can somebody please tell me why...

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Matthew Bryson, Aug 25, 2001.

  1. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    ...I read so much anti tab sentiment from all of the fine experienced musicians here, but
    a)as a bass newbie, playing tabs encourages me to practice by allowing me to play things that I can recognize (in other words keeps it fun) and b) I found this site throught the extensive tab archive? Yet you all hate tabs - who tabbed all that stuff?...or is it that playing tabs is like fat chicks or riding mopeds (if you know what I mean)....hmmmm?
  2. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001

    Most of us don't hate tabs. I guess the point is that reading standard notation:
    1) Is easier than you think
    2) Is as easy as tab once you get the basics
    3) Has more information than tab - eg. key signature, time signature, length of notes etc.
    4) Opens up your musical horizons
    5) Allows you to become more employable as a session bassist
    6) Is the only way you can sight read as you play live
    7) Is the only way to read music in most jazz and real books
    8) Is universal for all instruments
    9) Means you know how to speak the same language that musicians have spoken for centuries
    10) Allows you to compose and transcribe your music so that others can play your music too.

    I'm sure that there are more reasons to learn standard notation, but these are some of them. I repeat, most of us don't hate tab. Don't be satisfied with them - learn standard notation too.
  3. I like tab, there are only a few reasons I can think of for disliking tabs, the biggest of which is: they might keep people from wanting to learn to read music
  4. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    i've read standard notation since 3rd grade.

    trombone through high school.

    played classical piano for 2 years.

    i prefer standard notation. BUT, i'll occasionally use tab if i'm having trouble with a tune and that's all there is available.

    i don't see anything wrong with starting to learn bass by tab to have fun with a few songs.

    however, if you're serious about becoming a musician professionally, you'll need to acquaint yourself with standard notation eventually...start as soon as possible.

  5. Actually, for me it's become more fun to try and figure songs out by ear.
    For one thing, it feels more gratifying if and when you finally figure out the entire song on your own.
    Also, you've payed so much attention to playing it, chances are you'll remember it easier and faster than if you had used tabs.
    And another benefit of it is that you also train your ear in the process.

    Of course, this is just my opinion, sprouting from my experience, but hey - might not work for you, who knows? Give it a try! :D
  6. LimpChunk9


    May 8, 2001
    Bronx, NY
    Well, I use tabs because they are easy and there isn't much too them. I am a junior in high school and plan on going to college so I concentrate on my school work and don't have time to learn standard notation. I know a few of the basics but don't really want to bother with the rest of it all.
  7. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    I think the plus with tabs is they are it makes it a whole lot easier to transcribe a song between computer's better than nothing.

  8. danqi


    May 21, 2001
    I think I would not have a problem with learning to read music, and I'll do it sometime. The reason why I use tabs currently is that all that internet stuff is - of course - tab and that I would get very frustrated if I would even try to figure out the most simple song by ear. I just don't seem to be very talented at hearing stuff. I hope that does not reflect my playing ability.
  9. Well one of the things to consider, especially if your planning on learning a number of songs in the years to come, is if you take the time to learn standard notation now, eventually you'll be able to learn new material quicker with that then if you kept using tab. You may actually save time, in the long run, by learning standard notation now... then you would have even more time for your studies.;)
  10. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA
    i agree with bassin' completely.

    TAB is kind of like listening to books on tape where standard notation is reading the actual book.

    orthanc: you probably "hear" better than you give yourself credit for...obviously, you're hearing/feeling something, or you wouldn't have picked up a musical instrument.

    one little exercize that is pretty interesting is playing the root of a chord and singing different chord tones over it.

    play a C, hold it, and sing an E....then sing a G, etc...

    pretty cool stuff.

  11. the milk in scotland is worse than the milk in hong kong, but yeah its still pretty bad. I lived there for 12 years and i hate milk now. But wouldnt it be great if u got banana and strawberry flavoured cows and u could drink flavoured milk fresh? oh yeah. now thats evolution.
  12. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks!

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH


    Chris A.:rolleyes:

  13. Exactly!! That's what I was going to say!:D ;) :p
  14. CaracasBass


    Jun 16, 2001
    Madrid, Spain
    Hey...... Tab notation was invented by chinese people a long time before Standard Music Notation.... so don´t understimate Tab´s the way you do.... just because guitar magazines made it popular doesn´t mean its evil....

    That´s a message to you Standard-notation heads

    P.S. I read standard notation, so stop writing that replay.....yeah it´s with you !!!!!
  15. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon Supporting Member

    May 10, 2000
    Lake Forest, CA

    if you read the posts in THIS thread, you'll see that many of us STANDARD NOTATION HEADS actually see a place for TAB.

    this has been a fairly reasonable discourse on TAB vs. SN.

    no one here said TAB was evil.

    and why would it be given that content in GUITAR mags makes something evil?

    no need for the confrontational words, eh? sounds like you might have a bit of baggage here.

    what does "stop writing that replay" mean?

  16. melvin


    Apr 28, 2001
    Greatest post ever.^

    I think tab is bad because you learn nothing about rythem and the sort. Plus if you want to go farther with your playing you need reading skills

    Sorry if thats been said before.
  17. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY


    I have to agree with FOODSHORTAGE on this sounds like you have some baggage on this issue. "Stop writing that replay"???? Whatever... How is the "replay" of stating that TABZ are to standard notation what phonetic pronunciation is to written language any worse than the "replay" of stating that "OK I ADMIT THAT TABZ ARE A LAZY WAY OUT BUT I LIKE TO USE THEM TO LERN SONGZ SOMETIMEZ"? Replay is replay is replay, is it not?

    The people whom you refer to as "STANDARD NOTATION HEADS" have every bit as much right to DISLIKE Tab as the "TABHEADS" have to like them. We have a right to keep "writing our replay", and you have a right to keep writing your "replay". Personally, I couldn't care less who uses Tab and who doesn't unless I'm hiring musicians...and since I have yet to attempt to hire anybody from talkbass, it really makes no difference who reads and who doesn't. But if somebody starts a discussion on why so many people think TABZ R BAD, you can expect the "STANDARD NOTATION HEAD" contingent to keep writing our replay.


  18. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    And now a word from HASBRO TABEVIL...

    In writing a replay the idea that all your base are belong to us was some sort of underlying theme for TB.

    I'm vegetarian, so besides the fact that I don't know anything about this or that type of milk, save for soy, I noticed a parallel in the herbivore/omnivore vs. tab/standard notation arguments. It's weird, when people find out that I'm vegetarian they invariably have two reactions: curiosity, coupled with a plethora of questions, or accusations, constant harrassment to try and convince me that my dietary choices aren't good. There is a myth, perpetuated by some militant vegans, that vegetarians are on a crusade to convert convert non-vegetarians, (much like the homosexuals trying to convert heterosexuals myth). My experience has found that many more non-veggies try and convince me to go to eating meat. I get bombarded with misguided attempts to prove that I've made some horrible mistake, when in actuality, I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing, happily, and let others make their own choices too. And hey, if somebody asks, do you think it's good to eat meat, I'll share my experience and educated opinions, much like the tab thing.

    My experience has found more people attacking me because I choose not to use tab, and believe it to have drawbacks toward musical development, generally while I'm minding my own business, than me attacking people who use tab.

    Point here being, why the need to defend your choice? Even if someone is attacking what you like, nobody did here, you started the thread. Okay, you like one method, excellent, continue to grow with it, and evolve as necessary. But what is the insecurity that caused the need to defend yourself in this thread?

    There is room for both, but understand tabs' limitations, and understand the many benefits of learning standard notation, among a variety of other musical concepts.
  19. Fishbrain


    Dec 8, 2000
    England, Liverpool
    Endorsing Artist: Warwick Bass and Amp
    i find it true that it is easier to remember songs if you work them out by ear.

    and I use tab because its free!
    i do read SN too when I get it from my bass teacher bcuz that and my lessons I get free through the school. :D:D:D
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well this is the big question!! What we tend to suspect is that it's like "the blind leading the blind" and that it's mostly "kids" who know very little about music, as most people mention how inaccurate the Tabs are and besides, anyone who was a decent musician would be writing in standard notation anyway! :rolleyes: