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notes versus tablature

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GUEST,amergin 29 May 03 - 04:53 PM
NicoleC 29 May 03 - 05:28 PM
Burke 29 May 03 - 06:48 PM
Don Firth 29 May 03 - 09:59 PM
PoppaGator 30 May 03 - 01:45 AM
Steve Parkes 30 May 03 - 10:24 AM
Kudzuman 30 May 03 - 10:30 AM
Gypsy 30 May 03 - 11:29 AM
Susanl 30 May 03 - 12:29 PM
KateG 30 May 03 - 01:07 PM
alanabit 30 May 03 - 02:40 PM
M.Ted 30 May 03 - 04:20 PM
GUEST,Martin gibson 30 May 03 - 05:02 PM
MMario 30 May 03 - 05:07 PM
GUEST,Martin gibson 30 May 03 - 05:14 PM
Frankham 30 May 03 - 07:41 PM
Booster Terrik 19 Jun 03 - 05:56 PM
dick greenhaus 19 Jun 03 - 09:48 PM
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Subject: BS: notes versus tablature
From: GUEST,amergin
Date: 29 May 03 - 04:53 PM

Well, I am just curious on other people's views and thoughts on this...a few months ago I started learning an instrument...and have discovered why I couldn't figure that one out on my own...though i have plenty of songbooks with tablature in them....but no notes...and though I have been told it is an easy enough instrument I couldn't figure it out...I kept trying to count the number of frets on my dulcimer...it didn't work real well...

also at that time I could not read music...now I can...and looking at a note...a-b-c sharp-then low d...I can figure it out by the feel of the frets...or just by glancing at the instrument...in fact learning the notes has opened a large doorway for me...and because of that I think i can figure out more tunes all by my lonesome...also it seems that the notes are fuller sounding (if that makes any sense) than the tabs...half note quarter note....

what have been your findings in this magical world of music (?) making? which have you found easier to play?


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Subject: RE: notes versus tablature
From: NicoleC
Date: 29 May 03 - 05:28 PM

Dots are certainly more versatile, can more explicitly define a tune, can be applied to other instruments, there's more music available, and it helps you play with a wider variety of other players. Reading dots also imparts an informal, unconscious understanding of scales and theory that I don't think tab really does for most people.

However, tab can be a quick and dirty way to pick up a tune, because you CAN count frets to figure it out, without mucking about with the key signature and is-that-a-half-step-or-a-whole-step. Then some folks just think better with a picture. And for some folks, I think tab helps them make the tune their own because they HAVE to guess at some of the phrasing.

But guitar tab only works on a guitar, and if you're playing the mandolin you have to find different tab for THAT.

If you are comfortable reading the dots, count your blessings. The best of options seems to be to learn both, and I think tab will make more sense to you as your skills develop. I think dots -> tab is a much easier learning transition for most than tab -> dots.


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Subject: RE: notes versus tablature
From: Burke
Date: 29 May 03 - 06:48 PM

I'm a beginning banjo player. Ideally for learning I want tabs, notes and a sound recording of what I'm learning to play. So far the tabs show pull-offs, hammer ons & other information that does not come through on the sheet music. The notes give me an idea of where the tune is going. The recording tells me what I really want to sound like.

Hopefully as I progress, I can work out my own way to play from the notes when tabs & recordings aren't available.


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Subject: RE: notes versus tablature
From: Don Firth
Date: 29 May 03 - 09:59 PM

Burke, properly notated music would show hammer-ons and pull-offs as slurs.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: notes versus tablature
From: PoppaGator
Date: 30 May 03 - 01:45 AM

The tablature I learned from in the mid-60s (Stephan Grossman books, other Oak Publications) showed time quite clearly, in the exact same manner as standard sheet music (quarter-notes, eigths, halves, etc.) Nowadays, it seems that much of the tablature I see -- printed off the internet -- is cruder, just showing the tones (string/fret intersections) but not showing the timing, at least not very clearly.

I think this is mostly due to the difficulties of building little grid-type diagrams out of compuer keystrokes, but as more and more people get more and more familar and comfortable with this cruder form of tab, the finer approach is being forgotten. By the time we develop the technical tools to easily produce better tabs on our PCs, we may have forgotten how to do so (or forgotten that there ever was such a thing).

When I was young, energetic, and single-minded, I could learn a tune from tab without listening as I went along. (I doubt that I ever learned a song I had *never* heard, but I could work from a relatively distant memory.) Nowadays, I can't make sense out of tablature without careful, measure-by-measure listening. Must be old-timer's disease.


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Subject: RE: notes versus tablature
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 30 May 03 - 10:24 AM

For a professional-looking Tab with music notation and sound, there's TablEdit: see this thread for a link.

Steve


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Subject: RE: notes versus tablature
From: Kudzuman
Date: 30 May 03 - 10:30 AM

I'm with Steve on this one. I use Tabledit all the time and it is a Tab making machine. Not the best thing for pure notation, but it does show the notes as well. As far as learning, I believe it best to learn both notes and Tab. Notes let you pick up any type of music and go "Ah, I see. That's how it goes!"

Kudzuman


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Subject: RE: notes versus tablature
From: Gypsy
Date: 30 May 03 - 11:29 AM

'ats right. Tab is only useful for the instrument that it was written for,and if you can find it. (yeah right, just try to find a large amount of hammer dulcimer tab!) I'll stick with the tadpoles.......lots more universal, cross the language barrier, and you can share with the others in your group.


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Subject: RE: notes versus tablature
From: Susanl
Date: 30 May 03 - 12:29 PM

I've never seen tab with time indicated that PoppaGator describes. I wish they hadn't stopped doing that. The thing I really dislike about tab is that it doesn't seem to indicate rhythm. The best thing about sheet music is that you can pick it up and play it without ever having heard the tune. Tab without rhythm doesn't let you do that. You need a recording to go with it. A couple of times, I've seen tunes written both ways on the same page and I like that because it gives fingerings separately. When I used to play classical guitar, the fingerings were written on the sheet music and it took some wading through just because it made for a very cluttered page.

I definitely prefer sheet music over no-rhythm tab. I'm glad tab exists though because a lot of people are intimidated at the thought of learning to read music and tab provides them with at least some kind of system of notation.


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Subject: RE: notes versus tablature
From: KateG
Date: 30 May 03 - 01:07 PM

As a mt. dulcimer player who reads music, my preference is for both. I find I can't get a feel for a new and unknown tune just by looking at the tab...too much information about phrasing and rhythm is lost, even with good-quality tab. On the other hand, music alone doesn't convey the arrangement and playing quirks as well as tab does.

Same goes for the guitar. For years I just played chords and strummed, so all I needed was the melody and the chord name. Now that I'm trying to learn fingerstyle, I'm grateful for tab...although I'm also working with a classical instruction book to learn to play music without tab.


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Subject: RE: notes versus tablature
From: alanabit
Date: 30 May 03 - 02:40 PM

Î much prefer notes. The trouble with Tab is that it only shows you where to play the notes. It doesn't tell you precisely what the music is. I use those Stephan Grossman books too. Occasionally I cheat and look over at the Tab to see a position if I am either thinking slowly (that happens) or if I am feeling too lazy to work it out. However, I always read the notes until my fingers start playing the piece by themselves. When it comes to blues and ragtime however, neither notes nor Tab are much use on their own without the recordings. I have not yet seen an example of either which captures the syncopation of Big Bill Broonzy or Blind Blake. One thing which sometimes works for me is to learn a piece from the notes before I hear a recording. Then by the time I hear the original, my version already has a little of me in it before I try to do it properly. Interesting thread.


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Subject: RE: notes versus tablature
From: M.Ted
Date: 30 May 03 - 04:20 PM

I never much cared for tab, since I generally want to do my own arrangment of a tune anyway--also, if I hear a recording, I can generally play something--the stuff I can't manage is rarely in tab, anyway--


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Subject: RE: notes versus tablature
From: GUEST,Martin gibson
Date: 30 May 03 - 05:02 PM

I have no use for tab.

But I can see where someone who is deaf would.

I've learned guitar, banjo, and bass by using my ears.

Don't have orcare much for electronic tuning machines, either.


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Subject: RE: notes versus tablature
From: MMario
Date: 30 May 03 - 05:07 PM

it must be great to be perfect!


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Subject: RE: notes versus tablature
From: GUEST,Martin gibson
Date: 30 May 03 - 05:14 PM

Yes, it feels wonderful to be blessed with gifts I am lucky to have. Wish you could share in my joy.


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Subject: RE: notes versus tablature
From: Frankham
Date: 30 May 03 - 07:41 PM

Amergin,
Tab shows you where to put your fingers and what strings to play.

Musical notation shows you the musical idea that's conveyed.

The first is mechanical.

The second is musical.

Tab is good if you need to know how someone plays the music.
Notation is good if you want to interpret on paper what's being played.

IMHO the best thing in folk music is learn it both ways and then throw all the paper away.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: notes versus tablature
From: Booster Terrik
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 05:56 PM

I learned how to sing in school. o when I picked up my M. Dulcimer I started with tab to learn with. I have moved to notes and chords for most of my music.

Tab is not bad but not good either.

Booster


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Subject: RE: notes versus tablature
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 19 Jun 03 - 09:48 PM

Aw c'mon fellers--
dots are nothing but tab for a keyboard instrument.


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