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Old 12-23-2013, 04:20 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Another Tabbing thread, help me


me again... Quick question, how do you guys tab out chords... Ive recently realized that I can almost always pick out the bass notes, and the I chord, and often time i can sing/tab the solo, be it guitar or vocal melody. But im AWFUL at tabbing harmony's, it makes me think I oughta drop my guitar and find a bass...

My process is generally to put on my headphones, and play notes till im convinced they sound right... The problem is.. say the chords are 577600 244200 057600, Ill come up with A, F#m/C#, D. But some other guy will tab it out just perfect, I never think to come up with something like D/C# or nonsense like that, partly because those are well outside my sphere of knowledge, and partly because if i try to listen and then play, almost anything sounds right... but when i play over the song, so long as i have the bass note right, the rest of it sounds ok as well... When they starting throwing the 7th or the 2nd in the bass, well... im screwed

Few days ago, i started getting the I and V chords right almost every time, thought id made a breakthrough, only to realize it was fools gold In any event, ive realized where im weakest so, thought maybe someone could help. Ive played pretty much every kind of chord though, I mean if i wake up and play a dom7 chord, ill know it, but you through it a song, and it might just sound like a major quality to me or whatever. During a song i find that kind of think impossible to get right

Any advice?
blunderwonder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2013, 05:58 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Sounds like you're on the right track seeing as you mention the I and the V chord. Check out some of my work, and you'll see that underlying any of the details is the number system you refer to. I first identify the key and listen for anything specific as to tuning; do I hear open strings? are they within the basic chords CAGED? if it's a non open chord key like Bb or Eb, do I hear any specific open chord voicings that would indicate to me that a Capo is being used?

Once I settle on a key, Capo'd or not, I use the major scale or it's relative minor to name the chords and their roots: I iim iiim IV V vim for example in G they would be: G Am Bm C D Em. 90% of the song is going to use these chords as they are or with little nuances like either suspended chords, 7ths, 6th, add9ths etc. and it sounds like you wouldn't have much problem identifying the notes. Studying harmony will help you name them properly (descriptively)

Unusual chords will sound like an anomaly so trust yourself; does it sound 'brighter'? then there's probably a note within the chord that is raised from what it's supposed to be in the key. Inverted chords like D/F# or G/B etc are usually for bass note voice leading and so are usually sandwiched between chords in the same key in a progression like: G D/F# Em or C G/B Am.

The more you transcribe using the science of music WITH your ear, the easier it will become. Education PLUS experience. And, if you're anything like me, you'll still make mistakes so play things over and update your transcription when you're wrong

Good luck!!
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