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Do you absolutely need em?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by 4dog, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. 4dog


    Aug 18, 2012
    Tabs, been wondering for sometime, if you play and your decent what is the need for em, i see some folks requesting tabs for rediculously easy songs like "Beat It", "Another one bites the dust", " all Nirvana, just wondering why, shouldnt your ear be strong enough to pick these out?
    Not talking stuff like YYZ , or La Villa Strangiato, just wondering.
  2. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    I agree. I can only assume that the reason people opt for tab is because they have not developed their ear, and/or are too lazy to work out a simple song for themselves.
  3. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    In 45+ years of playing I have never used tab. I've got ears (like an elephant says one friend ... grin!). I have nothing against tab, but really, it's only a bunch of note positions ... and one still needs to listen to the original to pick up tempo, timing and inflections and such ... and that requires ears. Standard musical notation includes all of this and someone who can read well can play a song passably well the first time through just from the chart.
  4. dtripoli


    Aug 15, 2010
    If a tab is accurate, it cuts down the learn time considerably. That said, I generally use tabs to check or compare what I figured out by ear or help me through certain parts of songs that are difficult to hear or decipher.
    If learning songs by ear is the way to go, then one could assume all the musicians in an orchestra are super lazy because they all have sheet music in front of them.
  5. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006

    Learning the song.....possibly....learning the instrument...never !! ;)
  6. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    +1 and the fact that I can learn a song quicker or fill in the parts I can't figure out? and seeing how popular tabs are there must be a very large number of "lazy" folks out there playing music.
  7. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    In theory, this is correct. I occasionally try to use a tab to speed up learning certain passages of certain songs. HOWEVER, in practice, this is very hit or miss. IME more than 50% of tabs are downright incorrect, especially in those aforementioned intricate passages.

    I don't personally know anyone who figures out tabs and then uploads them to tab sites - do you? This begs the question: "Who writes these things?" The only picture I come up with when I ask myself this question is a bedroom player, not a working musician.

    Don't get me wrong, some tabs are well-done and useful. It's just that most of them aren't, IMHO.

  8. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    Some people just cannot figure it out, even more folks just refuse to try to figure it out.

    Why does sheet music exist for many of these same songs? Education.
  9. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    I play for fun and I love the "anti-tab" folks who think using tabs is so bad good for you if you can pick up a song by ear and play it I think that's great. I use tabs learn a song then move on to the next one and if I'm not "learning" the instrument I could care less.
  10. Swakey


    Nov 26, 2012
    tabs are probably the worst thing to ever happen to music. If something is too difficult to play by ear then you should read it from a score. There's much to learn simply by being able to read music well enough
  11. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead!

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    As a learning tool for beginners, it's absolutely incredible. For a more experienced person, it can depend on the song. Some songs have a really mixed down bassline or muddy guitar parts, so it's hard to make it out unless you have super hi-fi speakers and good audio quality for the clip. Since most of my stuff comes from off youtube played through some $40 creative speakers, I usually need a little help to get in the right neighborhood.

    Investing my time to learn the note progression for a song my vocalist throws at me can be annoying with a full-time job and such. If there are subtleties or notes missing, I can usually tell in the tabs and correct it. It just helps to get yourself a running start so you can tackle the rest of the song with ease. Using tabs I can get a song down in a matter of minutes if not instantly.
  12. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    I think tabs are a crutch at best. I wish I had never been introduced to them and just concentrated more on reading music.
  13. funnyfingers


    Nov 27, 2005
    I've just learned nearly 40 songs in maybe 7 weeks. I work full time, married, and have 3 children 7 and under. I have to rewrite all of the tabs to avoid playing all over the neck and so I can read them while playing to it until memorized. Only a few of them I couldn't find tabs and I learned them by ear.
  14. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Just beacuse they are popular, does not mean they are good.

  15. In the past when I needed to quickly learn songs for a cover band I would glance at a tabs page to quickly get the basic idea and then use my ear to figure out the rest. I can't remember the last time I found a tabs page that was 100% accurate... or even 75% for that matter.
  16. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    While it is true that music is communicated better through proper musical notation than through tabs, it is also true that most of the bass lines to songs being covered by working bands do not exist - or can not be easily found - in "a score", aka the language of staves, clefs, key signatures, notes, etc.

    Tabs are a different - and inferior - form of musical communication. But they are far from "the worst thing to ever happen to music", IMHO. Yes, it is essential to learn to read proper musical notation if you are serious about becoming a serious musician. But tabs are what they are - and are sometimes useful.

    As far as "the worst thing to ever happen to music", many of my fellow orchestral musicians would say that is the electrification of stringed instruments! :D (I don't happen to agree with them, either!)
  17. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    True but they are popular for a reason? and why knock anyone who uses them? if you don't need them that's great but not everyone is where you are musically or cares to be.
  18. zfunkman


    Dec 18, 2012
    Can't stand TABs. Good old fashioned musical notation is much much easier to read than TABS. I can't, for the life of me, understand that when you look for music you can only find that TAB for the song and not the "music." Music IS NOT THAT HARD TO READ; the notes are even in order . . . and the rhythm is perfectly spelled out.
  19. wideload


    Apr 15, 2004
    Salinas, CA
    Let's clear this up right now...
    "I" am the worst thing to ever happen to music! :)
  20. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    This is the important point that the OP made. Some songs are easy, and could be picked up by ear as quick as by tab.

    On some occasions tab can be useful for picking out fast passages or when the bass is not too clear in a song.

    The problem is when people rely on them for everything. Then they become a crutch, which later, if a person wants to progress a little bit further, they find it hard to wean themselves off tab.

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