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questionable transcriptions

Discussion in 'Suggestion Box' started by puttz buster, Sep 8, 2003.

  1. Look, I am probably not the first guy to say this but really, some of these "back yard?!?!" tablature transcriptions that are posted are nowhere being even close to being on the money. Make sure IF you are going to Transpose something make sure its at least 3/4 on the way to being correct, otherwise, the misleading info is wasting peoples time. Or maybe get some ear training lessons.:confused:
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    TB just hosts Tab as a mirror site - as far as I know, Paul has no control over the content.

    But if you want accuracy - I would say that Tab is never going to provide it anyway - you need to avoid Tab and stick to standard notation.

    This sort of question has come up before around here many times and funnily enough, Paul has mentioned that it is Tab's very innacuracy that means it can be posted all over the net without copyright problems!!

    If it was accurate enough to allow you to pull off a performance just from that, then you should probably be paying royalties!! ;)

    (as you would with any transciptions in standard notation)
  3. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    Tabs suck. Use your own ears.
  4. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002

    why don't you? then your problem would be solved. :p
  5. Guys, you are correct. Tab sucks and yes I shouldn't be so lazy and i should work them out myself. It is good to compare though sometimes, and often i dont have a copy of the song, and I hafta learn **** quickly. But as they say, if you want something done, ya best be doing it yourself.
    Aaron, from Australia.:)
  6. Atshen


    Mar 13, 2003
    Grim Cold Québec
    Agreed. I went once to TabCrawler just to see if they could correctly transcribe some songs I know, and the tabs I looked at all had something wrong in them. :meh:
  7. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Hold up guys - the problem isn't necessarily tab (although I agree it has its limitations). Some of the issues are down to:

    1. Somebody mishearing the phrase in question

    2. Somebody working from a different recording to the one you're familar with.

    Being able to 'write the dots' doesn't necessarily clear up any of those problems... it just provides a more exact way of passing on the mistakes ;)

    Many tabs give an email address for the author - if you find a definite mistake, then you could try emailing them with (polite) suggestions and submitting your own version of the tab to the same site if you don't get a response and it's really that big an issue.

    Of course, one of the reasons that playing from any transcription doesn't necessarily work (even one produced by your own blood, sweat and tears) is that it relies on everyone else in the band having been as diligent at learning their parts. Always play with your ears open...

  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think there is an inherent problem with tab - i.e. lack of rhythmic information - which is a contributory factor.

    So - I always find that - hey, you've only got 12 notes (further limited by key etc.) and it's pretty easy to work out the pitches when transcribing - but there are far more ways of playing something differently, which are all about rhythmic subtelty.

    So - you could have the right notes of a riff or tune,but if you don't have the rhythmic feel, then it is going to sound completely different!!

    I have heard this experiment done at Jazz Suumerschool - so you can take a very recognisable tune (in this case a well-known Jazz standard) and keep the rhythmic form - but change every note - not transposed - just 'wrong' notes - and you can still recognise the tune.

    But change the rhythm of a tune and leave the notes and it can be made unrecognisable very easily!!
  9. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    But that depends on how rhythmically complicated a piece is. Sure, there are plenty of songs that would blow up most tabulating software... but what about all those jazz songs which keep a solid four to the bar (maybe there's some swing but standard notation just gives you crotchets to work with) or rock music that's just pumping quavers all the way?

    The only way to be sure a transcription is 'accurate' is to play it through and compare it to the recording... and if you're able to do that, maybe other people's transcriptions aren't so valuable to you anyway.

    That argument is somewhat of a reductio ad absurdum but ideas like looking to see the source of a transcription (who wrote it and when) can give you a clue as to whether it's worth bothering with. If you've found several other transcriptions by the same author, of the same vintage, to be reliable, there's more chance that the one you're looking at will be okay.

    Arguments about tabs aside, I still think the best route is to do your own transcriptions - you're improving your ear and your reading abilities and will end up with a much more ingrained knowledge of the song to boot.

  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well, I was thinking of melodies, rather than bass lines - I would never consider looking at a transcription of a Jazz walking bass line, but often look at standard notation of Jazz tunes/standards etc.

    Melodies are often rhythmically complex - starting at odd places in the bar and holding across the bar etc. etc. It is quite often the rhythmic structure that makes a tune memorable...that's what I was saying.
  11. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    It's relatively easy to tab a song with enough rhythmic detail to accurately caputure, say, most of the tunes in the New Real Book vol 1 (the only one of the series that I currently own).

    The limitation of tab is that it makes it hard to see the musical relationships between the various notes (and rhythmic phrases) involved in a tune and fosters an impression that there is only one way to play a tune (which is an anaethema to jazz sensibilities ;) ).

    However, I've seen enough standard notation that didn't quite sound right when I played it to be adamant that the format is somewhat of a red herring for this particular debate.

    The issue with free resources on the Internet is that there is little in the way of editorial checking required before the information is published - until you start working with the file, you don't know if it is the work of a skilled musician or a tone-deaf enthusiast. However, that applies much more widely than tab archives, although they are certainly places where you can be sure to find a lot of poor quality work.

    If you can find an equivalent body of standard notation on the web, you'll probably find a similar level of mistakes.

  12. I concur Wulf. What u just said is exactly my point I was initially trying to make. I guess the only way to "monitor" tabs are trial and error, extract the weeds from the roses so to speak. It annoys me when even if the "timming" is wrong on some of the posted tabs, the notes are completly wrong. Like I looked at 1 tab the other day, some joker didnt even have the open bar lines right.And it had quarter noyes marked and the line was syncopated with the kick drum, You know what I mean. Anyway, i will just do what i have been doing for the last 14 years and do them myself.:)
  13. (notes)