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What Do You Think Of Tabs?  

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(@alangreen)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5366
13/08/2012 5:57 am  

let me rephrase that. most of the stuff you are listening to on the radio will be more likely found in tableture than standard music

I'm not so sure. Music shops will stock what people want to buy because they want to play it and mostly that'll be stuff which challenges them; and you'll normally find the material in notation only or dual notation + tab formats. You can get radio-friendly pop songs in notation only form, but most of it's so easy to figure out you don't need to buy it.

There's a huge amount of music in UK guitar shops in fake book and Little Black Book formats. This is what I refer to as "Busker's Books" - the chord changes are printed above the lyrics where they come in. These books are great; you buy one book you get fifty songs; if you know a dozen of them before you buy the book you've got a show.

Never, in my 38 years of playing guitar, have I ever been into a guitar shop and seen music in Tab-only format. If I look on the Internet, however, I find tab-only, and I presume that's because whoever worked it out either doesn't read music fluently enough to write it up, or doesn't want to go and spend loads of cash on Sibelius to score it properly. Even then, there's a lot of internet material in Powertab and Guitar Pro formats, and they're not Tab-only.

Now, you listen to something like Rhianna/ Madonna/ Eminem, and you soon realise it doesn't translate well from the keyboard synth world to the guitar world, but I have music here by Lady Gaga in standard notation, plus the vocal lines in tab, plus guitar chord boxes ove the top; it's Bad Romance, the opening song in one of the Glee books (the red one).

And, finally, if you play piano/ synth and want to play Stairway to Heaven, there is only one option for your instrument - notation.

So, I'm not so sure that more stuff you hear on the radio is available in Tab than notation.

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


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(@fleaaaaaa)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 680
13/08/2012 8:08 am  

Al! I know you won't like this :lol: however....... I can read music, I haven't done it for a bit but I only have basic reading music levels. My level of music does not match my level of ear training so if I want to learn it - unless it is a classical piece I have the music for - it is most likely I will end up using my ears. I am toying with the idea of playing piano again, I know the basics of it already and I want to learn how to use the piano to become a supportive instrument for my vocals so I will most likely listen to songs I want to play or use songs I know and translate them onto piano/keyboard - I did some classical pieces on piano but it wasn't really what I loved. If I can work a song out by ear I will do that it is much faster for me, so would you really suggest struggling through music as opposed to working it out by ear? I mean I found reading big chords from music on piano way harder than single notes because I didn't have the recognition yet but by ear I have that recognition naturally.

together we stand, divided we fall..........


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(@derek-wilkerson)
Estimable Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 110
13/08/2012 2:25 pm  

let me re-rephrase that. im mostly talking about online.

eventually i'll be down to a freak russian website that only works on tuesdays and also sells illegal drugs out of the back, plus they only take rubels.

bassist for the cruxRandall RB-125-115 120 watt 15" eminence spk.Randall RBA 5002X Acoustic B115'sPeavey T-40Indiana P-bass


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(@gotdablues)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 129
13/08/2012 3:18 pm  

I've recently picked up the bass again, The best way I know to get the music correct is to; go to a reputable sheet music downloading site, pay 3-4 bucks and get the sheet music with TAB. Turn on my metronome (very important step) and figure out the song note by note.

Sheet music+Metronome is the way it's been done for hundreds of years

Pat


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(@gotdablues)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 129
17/08/2012 9:40 pm  

I guess that's a great way to kill the conversation, Bring Up the Metronome subject!! :D I tell ya, I could not stand the damn thing for the longest time, and wouldn't use it. But for a variety of reasons I started using an online metro, regularly. The main reason of course is sharpening up my timing.

I could use drum tracks or loop the song and slow it down and all, but for fundamental work, gotta have it. Click, click, click=note, note, note.

For me, its become part of my everyday practice, and lets face it, a musician with bad timing is just, well bad :|


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(@caliban4)
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Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 27
25/08/2012 10:23 pm  

I think tab is great especially for guitar where standard notation would contain too many ledger lines for the upper register notes (though you can write the music an octave lower but notate it to be played an octave higher). Tab makes the music much easier to play quickly.

Where tab is deficient is that it does not provide for rhythm, phrasing or dynamics. These can be noted with your personal notes but it's much easier to read these aspects in standard notation itself. Standard is also important for an all round musical education or if you're playing ensemble music.

When tab is set out below standard notation, you simply get the best of both worlds.


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 10340
26/08/2012 11:59 pm  

if someone is adamant that they do not want to learn to read music then tab will be the alternative

It's not a question of not WANTING to be able to read music.....who in their right mind wouldn't want to be proficient in another language? And that's exactly what standard notation is, for me..... another language. Hell, I had enough trouble with German, French and Latin at school - but I did pass O levels in German and French. Music notation, though, seems a lot harder to learn for me for some reason.....

IQ of 156 (tested by Mensa) and can't read music......why?

Hell with it, I'll use my ears.....that's what people used to do in the old days, right? Listen and learn.....and the more you listen, the more you learn.....

:D :D :D

Vic

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


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(@greybeard)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5900
27/08/2012 6:01 am  

Vic,

havve you not considered learning the other way around? Instead of learning standard notation and converting that into music, why don't you use your ears and translate that into standard notation? Might be what you need to get to grips with it.

Use tux or GuitarPro and you can play what you've written - see if what you heard and what you wrote are the same.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?Greybeard's PagesMy Articles & Reviews on GN


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(@trguitar)
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Posts: 3711
27/08/2012 3:18 pm  

I used to jam with a group of doctors I worked with. Only one of us could read music. I suspect their IQ's were substantial as well. The one that read music was also the son of a doctor and had taken lessons on several instruments from an early age. The rest of us were just teenagers that caught the bug, bought a guitar and were left to our own means. For what it's worth though, the guy that read was lost without a chart.

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


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(@fleaaaaaa)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 680
28/08/2012 5:36 am  

if someone is adamant that they do not want to learn to read music then tab will be the alternative

It's not a question of not WANTING to be able to read music.....who in their right mind wouldn't want to be proficient in another language? And that's exactly what standard notation is, for me..... another language. Hell, I had enough trouble with German, French and Latin at school - but I did pass O levels in German and French. Music notation, though, seems a lot harder to learn for me for some reason.....

IQ of 156 (tested by Mensa) and can't read music......why?

Well I have an IQ of 180 and a 23 inch............ Ukulele.
For what it's worth though, the guy that read was lost without a chart.

Well I was in a band with two brass players - one Sax and one trumpet and the trumpet player couldn't work out the middle break to I feel good by James Brown, which is mind numbingly simple and the keyboard player was showing her it note for note and she still concluded with "write it down for me" - just shows someone who has no *feel* for an instrument. I couldn't believe it, she had played her instrument as long as I had played mine and to me that is just a walk in the park.

together we stand, divided we fall..........


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(@caliban4)
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Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 27
28/08/2012 11:39 am  

she still concluded with "write it down for me" - just shows someone who has no *feel* for an instrument. I couldn't believe it, she had played her instrument as long as I had played mine and to me that is just a walk in the park.

Depends on whether you're using written music as a crutch. People who can't read music tend to be proficient with their ears but a good musician uses both. One advantage of tab though is that it immediately clears up which string will be used for a particular note. With standard notation note at the same pitch can be played in several places.


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(@rsadler)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 210
28/08/2012 12:34 pm  

Are there any good sites that you can buy music that has tab and standard notation both? I still remember some from band in highschool, and it seems having the tab also would be a good way to work things out, kinda the best of both worlds.


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(@fleaaaaaa)
Honorable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 680
28/08/2012 12:36 pm  

I reckon I was about as good at reading music as they were..... they were brass after all, they only had to read single line melodies - big whoop.

together we stand, divided we fall..........


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(@caliban4)
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Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 27
28/08/2012 2:08 pm  

Are there any good sites that you can buy music that has tab and standard notation both? I still remember some from band in highschool, and it seems having the tab also would be a good way to work things out, kinda the best of both worlds.

Most non-jazz guitar music is written with both standard notation and tab below. I would advise flipping through a book before you buy because there is a lot of rubbish among the good books. The Truefire website also has some good courses which you can preview...subject again to that proviso of rubbish among the jems.


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(@gotdablues)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 129
30/08/2012 4:09 pm  

Are there any good sites that you can buy music that has tab and standard notation both? I still remember some from band in highschool, and it seems having the tab also would be a good way to work things out, kinda the best of both worlds.
You can get instant downloaded sheetmusic from http://www.sheetmusicplus.com fairly inexpensive, and like you said its got the tab down below the standard notation. Seems acurate.

Got Brown Sugar for bass from them, and I would've never gotten this song correct if not for this 2.99 download :D

Pat


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