mTablature takes as its starting point the tablatures of the renaissance vihuela, a fretted instrument not unlike that of the modern day guitar.
These tablatures have the following features:
1) They notate the plucking rhythm of the right hand only
2) They do not notate the rhythmic features of the left hand, such as the holding of bass notes under melodies. This is left to the tastes of the player.
3) The rhythms are notated above the line of tablature and not on a separate line of full staff notation as in some modern tablature.
mTablature differs from vihuela tablature in a few respects:
1) The stems of the rhythms are connected to the fret numbers as they would be to the note head of staff notation
2) Rhythmic stems without finger numbers are used to denote rests or the holding of notes over the beat
3) Some left hand slurs are indicated, although most are left to the individual
4 ) Chord diagrams are used when necessary, especially for scores to be used by students
5) The Spanish right hand names (p,i,m,a) are used to notate right hand patterns especially in scores to be used by students
6) Rhythms are subdivided by using multiple left hand finger numbers under a single rhythmic stem.
The specifics of how to read basic mTablature are dealt with elsewhere. The beginner guitarist who has not encountered either tablature or chord diagrams will find a step-by-step introduction in The Montessori Guitar Workbook.