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Thread: Are Tabs Ever Trustworthy...?

  1. #1

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    Are Tabs Ever Trustworthy...?

    Hey guys...Just wanted to share my view and gather some insight into guitar tabs.I've been trying to learn certain songs through tabs on Ulitmate-Guitar.com and have come to realize that more half the time,the tabs there can NOT be trusted.

    Right,so I've been busy trying to learn SMBH by Muse recently,and have been using the tab from here,which is supposedly official Muse tab book for this album(along with seperate other such books for Muse's other albums).

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/8948476/Mu...ons-Guitar-Tab

    While playing according to the tab provided by the book,I find that everything seems to be correct in terms of sound.However,I find that this is not how Matt Bellamy(Muse's frontman and guitarist) plays it live - Yes,I'm a nerd and scrutinise how people play guitar in live videos.

    Well,my point here is this - While some tabs cannot be trusted,other tabs sound right but are technically played incorrectly.I'm not complaining for the fact that I want to played exactly 1:1 like a band.But I actually find that playing through tabs like the SMBH ones,which are incorrect,tend to result in abit of straining on your part - Believe me,I tried to play up to speed with the song,and I find it like a stretching exercise instead of playing a song when the tab is all single notes.This leads me to believe that tabs are actually more of a "cheat sheet".You get the sound you want,but it's done in a "cheap" fashion.

    So what are your views about tabs?Are they ever trustworthy?Are there tabs that you have seen that are perfectly correct and no need improvisation on your part(For all the songs I've learnt through tabs,I needed to correct something at some point)?

  2. #2

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    use them as a guideline, modify if necessary

  3. #3

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    Not only are 95% of tabs wrong, they hinder the learning process of a guitarist. IMO.

    I think they are pretty good for people just starting out. But sooner or later, you MUST learn to play by ear. Listening hard makes you rmb certain licks, scales and that translates to muscle memory. Some people use tabs all the time. Worst are those who don't even listen to the song before attempting to learn it, so he can play something totally off thinking its correct.

    I never thought it'll happen for me, but I learn EVERY song by ear now, including solos.

    Avoiding tabs is healthy and a it really helps when you force yourself to listen

  4. #4

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    Sir you said that the sound was right but its been played at a different position which requires stretching and that is not the way the guitarist played it .
    So this means that the notes are correct but it is being played using a different fingering, so what you have to do now is to find the correct fingering and you can only do this if you know the notes on the fretboard
    My band is for hire!! Check out our youtube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/thezigzagsbandCall me at 82240785 for guitar lessons @ $100/mth

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by bReakOuT! View Post
    I have come to realize that more half the time,the tabs there can NOT be trusted.
    I think you answered your own question.

    There are programs out there for slowing down songs without changing pitch. You can use that if you cant figure it out at full speed. Also good for practice.
    (:

  6. #6

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    Wow. All your answers so long and in depth.

    I a bit stupid la huh, but all I can say is USE YOUR EARS AND BRAIN.

    Location: Top right of your screen.

  7. #7

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    If u noe some theory,

    if u noe the key of the song u can figure out the song urself

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by dudelove View Post
    Not only are 95% of tabs wrong, they hinder the learning process of a guitarist. IMO.

    I think they are pretty good for people just starting out. But sooner or later, you MUST learn to play by ear. Listening hard makes you rmb certain licks, scales and that translates to muscle memory. Some people use tabs all the time. Worst are those who don't even listen to the song before attempting to learn it, so he can play something totally off thinking its correct.

    I never thought it'll happen for me, but I learn EVERY song by ear now, including solos.

    Avoiding tabs is healthy and a it really helps when you force yourself to listen
    See,actually I heard of this transcribing thing...I think that's what you mean by learning how to play by ear right.But,really.How do I know what to play just by ear?

    Abit noob here.I've only held on to a guitar for like 1 month.

  9. #9

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    Here's My View:

    Last time when i was still a beginner, i always thought wow those ppl who tabs out songs for us are gods! especially when they say they are tabbed by EAR.
    actually it basically means that u remember the melody then try playing it out in a key...
    then bring it around different keys to see which one fits.

    its theory,
    lets say u've got a special door lock that is coded red. only red keys can fit.

    u've got (24x6) keys ( notes on fretboard ) which is 144 notes.

    if u got all uncoded keys u've got to try to open the door with 144 keys! (notes to the melody)

    if u noe some theory. its like having coded keys.

    u've got 12 red ones, 12 green, 12 blue, 12 black etc.....

    which means u've narrowed down the key choices which makes it easier to find the melody which is By EAR...

    Hope this helps! btw i'm still learning so dun expect much haha
    this is what i noe!


    MusicPebbles
    Last edited by MusicPebbles; 15-12-09 at 09:08 PM. Reason: spelling mistakes ;)

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by bReakOuT! View Post
    See,actually I heard of this transcribing thing...I think that's what you mean by learning how to play by ear right.But,really.How do I know what to play just by ear?

    Abit noob here.I've only held on to a guitar for like 1 month.
    Its hard to be honest.. I only started learning everything by ear about 1 and a half years of playing.

    For single note riffs, like for example, crazy train, that can be learnt by ear. Like you hear the first note, then find where it is on the fretboard, 2nd note, 3rd note so on so forth. Or best is you can remember the tune and try to figure it out on the fretboard. Its as simple as listening to the note and playing the right note. Later on you'll be able to listen out for technique, such as bending, muting and stuff.

    As for chords, solos, these take time and experience. And a good knowledge of scales too. Sometimes I can listen to a really fast (not shred) solo and I can simply tab it out in my mind, thats because I already know these scales by heart and the solo is just a variation of the scale. Also these licks are all part of my vocabulary so I recognize many upon hearing.

    You're just beginning so take things very slowly, tabs are fine if you really do not know where to start. You just need to be attentive to what you play. Play along with the song, thats very important. You can tell when you're playing that you might sound abit different from the mp3, thats when you know the tabs and the way you have learnt is wrong. Srutinize your playing, and settle for nothing but perfection. It really helps.

    Later on, when you start concentrating on technique and scales, learning by ear will be much easier.

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