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Help with online Bass TABs

Discussion in 'Tablature and Notation [BG]' started by wuggles, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. wuggles


    Dec 13, 2008
    Nagoya, Japan
    This might sound a bit stupid to some of you out there, but I am having a realy hard time reading online bass TABs. I don't know if I am reading them wrong or what, but I can't seem to figure out how many notes are in a bar or measure through this stuff. It just seems to make it realy hard to tell what is a half, whole quarter or eighth note this way. Sometimes even if they are seperated it seems like they are done in an odd way, like 4 and 2 eighths in a measure. I have no trouble with the TABs or sheet music you get at the store, but the online stuff just doen't make sense to me. If you think you can help I would be extremely grateful.

    Here is a simple example I found on the forums, it might help out:
    Intro [0:00]
    I see a total of 5 lines, or spaces used for notes it seems, does that mean we have 5 notes in each measure here? Are these whole notes? Half notes?
    Here is a bit more:
    Verse1 [0:13]
    Honestly, all I can understand from this is which fret to push down on. I have no idea when.
  2. El Bajo

    El Bajo

    Apr 12, 2006
    Precisely, which is why its not a good idea to use them, and they are usually wrong anyway. I only use them if I' REEEEEEELLLY stuck, or I want to check I've figured something out correctly, but even then thats rare because as I said they are usually wrong.
  3. Rumblz


    Feb 23, 2009
    Yup, tabs are mainly used to help you know what notes to play, assuming that the person tabbed it right.. The timing is pretty much up to you. Tabs are just quick reference guides.
  4. SimonMerrick


    Jan 25, 2005
    Personally I encourage people who read TAB to learn the basics of standard notation values (eg. quarter, half, whole notes etc.) That way, from transcriptions such as my own which demonstrate TAB and Notation side-by-side you can combine the two: use the TAB to see which notes are played, and the notation to see the time value of each note you play.

    For further information, check out a couple of the lesson sheets under "Beginner Resources" on The Bassment.
  5. wuggles


    Dec 13, 2008
    Nagoya, Japan
    Thanks for the help everybody. Seems like the issues I am having with online TABs are the same as with most people. I think I'll just pass up on them all together. From the sound of it, the music you buy at the store will be more accurate anyways. Thanks again for the help.
  6. Brick Top

    Brick Top

    Dec 7, 2008
    I don't understand the dissing of tabs. There is nothing difficult to understand about tabs. They are not there for you to just look at and play a song. They are for learning. You play the original song from cd or whatever...and play along using the tabs as your GUIDE. If you can't figure out the timing doing it that way....I doubt reading sheet music will help either.

    Even if the tab you get for a song has mistakes....the basic structure is usually there...and you can figure out the rest yourself.

  7. DeanT

    DeanT Send lawyers, guns and money...

    Here is a good explanation of how to red Bass TABs.

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