In defense of tab users

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Valdronius, Oct 8, 2001.

  1. I can't remeber the thread that got me thinking of this, so I'm just writing my own.

    I find it funny how lots of people 'prefer' to listen and figure songs out themselves as opposed to reading tabs.

    This is fine..., if you can do it.
    There are lots of different bassists out there, some can do it, some can't.

    I've been playing bass for two years now, and I have no ability to listen and figure stuff out from recorded stuff. But give me half decent tab and the song and I'll emulate with personal changes.

    Now there is stuff I do like figuring out on my own. Mostly themes like fraggle rock or the night court theme. (which has a happening bass line, check it out) :D

    So for right now, I'm happy with being a tab guy. What I really care about is the quality of the basslines I write for the band. (which I'm quite proud of).

    That's my beef.

  2. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Cool. But, what do you do when the tab for something that you want to learn doesn't exist?!

    Probably because you haven't developed this skill yet. That could be because you are relying on tabs, and haven't worked on ear training. It's not easy.

    Half decent tabs are often hard to find.

    We've had this discussions many times. I encourage you to look up previous threads on this subject for some more thorough thoughts.
  3. lol, well for 6 years before i played bass, i played trumpet in band. before that it was 6 years of recorder, so ive been having music put in front of me for a while now. :p
  4. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    6 years of recorder?! Wow. Did you take recorder lessons? That actually sounds kind of neat. :D
  5. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    Wow, that beats the hell out of my four-month stint that I think everyone around my age went through in about third or fourth grade.
  6. Admittedly, when someone asks for the tab to Night Court they're kind of asking for it.
    What is the big difference between tab and sheet music though?
    Usually I search for tab for stuff that I don't have a recording of handy to listen to or have trouble hearing the part I want to play on the recording.
    And after I find the tab I usually decide that the correct way to play the line or whatever is generally somewhere in between what I was playing previously and whatever somebody else tabbed out.
    Most of the time I download tab more for the lyrics than anything else though....
  7. Cat


    Apr 5, 2000
    Penn State
    Hey, I played sax for 10 years. When I started out on bass, I had no idea what I was doing so I used tabs. Now that I have some inkling on how to play, I rarely need to use tabs anymore. I can figure out how to play most songs in about 10 minutes.
  8. Well, I guess I don't always use tabs, but the most impressive song I ever figured by ear was "know your enemy" by Rage. yippee.
  9. So you have a total of 14 years of experience on musical instruments, and you still can't hear 'stuff' (i'll assume you mean basslines)? I find that hard to believe.
  10. Cat


    Apr 5, 2000
    Penn State
    he probably messed up his ability to hear low sounds by playing the recorder and the trumpet (two very loud treble instruments) for so long :p
  11. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    I agree. That is really not a good thing. It's time you start learning how to "hear" music, and playing with what you hear. Otherwise, how are you going to be able to jam with other musicians? How are you going to hear changes as a bassist and keep up? Try to sing-a-long with what you are playing - tune your ears to your music. Believe me, once you learn this skill, you won't regret it - it will change the way you play.

    I suspect that since you have learnt the recorder and trumpet before, you have been classically trained - as such maybe this is why you have trouble playing by "ear". I know classical pianists like this - pianiasts who need to read sheet music or else they cannot play at all. This is important - the ability to play as you read, but it is also important to be able to be free not to do that - to be able to play "anything" once you hear it.

    My 2 cents.
  12. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    Maybe he's tone deaf. There are musicians out there that are, you know.
  13. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Them's aint' musicians, Them's drummers!!!!!
    :cool: :D
  14. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Why defend tabs?

    If you want to use them, use them. If you want to read notation, read away. But why defend either? I am really confused why people suddenly feel the need to champion one or the other.

  15. Cat


    Apr 5, 2000
    Penn State
    lol! :p
  16. I dont really use them, but Im definately not on the anti-tab trip that so many here are on.
    Yes its better to learn them yourself, but what if you have a gig tomorrow, and your band asks you to learn a song. You dont own the recording so you cant learn it. Why the hell wouldnt you just get a tab off the net? Takes like a minute and no cost.
  17. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well, as Tab has no rhythmic information, it would be useless in this situation anyway!!! :rolleyes:

    This is the big reason why people are anti Tab - it doesn't actually help unless you have heard the original anyway and if you have, then why not just learn to transcribe or pick it up by ear? The more you do it the easier it becomes.

    Time spent searching on the net is just wasted as the Tab is usually innaccurate anyway and can't help you with the feel and rhythm. In bass playing this is often more than 90% of the line and as long as you play something that fits and grooves, in most situations nobody would really care whether you played it exactly like the record.

    In the situation Jim describes - only the sheet music would help you if you have never heard the thing before.
  18. Bruce, I didnt say 'never heard the song before' I said 'dont own the recording', ie, you dont own it so you cant sit down and analyze the bassline.
    But yes, I agree with you totally that tabs are completely useless if you havnt heard the song.
  19. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    tAbZ RulE!!! i have it on good authority that tabs are actually _BETTER_ than standard notation. a wise and accomplished player informed us all of that fact not too long ago.

    he'll be back soon to fill us in, hopefully. :D :rolleyes:
  20. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Yeah, but in the meantime, he's waiting for us to come "Crawling" back to his doorstep to apologize for defending SN so it may be awhile... :rolleyes:

    What's the weather forecast in Hell these days? :D