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!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

tabs are ok people

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by JWC, Nov 15, 2000.

  1. JWC

    JWC Banned

    Oct 4, 2000
    I noticed that tabs are about as unpopular around here as Republicans. Just Kidding.

    Anyway, I think tabs are a good idea. Bass tones are low and sometimes burried in the mix. I play in a very well established original band, but to this day I still print out tabs and learn new songs.
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    So why don't you find Sax Players, Trumpeters etc. looking at tabs....oh, they use standard notation! Like most "real" musicians! I think the antipathy is to do with being given a special "guide for dummies" - as bassists, we're not good enough to use what everybody else does, we need to be in the "remedial" music reading class !:rolleyes:

    Bass tones are low and buried in the mix ... yeah but that's no argument for needing tabs. And if you use standard notation your "established original band" can all play songs from music that nobody has heard before - and it is irrelevant how low any part buried in the mix!

    Finally - most tabs around are inaccurate and also don't necessarily reflect the best way to play a line and can lead to picking up bad habits.

    Now why are they a good idea again? ;)
  3. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    that's cool, but just as a professional artist should be able to paint more than just "paint by numbers", a professional musician should be able to read music too. i think that's the general consensus among the tab-"haters" - that and the fact that tab alone is insufficient to learn a song. if you need either the recording or a copy of the sheet music to supplement the tab, then why even bother with it? both the recording and the sheet music give enough information to completely convey what to play alone, something that the tab can't do.

    still, though, whatever works ultimately. just remember that one's playing is a reflection of the effort one puts into one's practice and learning. some people are satisifed with a certain level of performance, others require more. there are no easy ways to excellence.

    people need to remember that they aren't going to become the next jaco or victor wooten off of tabs.
  4. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I think tab is great! And all bassists (especially those in Atlanta, GA) shouldn't even worry about reading "real" music, or even chord charts.

    heh heh heh....
  5. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    :rolleyes: don't you have enough work already? :D
  6. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    It's all part of my plot! I'll not stop until *all* the work is mine, I tell you, all mine!!!!!

    Now, if I could just get it to pay better....

  7. Newman


    Jun 6, 2000
    some of the great guitar players never used notation. In a recent... i think guitar world it said hendrix couldnt read or write music. And i read somewhere neither could stevie ray vaughn... or coulda been steve vai im not positive. But if some of the best guitarists never read music who are we to criticize them? I am still fairly new at bass and i still use tab. I know by now that they are usually incorrect but it doesnt matter to me. I try but i am no good at figuring out songs by ear and the music i like is hard to find sheet music for the songs.
  8. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    uh, steve vai got his job with frank zappa by transcribing zappas solos while he was still in school. and no, he wasn't using tab :rolleyes:
  9. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    You don't have to criticize them.

    I bet Hendrix never used tab, BTW. In the 60s you couldn't find tab :)
  10. the Qintar

    the Qintar

    Jul 24, 2000
    if to some people tab is befeficial to their playing, then whats wrong with it. if you like it, use it, especially if its helpful. i feel also that you should learn to read standard notation, but i dont think that decides wheather youre a "real" musician or not. that seems reall biased to me, if someone didnt know how to read notation, but used tab, and youve never even heard them play, to say theyre not a "real" musician.
  11. <center>:D</center>

    Add Paul McCartney to the list. Except they didn't substitute by using TAB, they used their EARS. You think when Jimi performed Sgt. Peppers LHCB 2 days after the album came out (Or however the story goes) that he ran out and got the tabs???

    Jeez, that's why I'm always making this argument! Like JT said, you need the recording in order to use tab anyhow. So do yourself a favor and ditch the tab. Music is heard, so listen!
  12. Deynn

    Deynn Moderator Emeritus

    Aug 9, 2000
    I understand why people use tab. It is a quick way, to begin to get a handle on a song. But what I do not understand, is why they don't go ahead and learn standard notation. It is something that can only HELP them. Why wouldn't a person want every tool available, to help them be a better player?
    AS I said...I don't understand their reluctance.
  13. jimmysquid


    Jul 5, 2000
    Hey troops,

    Got stuck working a 2-9pm shift so I'll litter talkbass with replies now that it's after 5 and everybody's gone home here at work.

    To tab or not to tab.

    I think you should look at tab like training wheels, fine for starting out while you learn to use you ears. One of the most important areas to work on as a player is ear training. Maybe you can't play cool tricky licks but if you have the ears to effectively react to something another musician plays then you're invaluable.

    JWC says sometimes the bass is difficult to hear. When I picked the bass 13 years ago I thought the same thing. My ears weren't accustomed to hearing the bass. I could hear it on Police albums because the instrumentation was so sparce but I'd lose it in bands with heavy guitars. Your ears get used to picking out the bass and eventually you always hear it. Tab is good for starting out but if you keep relying on it you do yourself a disservice in the long run.

    You get lots out of sweating over a song, listening to it hundreds of times to figure something out. When you finally figure it out it'll become more ingrained in your vocabulary because you gave it so much attention.

    Stingray5(who most recently was spotted at Hooters on Long Island) chowing some wings and chatting it up with some busty Brooklyn babes-go Sting!) was busting some dude a month ago here at talkbass because they were looking for tab for "Sledgehammer." Cardinal sin! The stuff you can learn looking at Tony Levin's work with Peter Gabriel! Endless! Granted in defense of the person looking for the tab, it is a weird line. Fretless with octave pedal, lots of sliding into subsonic notes, and strange clicky sounds. But you're doing your ears a big favor when you try to figure stuff out on your own. Then you're not limited to playing only songs that there's tab for.

    So to summerize, stay the course. A thousand points of light....

  14. JWC

    JWC Banned

    Oct 4, 2000
    Agreed Jimmy Squid. I still have a hard time picking out bass in alot of songs. Rush, Police, Primus, and Red Hot Chilli Peppers songs....no. I can pick em out all.

    And to the person who said if I can read standard notation then I can play things I have never heard. I agree. But why the hell do I wanna play something I've never heard. Leave that **** to keyboard players. All I do is follow the guitar and play root notes on beats 1 2 3 and 4 when we make new songs. Then I leave some spaces. Then I add some scalar notes. Sweet huh? :)
  15. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    ummm.....to get paid?
  16. Well, because I can read standard notation I can show up on the job with a large group of musicians and we can all instantly start playing and rehearsing a piece of music that none of us have seen or heard before. It saves a lot of time.

    Some things you've never heard before are actually pretty good. I just played the first performance ever of a new string serenade by a local composer last night. I couldn't have heard it before because nobody played it before we did, so there weren't any recordings of it either. You know what? It was a really great piece of music. That's good enough reason for me to play something I've never heard before and reading standard notation made it very easy to do.
  17. JWC

    JWC Banned

    Oct 4, 2000
    Good enough answers for me fellas. No one in my group can read music, so I never thought about it like that. Plus. come sit in with any band in our town to make money, you'll be hard up to find any of these guys who play by st. notation. Hell, I just play the rock circuit. THem jazz guys are too damn good for me to compete with. Plus, I get laid more than them.
  18. john turner

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

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    ooo, that's cold :D
  19. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    The true test of the musician;)
  20. Bryan_G


    Apr 28, 2000
    Austin, Texas
    Ya but we are bass players, way more proffesional than any silly guitarist.


Share This Page