1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Is using tabs for noobs?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by ilovemysr505, Oct 10, 2009.

  1. ilovemysr505


    Sep 30, 2009
    I'm using tabs and guitar pro of the song is really complicated.
    Does using tabs make my musical consciousness lesser?
  2. I grew up using notation; I use tabs, too. I also draw my own tabs and notation if necessary.
  3. Revvv


    Oct 31, 2007
    I've been playing for 20 years, and I still use tabs from time to time.
  4. IdealWay


    Oct 18, 2006
    Asheville, NC
    Yes. Standard notation is a perfect universal system already, do yourself a favor and start learning it.
  5. MStrianese


    Jul 26, 2008
    New York
    Use what you like and are comfortable with, similarly to the question "Pick or Fingers?", use what you are comfortable with, just think outside the box sometimes, say you use tabs to learn a song, learn the next one by ear etc., its never good to handicap yourself in one area...
  6. From Victor Wooten's website...
    i am 27 and i been playing bass since im 7. im basically self taught. i also play cello and trombone. i have learned to read notes at the age of 3. i have had a few bass students in the past. i am very frustrated and i would like to know what your opinion is on books that have bass tabs written above the notes. i find that when i teach someone to play and read the bass clef, they get stuck just reading the numbers. in the end, i put a REAL sheet of music in front of them and they wonder where the tab has gone and they cant read 1 note. isnt learning from a tab cheating? i have never found any good that has come out of learning how to play the bass with a book that is full of tabs. i am frustrated cause i literally cant find any book nowadays that does NOT have a tab above evers single note. how is anybody ever sposed to learn to read music the TRUE way?

    thanks for your time, LJ

    Hello LJ, I used to feel the same way about TAB, but know I realize that tab is just "another way" to do it. To try to force everyone to do things one way may not be the best. And actually, tab has some benefits to it that notation doesn't have.

    My transcription book has tablature in it and I am happy about that. Now, people can know exactly how I played a song, not just the notes I used, but where on the neck I played those notes. There is not a good way to show which fret or position to play a note except for tab. if I want to show U on paper exactly where to play a note, tab is a great way.

    You say that people should learn the "true way" to read music. how do we know what the "true way" is? Some people may say that playing the "electric" bass is not the true way. I say, whatever works for U is "true" enough for me.

    Béla Fleck reads tab much better than he reads notation. There's no way that I would tell him that he is less of a musician because of it. He has benefited greatly because of it and so have I because of him.
    Do what works for U and stay open to what works for others.
    Take care.

    peace, vic

    as far as I'm concerned that should be the authority on that for bass guitar players (now if you play classical stuff that might be a different story)
  7. ilovemysr505


    Sep 30, 2009

    I actually thought I was a noob because i use guitar pro for dream theater songs.

    Cheers guys!
  8. Bassman203


    Mar 29, 2008
    If you need to start out with tabs to get used to technique by learning songs quicker so be it. But don't become reliant on them. Get good at playing by ear, and learn to read notation in case you ever come into a situation where it is necessary. (I joined my school's Jazz band and was very lucky I had already played piano for 6 years and cello for 5, so I was already very solid with reading music.)
  9. tbone409


    Feb 17, 2007
    kenosha, wi

    Banjo is an instrument that is tuned in such a way that has notes very close together or two of the same note played on separate strings. Tab *in addition to notation* is acceptable in this situation.

    Bass more often than not has notes that are being played one at a time with a rare double stop or chord. Additionally, I think most people on TB would agree that rhythm is very important to bass players, standard notation gives you the notes and the rhythms. Tab doesn't.

    do yourself a favor, Learn standard notation.
  10. ilovemysr505


    Sep 30, 2009
    Does anyone know where I can learn to read notes?
    Preferably something on the internet only since I'm very busy with my studies as of now...
  11. onlyclave


    Oct 28, 2005
    Yep. It makes it VERY difficult to communicate with other musicians. How do you write out a part for the keyboard or horn player using tab?

    Standard notation is not difficult and is the most efficient way to communicate music knowledge. Trying to reinvent the wheel with another system is just a waste of energy that could be spent otherwise.
  12. fender_funk_man


    Feb 19, 2009
    I dont like them personally simply because so much of bass playing is rhythm and tab just doesnt show that well. I like nashville myself.
  13. Ten Four One

    Ten Four One

    Dec 5, 2006
    +1, though mostly I use chord charts from the internet.

    If you have a midi/usb keyboard, JALMUS is great.
  14. Nashrakh


    Aug 16, 2008
    Hamburg, Germany
    This one is great.

    I suggest you do the bass clef, and under "use notes over" I suggest Lines only first, if you make progress with that take the "spaces" option too, and finally take the ledger lines too if you got a grip on the system. That way, you learn to read notation little by little.

    But this exercise is pitch only, no rhythm. Teoria has exercises for that as well, I guess (but rhythm is MUCH easier IMO)

    Regarding the tabs issue, I think they work just fine, but you have to be cautious not to rely on them only. In a band setting, being able to read tabs only will only take you so far, but OTOH, there are barely any bands that notate their songs in standard notation... maybe orchestras, jazz bands, big bands. For most of the other bands, knowing your fretboard and scales is MUCH more important than being able to read standard notation.

    Edit: Here are some nice things I found -

  15. E2daGGurl


    May 26, 2008
    Learning tab certainly does not lower your musical consciousness!

    Everyone should learn as much as possible. If you can get rhythm just by listening to a song and don't need rhythm notation - just the fingering - tab is great.

    If you want to play something you've never heard before, though - to have even a modest chance of doing it right, you have to learn regular notation.
  16. ilovemysr505


    Sep 30, 2009
    Cheers! :hyper:
  17. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC Music. Warwick U.S. distribution, Ampeg distribution
    FWIW, the earliest music written for tab (baroque) in the 1500's, was written in tab. Tab is NOTHING NEW.

    I used to be a professional studio musician and I can site read just fine. However, tab has it's place for teaching the preferred fingering for certain arrangements.
  18. My instructor gives me two different types of exercises to help me learn notation. First, he gives me tab, and I have to put it into notation, getting the tempo correct as well (which makes me train the ears also!). Then he'll give me notation, and I have to work out tab, usually at least two versions; I have to figure out for myself where on the fret board the notes are easiest to play (for me) as well as where they sound best (re timbre, more dependant on thickness of each string; also makes me work on training my ear to hear the difference between the same note played on different strings...) I usually use Allegro by Finale to do my final transcriptions, but work out stuff initially on blank tab and staff paper... I know how to read music have learned to play flute years ago, but fretting a bass is a lot different than fingering a transverse flute, so figuring out where on the fretboard the notes indicated in notation are has proven to me that I sure can't memorize stuff as fast as I used to be able to. Frustrating at times, but I'm slowly putting the two together.
  19. Billnc


    Aug 6, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    I use notation or my ear only.
  20. limit6

    limit6 Supporting Member

    Dec 5, 2007
    Philly, PA
    What's even more important than tabs or notation is doing what works for you. All of us TBer's have an opinion, but NO ONE is correct. There is no correct. Only you know how you think. Use your judgement and don't let other people cloud it up. When you feel like tabs are holding you back, you'll know. And if you're bold enough at that point to step out of your comfort zone and graduate to the next level, so be it. At the end of the day we aren't playing music with you. Would you let someone tell you how to hold a pencil? Who to date? Who your best friend should be? Bass is your thing, and just because everyone has an opinion doesn't make it the law. You do you. That's the law.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.