @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com". Ultimate-Guitar.com. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
  3. ""Terms of Use", Ultimate-Guitar.com". Archived from the original on 5 October 2007. Retrieved 2017-09-21.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  4. "FAQs about account". Ultimate-Guitar.com. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
  5. "Now the Music Industry Wants Guitarists to Stop Sharing". The New York Times. 21 August 2006. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
  6. "Why songs are licensed?". Ultimate-Guitar.com. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
  7. ""The Harry Fox Agency, Inc. and Ultimate Guitar Enter Licensing Arrangement for Lyrics and Tablature", HarryFox.com" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 September 2011. Retrieved 2017-11-18.
  8. for example: "Red Hot Chili Peppers Chords & Tabs". Ultimate-Guitar.com. Retrieved September 20, 2017.
  9. "For Example: Red Velvet - Bad Boy (Chords)". tabs.ultimate-guitar.com. Retrieved 2019-02-14.
  10. SMTOWN (2018-01-29), Red Velvet 레드벨벳 'Bad Boy' MV, retrieved 2019-02-14
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