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Introduction/Understanding Tab

Discussion in 'Tablature and Notation [BG]' started by groundhog, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. groundhog


    Jan 23, 2014
    Just want to introduce myself. I am a high school freshman with no experiance with bass before. I have played(and still am) alto sax, but I wanted to expand my knowledge of music. I am a huge jazz and rock n roll(especially guns n roses) fan.
    My question is that I am struggling on trying to understand how long to hold a note on tab. I unterstand the rest, but this is bugging me. Can anyone explain? Thank you.
  2. Jeff Elkins

    Jeff Elkins Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2007
    East Tennessee
    Some tabs--though it seems the trend is Not Many--will show bar lines, but even then I understand how difficult it can be to line up the notes.
    Tabs that are written without bar lines or some other indication of beat will often use the space between numbers as a general guide... The bigger the gap, the longer the note, etc...
    The bad news, however, is that most tab authors assume you have a copy of the song (in my experience), or can hear the part in your head--and only need assistance with fretboard fingering to find the notes.
    The timing is seldom clearly indicated in many tabs.
  3. +1 This sums it up. You have to listen to the song to get the note length for most tabs.
  4. I find myself re-writing or at least re-organizing tabs to keep consistancy. This isn't the case for everyone, but I like all of my tabs to be pretty consistent in the way they look and how they're laid out. This does require a lot of manual intervention with much of what I find online, but in most cases, they're at least a good starting point (most being the key word there as some are WAY off).