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  #46  
Old 11-27-2022, 05:14 AM
Robin, Wales Robin, Wales is offline
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TAB leaves me cold - I'm not even sure which way up it goes!

But if I look at a piece of sheet music I can usually "hear" the tune. I don't use sheet music for guitar (and actually have no idea what notes I'm playing on the guitar fretboard anyway - and don't need to know either). But I did need to read sheet music when playing mountain dulcimer - and use to look at fiddle tune music rather than anything dulcimer written. I can transpose on the fly (because the key the music is in was most often not the key that I wanted to play in).

And I can read 4 part MVC sheet music and the piano part (although I have never played piano in my life!) - but that's because I have to have that skill. When I say "read", I couldn't tell you what the notes were without spending time working it out - I just "hear" the pattern.

I see sheet music as learning by ear away from my instrument. To me, picking up a piece of sheet music is like listening to the record. But, as I said, TAB leaves me cold - I can't "hear" TAB.

I play/sing all my songs on guitar by memory. It takes me longer to learn the words than it does the guitar arrangement - but I'm certainly quicker at it than I was when I started.

Last night I was at a local party. A friend is leaving for the winter to visit family in NZ. Half an hour before the event I was chopping fruit for the fruit salad and thought "I'm going to sing her a song". So I made up some words in my head to the tune "Little Annie" and trotted the ditty out at the party - nothing written down. But, because I memorize everything, I have become very good at rolling turnovers, or rolling chords, or repeating verses or chatting to the audience whilst continuing to play - and that gives me time to remember (or make up) what's coming next!!!

All the above are SKILLS not a talent or natural ability. They are techniques learnt from necessity.

Until the OP needs to break away from TAB dependency, it just not going to happen. But once the need is there, then the way will come.
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Last edited by Robin, Wales; 11-27-2022 at 05:59 AM.
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  #47  
Old 11-27-2022, 09:09 AM
jwing jwing is offline
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Originally Posted by Robin, Wales View Post
I see sheet music as learning by ear away from my instrument. To me, picking up a piece of sheet music is like listening to the record. But, as I said, TAB leaves me cold - I can't "hear" TAB...
I get what you are saying there. However, good TABs have a staff of standard music notation (sheet music?) directly above the corresponding staff of TAB. Seeing the shapes of the tune - tonal intervals and time intervals - makes learning the tune a more musical endeavor. Without the standard notation, learning from TAB alone is a difficult memory exercise.
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  #48  
Old 11-27-2022, 09:55 AM
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rllink rllink is offline
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Well, I can read the tabs and I often recognize what notes they represent. I can also read the staff just fine and know the notes on it, I learned that in fourth grade music. And I know where a lot of those notes are on my fretboard thanks to two guitar instructors who both drilled it into me. Sometimes I can hear the music as well and recognize it. But all that does not preclude me from just plain playing the song enough times to know how to play it without any of that. I guess in my musical journey there are few either/or issues to deal with. It is always a combination of factors. They are all just tools to use if you know how to use them.
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Last edited by rllink; 11-27-2022 at 03:00 PM.
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  #49  
Old 11-27-2022, 09:57 AM
Brent Hutto Brent Hutto is offline
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When I'm transcribing a tune and trying to figure out a few harmony notes to work in along with it, I'll often get the melody transcribed first. Then as I play through it phrase by phrase figuring out the harmony (which takes me FOREVER and usually involves some help from my guitar teacher) I add those chord tones in under or over the melody notes.

But I do all this in a notebook of the kind that has pairs of staves, one for notation and one for tablauture. Once I have what I think is a playable arrangement coming together I'll go back and fill in the tablature. Otherwise, if I set it aside from a few days or weeks and come back to it I have to figure out what chord shapes I was working from and how I was fingering the double stops and such.
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  #50  
Old 11-27-2022, 12:56 PM
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Doug Young Doug Young is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin, Wales View Post
TAB leaves me cold - I'm not even sure which way up it goes!

But if I look at a piece of sheet music I can usually "hear" the tune. .
I'm not sure the OPs issue is "tab" per se, but more dependence on having a sheet of paper in front of them. Could be literally just tablature, or standard notation, or a chord chart or lyrics. Usually when I think of "tab" these days, I think of the common combination - 2 staves, with both standard notation and tablature (and probably chord symbols, too).

It would be interesting to see someone try to measure whether reading standard notation vs just tablature has any effect on memorization. Each present somewhat different information. As you say, for those who can read it, standard notation conveys the sound and timing of the music better than tablature. Maybe that lends itself to memorization better? Or maybe, since with tablature only, you really have to already know how the tune goes (essentially partially "memorized") in order to make sense of the tablature, it creates a shorter path to memorization? Since the common approach with professionally-produced guitar music (other than classical) these days is to include both, maybe the combination, presenting info in two ways at once helps? Or maybe it hurts?

Last edited by Doug Young; 11-27-2022 at 01:35 PM.
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  #51  
Old 11-27-2022, 02:29 PM
AndreF AndreF is offline
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Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
It would be interesting to see someone try to measure whether reading standard notation vs just tablature has any effect on memorization. Each present somewhat different information. As you say, for those who can read it, standard notation conveys the sound and timing of the music better than tablature. Maybe that lends itself to memorization better? Or maybe, since with tablature only, you really have to already know how the tune goes (essentially partially "memorized") in order to make sense of the tablature, it creates a shorter path to memorization? Since the common approach with professionally-produced guitar music (other than classical) these days is to include both, maybe the combination, presenting info in two ways at once helps? Or maybe it hurts?
Good questions. I donít think there is any particular method that can be deemed to be better than another necessarily. Different methods work for different people. Just my personal opinion.
For me, the hardest way to memorize anything is from a TAB. Thatís why I shun them as much as possible. Something in my brain is working very hard at resisting the learning process when I'm just looking at finger placements. I have a Teflon brain for TABs. Nothing sticks. Itís strange, but thatís the way it is. Unfortunately, TAB is unavoidable sometimes, especially for tunes written in alternate tunings. Itís a real chore for me to memorize them.
Notation is much easier. The roadmap is all laid out in front of you, incl. all chords and voice lines. I like to break a tune down to sections and phrases, and usually letter them accordingly (i.e. A, B, C etcÖ) So, learning sections at a time and then piecing the whole lot together, rather than just from beginning to end. Some tunes I learn completely backwards, measure by measure. On the one hand, it makes the music thatís coming more deeply ingrained in memory and less subject to lapses, and on the other it quickens the process, since you are immediately starting to memorize rather than getting lazy and just reading through it. But it doesnít work for all music, so you have to be selective about which tunes to memorize that way.
As far as having both notation and TAB for the music, that's also an interesting question. If I'm learning something from TAB, let's say a tune in an alternate tuning, then I prefer both. If I'm learning from notation, then definitely just the notation. Having the TAB below becomes a distraction, and disrupts the flow (and co-ordination maybe?) that the eye and brain strive to have as you're reading and figuring things out. Again, that's just my personal view and not anything that I'm defending as being dogma.
And it's not like I'm that great at sight reading either. It's something that I work on constantly. (A good way to spend 10 minutes warming up when practicing. )
But I do believe it's superior to TAB when it comes to memorization. It simply contains more essential info to draw on.
I imagine that people who primarily play jazz have a totally different outlook on memorization when it comes to playing music. Just a few road signs here and there and they have no trouble getting to their destination.
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  #52  
Old 11-28-2022, 02:10 AM
Travelpicker Travelpicker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
I'm not sure the OPs issue is "tab" per se, but more dependence on having a sheet of paper in front of them. Could be literally just tablature, or standard notation, or a chord chart or lyrics. Usually when I think of "tab" these days, I think of the common combination - 2 staves, with both standard notation and tablature (and probably chord symbols, too).

It would be interesting to see someone try to measure whether reading standard notation vs just tablature has any effect on memorization. Each present somewhat different information. As you say, for those who can read it, standard notation conveys the sound and timing of the music better than tablature. Maybe that lends itself to memorization better? Or maybe, since with tablature only, you really have to already know how the tune goes (essentially partially "memorized") in order to make sense of the tablature, it creates a shorter path to memorization? Since the common approach with professionally-produced guitar music (other than classical) these days is to include both, maybe the combination, presenting info in two ways at once helps? Or maybe it hurts?
I totally agree , and a lot of people that can't read music through tabs have the possibility to play music .
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  #53  
Old 11-28-2022, 02:12 AM
Travelpicker Travelpicker is offline
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[QUOTE=Doug Young;7134865]
It would be
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