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View Poll Results: Which tab type do you prefer?
Six tab lines, with fret numbers placed on the lines 32 78.05%
Seven tab lines, with fret numbers in the spaces between lines 3 7.32%
No problem with either 4 9.76%
I'm too good for tab - play by ear 2 4.88%
Voters: 41. You may not vote on this poll

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  #16  
Old 11-29-2017, 06:32 AM
AndreF AndreF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wengr View Post
What I'm trying to gauge here is, what is preferred - fret numbers on the lines, or fret numbers in the spaces.
On the lines, for sure.
They knew what they were doing back in the day...


Since then though, standard notation has improved sight reading a lot, so I agree with the others that having both is the ideal way to present.
I still have a bunch of Stefan Grossman TABs from his video series, and they are definitely more awkward (imo) and force you to slow it way down (as Barry said).
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  #17  
Old 11-29-2017, 10:50 AM
paulp1960 paulp1960 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny B View Post
When I use Tab, I use six lines and fret #'s on the lines...

And I certainly don't have any problem knowing when to play the note, or timing issues in any way...
What if you had never heard the piece of music?
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  #18  
Old 11-29-2017, 11:21 AM
Denny B Denny B is online now
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Originally Posted by paulp1960 View Post
What if you had never heard the piece of music?

I'm 68 years old and I've been in love with music since I was a kid in the 50's...

There are literally thousands of wonderful songs I've heard my whole life that I'm extremely familiar with that I can pick and choose to learn to play...that's why I picked up a guitar in the first place..to play music that I've loved throughout my life...

I'm not and never will be a studio or orchestra musician where one might be required to play a new piece of music on demand...

So, life being short...music I know being so abundant...and speaking only for myself, I have absolutely no time & interest to invest in a piece of music I've never even heard before...
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  #19  
Old 11-30-2017, 04:02 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Denny B View Post
I'm 68 years old and I've been in love with music since I was a kid in the 50's...

There are literally thousands of wonderful songs I've heard my whole life that I'm extremely familiar with that I can pick and choose to learn to play...that's why I picked up a guitar in the first place..to play music that I've loved throughout my life...

I'm not and never will be a studio or orchestra musician where one might be required to play a new piece of music on demand...

So, life being short...music I know being so abundant...and speaking only for myself, I have absolutely no time & interest to invest in a piece of music I've never even heard before...
That's fair enough. I'm the same age to you, and picked up guitar for similar reasons. But that was way back in the mid-1960s...

[cue swirly harp music; scene dissolves... picture goes black and white...]

I taught myself guitar - because there were no teachers for folk/blues/rock guitar back then (and if there had been, I'd have avoided them - this wasn't school!!!). There was no tab either. There were one or two tutor books - literally no more than that - which used notation (and taught you how to read it, up to a point).
I'd also learned to read notation at school (before I was ever interested in music).

What that meant was that I could teach myself a whole load of stuff by reading songbooks. Not only songbooks (ie containing mostly songs I'd heard before), but books of classical guitar, with lots of pieces I'd never heard before, but were fun to play, and taught me a lot of other stuff I'd never have learned any other way.

I learned from records too - slowing them down with a tape deck - and notated them to help me remember them. As I say, there was no tab, but notation is better for that task anyway - it shows rhythm and timing as well as the shape of the tune.

I'm probably different from you, in that I wanted to write my own music too, right from the start. (In the first week I owned the guitar, I wrote four tunes. And I mean I wrote them down, which is how I know... They were obviously crap, but that's not the point ) So notation was invaluable for that, as were the tips about composition I was picking up from the songbooks.

Much later, when I played in bands with horn sections, I could write arrangements and give them the parts to play. And of course I continued to learn new music from books. (I'm not saying that's ideal. Much better to learn by ear. If there's a downside to notation, it's that it can distract you from the need to learn by ear...)

Of course, things are very different today. If you can't write notation and want to record a composition - and you can't easily show timings on tab - you can record it in audio on your phone. If you can't find tab for a song you want to learn, you can learn it easily by ear, using slowdown software (which you can also use to check any tab you do find).

In short, notation is a handy tool, in many ways. But many amateur or hobbyist musicians can easily do fine without it. I'd never say a beginner has to learn it. I use notation and tab together with my students, but I don't push them to learn notation.

It's also worth saying that most other musical cultures around the world learn by ear, not by writing things down (even in something like tab form). Indian classical music, eg, is learned wholly by ear.

IOW, the fight between staff notation and tab is a kind of side issue. They are both types of information that can be useful, but actually learning music is done by ear, not by reading.
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  #20  
Old 11-30-2017, 04:17 AM
paulp1960 paulp1960 is online now
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I also started to teach myself guitar when there was no internet and no guitar tab but my school had taught me to play the recorder first, then the trumpet and I was taught to read music. I can't play the trumpet any more but I never forgot how to read music.

I did learn songs from guitar songbooks I had never heard in my life like Crawdad, Bill Bailey, Black, Brown and White Blues and I did so by playing the melody on my guitar. In those days I would not have been able to learn much by ear alone.

Just saying tab is ok but tab and notation is better as it paints a more complete picture.
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  #21  
Old 11-30-2017, 04:21 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulp1960 View Post
I also started to teach myself guitar when there was no internet and no guitar tab but my school had taught me to play the recorder first, ...
I did learn songs from guitar songbooks I had never heard in my life like Crawdad, Bill Bailey, Black, Brown and White Blues and I did so by playing the melody on my guitar. In those days I would not have been able to learn much by ear alone.
Hey, me too, all of that.

Kids these days, huh?
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  #22  
Old 11-30-2017, 08:28 AM
Wyllys Wyllys is offline
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Give a man a fish/teach a man to fish...
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  #23  
Old 11-30-2017, 12:37 PM
Denny B Denny B is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonPR View Post
That's fair enough. I'm the same age to you, and picked up guitar for similar reasons. But that was way back in the mid-1960s...

[cue swirly harp music; scene dissolves... picture goes black and white...]

I taught myself guitar - because there were no teachers for folk/blues/rock guitar back then (and if there had been, I'd have avoided them - this wasn't school!!!). There was no tab either. There were one or two tutor books - literally no more than that - which used notation (and taught you how to read it, up to a point).
I'd also learned to read notation at school (before I was ever interested in music).

What that meant was that I could teach myself a whole load of stuff by reading songbooks. Not only songbooks (ie containing mostly songs I'd heard before), but books of classical guitar, with lots of pieces I'd never heard before, but were fun to play, and taught me a lot of other stuff I'd never have learned any other way.

I learned from records too - slowing them down with a tape deck - and notated them to help me remember them. As I say, there was no tab, but notation is better for that task anyway - it shows rhythm and timing as well as the shape of the tune.

I'm probably different from you, in that I wanted to write my own music too, right from the start. (In the first week I owned the guitar, I wrote four tunes. And I mean I wrote them down, which is how I know... They were obviously crap, but that's not the point ) So notation was invaluable for that, as were the tips about composition I was picking up from the songbooks.

Much later, when I played in bands with horn sections, I could write arrangements and give them the parts to play. And of course I continued to learn new music from books. (I'm not saying that's ideal. Much better to learn by ear. If there's a downside to notation, it's that it can distract you from the need to learn by ear...)

Of course, things are very different today. If you can't write notation and want to record a composition - and you can't easily show timings on tab - you can record it in audio on your phone. If you can't find tab for a song you want to learn, you can learn it easily by ear, using slowdown software (which you can also use to check any tab you do find).

In short, notation is a handy tool, in many ways. But many amateur or hobbyist musicians can easily do fine without it. I'd never say a beginner has to learn it. I use notation and tab together with my students, but I don't push them to learn notation.

It's also worth saying that most other musical cultures around the world learn by ear, not by writing things down (even in something like tab form). Indian classical music, eg, is learned wholly by ear.

IOW, the fight between staff notation and tab is a kind of side issue. They are both types of information that can be useful, but actually learning music is done by ear, not by reading.


Lots of good points there, Jon...thanks for the reply...

And I'd have to say, I have a pretty good ear...I've always been able to tell when a note, a chord, or a rhythm was even slightly off...

When I'm starting to learn something new, I'd say tab gets me in the neighborhood, and my ear takes me home...
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