Tab talk vs Note Talk

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by timobee4, Dec 10, 2014.

  1. The other day I was trying out a bass and this dude started chatting with me, I am always interested how bassists doing stuff an all but when the bloke started telling me about "3rd fret on this string and the 9th fret on that string then move to the 17th fret while" at that moment I switched off! I asked "so what's that note?"
    he said "it's the 8th fret of this string" pointing to the F on the A string. I'm no snob but I do not consider ppl like that musicians and have absolutely nothing to talk about despite the apparent enthusiasm. I said "it might pay to learn the notes one day ey! "
    Also discovered so called "tutorials" that teach whole tunes talking "this fret on this string" frankly I can't watch those. These wanna be bass players might learn to play a song but never learn music. I have zero time for them and even less respect for anyone teaching that way.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
    Smooth_bass88, gln1955 and thabassmon like this.
  2. Well I don't know how to not come of as rude back you kinda sound like a jackass.

    The guy has obviously never played with another musician and is prolly fairly new to playing. Not everyone has the luxury to have a teacher to teach them theory and what not.

    Lose respect for them? Why? They are not "wannabes". Im sorry but you just sound like a complete jerk.
  3. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Why the need to lose respect for someone who has a different approach to the bass/music than yourself ? What's the problem if someone just wants to learn how to play a few songs on the bass and have no intention or ambition to be the next (insert your favourite world class bass player here). ?

    If someone gets some benefit and enjoyment from those tutorials you describe, then good luck to them I say. Again I ask, where is the problem or need for disrespect ????

    Granted, it's not the best way to go about learning the bass, but hey..I am a great believer in the concept of "to each their own".
  4. INTP


    Nov 28, 2003
    Dallas, TX
    To each their own, but I cannot think in terms of frets. I think in terms of harmony (intervals, chord patterns), which provides a more useful framework for learning and remembering music, IMHO.
    gln1955 and timobee4 like this.
  5. I'm the same, I can't think of music in terms of frets. Drives me crazy, jerk I might be to some but as I said we don't speak the same language if you talk "this fret on this string" full stop. I tried so simplify stuff but even that proves a mystery to some. This dude in his 20's trying an amp at my friends shop the other day, playing not bad at all. Started talking, and I said "hey that sounded great!" Went from D to E 4 times at the end of a song I knew, so I said "your last D before finishing on the E add an F# and a C# like D, F#,C# " obviously in an ascending order, he started counting frets and I had to point out what I meant. That's the stuff I literally despise. I just thought "whatever" nothing more to say. I cheat a lot charting out bass from you tube tutorials for songs I need to play, sometimes very little time I get to chart out 4-5 songs in a basic way that I style out later :) those bloody tutorials I hold responsible for teaching stuff in such way. Each to their own some say but I say and that is just my humble opinion that if you not in the process of learning to read and still counting frets, looking at tabs, try to fit bass line you learned to songs you should rethink the process.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
  6. No sense busting someone who hasn't learned the language yet. Everyone has to start somewhere, right?

    Having said that, there's no way I'm wasting time working on music in a band with anyone who is functionally illiterate.

    I spent some time in a band a while back with a guitarist and drummer who never wrote anything down because they had no language with which to communicate ideas. They just rehearsed over and over until they could commit the ideas to memory. Ridiculously inefficient way to work.
  7. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    I feel similarly about people who fail to use paragraphs.

    Matt Bawtinheimer and Jim Nazium like this.
  8. Robus


    Aug 25, 2013
    Chicago Area
    Feeling better about yourself now?
  9. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    That's fair enough, but it's not what we are talking about in this thread. The OP was in a shop and someone came up to him for a chat. The fact the guy was not well up (for whatever reason) on basic theory, caused the OP to look down on him, dismiss him as a non musician and declare that he has no respect for him.

    I think I know who I'd rather be in a band with !!!! ;)
  10. Yeah, I get the context. There's nothing wrong with going to a music shop and trying out some instruments before one has a working grasp of music theory ( I'm assuming it was another customer, not a sales clerk). Jumping on the kid did seem a little over the top.

    But, for the kid ( guy, whatever) to think that his communicating thru describing fret #s and strings is going to be accepted in any public conversation is also a little naive. Fact is, only the simplest ideas can be communicated that way. Anyone serious about music should know better.

    And yeah, maybe I'll get flamed for that last comment, but really, who talks like that??
    timobee4 likes this.
  11. I have never jumped on anyone for being musically illiterate, all I said that I have nothing in common and nothing to discuss with "musos" without the ability to chat music. I think that is my prerogative ey! Empowering someone by saying "good playing" is what I do but I can't chat or bounce ideas with someone telling me to slide from this fret to that fret. Even those failing to grasp the true meaning behind this rant, thinking that "how mean, I can't bloody read so he would say I'm not a musician? Jerk:)" I agree that all must start somewhere!!!!! But if you been playing for a years in your bedroom or performing at regular intervals or irregular and still using this rudimentary annoying way, please reconsider your method for your own sake! I put in 2 hours of proper practice and 1-2 hours of noodling every day for the past 36 years, since I was like 11-12, today I'm 48 and I do minimum 3-12 hours of performance every week as well. One could say that I must love what I do. Very harsh and incredibly simple conclusion to say that I "look down on people" I don't. I just cant communicate with the fret counters and tab talkers on any basic level they would understand and that makes me sad, that is bloody why I'm showing some frustration towards you tube jerks as well, teaching 10 minutes of almost advanced stuff without mentioning one single note! Get it :))
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
    angryclown5 likes this.
  12. Torkk


    Jan 16, 2010
    Some can read sheet music some can't. Since 4th grade i played the horn. Treble clef easy for me bass clef i never learned. Through tabbing songs from sheet helps me there. Notes on the fret board another story, if one wants to learn they learn. I asked a teacher school of rock ,that my friend knows about learning the notes on the board. He said nope I'll show you how to play a song though. I passed, i have rocksmith for that lol
  13. gln1955

    gln1955 Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2014
    Ohio, USA
    I completely agree. It's like not learning to read, write and do simple math. It greatly limits what you can do in this world. I wouldn't waste my time trying to play with people who can't communicate in terms of notes, intervals and musical timing. Ignorance is a burden.

    I wouldn't share that feeling with a stranger in a music store, but if they asked...
    BassChuck and timobee4 like this.
  14. Huh; that was me at one point of my musical development. It's probably indicative of someone who either is in a casual jam band or mostly plays along with pre-recorded music. It can have some benefit, you're going to develop a reasonably good ear, and NOT be dependent on written music, but it's definitely limiting.
    You won't understand the concepts, and if you get invited to try out for a band, and you obviously don't know that that third fret on the first string is a G, chances are they're going to look for someone else. I'm talking from experience here.

    And yeah, OP, paragraphs are to written English as knowledge of notes are to music. Without either you don't come across as having the game worked out.
  15. BazzTard

    BazzTard Inactive

    A lot of young bands have sold more songs than you and I , and I bet some of them don't know ALL the notes on their guitars....galling isn't it?

    You should show more tolerance though, no need to belittle them, they will learn some theory, eventually, if they want to play with others. Or they write a kliller song in their home studio and sell millions!
  16. Probably not mate, but never mind! You the expert on languages and grammars aren't you? English isn't my first language it's just one of 4 I use! I'd like to know how many language you speak? Typical, when there is nothing to say about op then let's pick his English skills apart. Laughable. Anyway that won't change the fact that I have sod all to talk to musically illiterate ppl. To me they like my 4 year old niece playing drums at family parties.
  17. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    So, do you have the same arrogant attitude towards people who live for music....but just as listeners only ? People who think that an interval is something that happens at a gig, or a "fret" is something that happens when you are worried ? :smug: These people are musically illiterate in the fact that they cant play and dont know theory, but at the same time probably love music as much as you do.

    People appreciate music in different ways. Some are happy to casually spend maybe an hour or two strumming a guitar or plonking on a piano, simply to chill out at week ends. Others may do the same and also listen to a lot music. Others still, may go to three or four concerts or gigs per week. More might do a combination of all these things. These people may be as serious as about music as yourself, but choose a different way to enjoy it.

    You have not addressed my previous question, so I'll ask once more....what is the problem here and where is the need for disrespect??

    If you cant find common musical ground with people like this, then something is seriously amiss.....from your end.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2014
  18. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    I see a lot of defensiveness here. I don't think I'd share my thoughts on this with some noob in a guitar shop, but I agree that without a common language (ie, notes and intervals) it becomes difficult to share ideas. "Put that finger on this fret" is a bit like Guitar Hero. Yes, some of these folks can make good music, but it really does take more effort ... for that player, and for his band mates. I don't think I'd last long in a band whose members can't talk to each other in musical terms. It's beyond me why some players won't learn ... and criticize those who do. If one is "serious" about music, then why would they NOT want to learn the language?
  19. fearceol


    Nov 14, 2006
    Is it not possible to be "serious" about music, but not actually play ? From the OP's post, the guy in the shop did not criticize anyone. Not everyone who picks up an instrument wants to take it to the limit. If someone gets enjoyment from just strumming on a guitar, good luck to him. He may not know theoretically what he is playing, but music is meant to be enjoyed by whatever means you wish. All of us here on TB know that he/she would get more enjoyment if the person learned a bit more theory or took lessons. If a person chooses not to do this, fair enough. To each their own. What about the person I mentioned earlier who just wants to chill out at the weekend by simply "messing about" on a guitar or piano ? Also, I think you are missing the point I have being trying to make through out this thread, i.e. yes, the guy in the shop could go about learning the bass/music in a much better way, but why the condescending, arrogant attitude and declaration of disrespect from the OP ?

    I would not consider myself any better or worse of a person than the OP. However, if I had found myself in his situation, I would have possibly gone along with the chatter for a short while and then made an excuse to move on. Afterwards, I might have thought to myself that he could be going about this in a much better way. However, and once more to state my main point....I would not have thought any less of him and certainly would not have lost any respect for him. People will always differ (rightly or wrongly) in their approach to most things.

    Last edited: Dec 15, 2014
  20. jp58


    Dec 9, 2009
    I'm sort of inbetween. If not for tab, I probably wouldn't have picked up the bass. After I've been turned down for a few auditions, played with some other guys, etc., I've learned the importance of knowing some intervals, notes on the fretboard, etc.

    That's the mission I'm undertaking now; learn to read, understand intervals better, and learn more scales and common patterns.

    I'm capable of playing some complicated parts, but I really don't have a way to completely relate what I'm playing to someone else