How To Write A TOP Rated Tab

author: Martin Messner date: 08/06/2010 category: the basics
rating: 8 / votes: 4 
Hey dear guitarists on ultimate-guitar, In this lesson I want to briefly repeat the basics of writing a tab and how you can improve your tab quality by checking it for different aspects: And here's the first and most important information: You don't write tabs for the sake of good rating (even if the title says something different). The rating is just the reflection of your work, so just concentrate on the song & your tab and good ratings will come automatically! ... Very briefly: What is a Tab? A tab is an alternative notation of a melody. You have 6 lines of "dashes" which represent the 6 Strings on your guitar. The letter ahead of the line marks which tuning this string has. Normally you will find 4 basic tunings:
E,A,D,G,B,e (E- Standard) --> used everywhere, because it's the regular tuning
D,A,D,G,B,e (Drop D)      --> mainly used in modern stuff / rock
D,G,C,F,A,d (D- Standard) --> mainly used in music harder than pop
C,G,C,F,A,d (Drop C)      --> mainly used in metal
The lowest line represents the lowest string which is the closest to you (the thickest, too).
e|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
D|-----5-7-8-----------------------------------------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
The number on the lines tell the guitarist what fret he has to play. In this case, he plays the 5th, 7th, 8th fret on the D string. ... How to start with a tab Every kind of music and even every song has different musical ideas. Some songs are just a bunch of different melodies (e.g. Deichkind - Aufstand im Schlaraffenland) some other songs' main sound consists of chords (e.g. most of the Pop/Rock area) but most of the songs are a combination of both. So there is no "right way" to start a tab. I recommend starting with the main melody or -if you are a little more advanced- start with the chords. Knowing the basics of scales you should get all the information you need. ... When you reach this point, you should know all the melodies and harmonies of the song! Now, you have to get the tab into the right style. ultimate-guitar has a certain standard which should be used by all tabbers. The reason is, that every tab should at least have to same head and tab style to facilitate the reading of the real content: Guitar tabs template Bass tabs template ... What follows is a little list of things you should check: a) is the head right? - "SONG NAME - Band Name" and not the other way around! - Is my name and email correct? - Maybe the youtube link for showing which version you took (!) - Did I mention the tuning? b) Is the tab complete? - Did I really mention all important parts of a song? (including intro, solo, outro, bridges and some variations of parts) - Is there a quiet instrument I forgot? (listen closely to soft basses, flutes and synth melodys which are not always easy to hear) c) Is the tab correct? - Is Melody XY correct? - Are the chords right? - Are there other chords which could be played to? (take your time and listen to the song again and again. Always play an other instrument to check if the notation is correct) d) lyrics (I recommend including lyrics in 80% of all cases. I personally love it when I print the tab and the lyrics on one single sheet of paper. It saves me time and trouble to google lyrics myself and check them through before meeting my friend at the riverside for chilling with my guitar) - Are the lyrics correct? - Is the spelling acceptable? e) Problems and hints - Are there any difficult parts in it? If yes, is there an easier way to play them (always keep in mind that other guitarists might have higher or lower skill levels) - again: is the difficult part correct and detailed? - If the reader were my friend, what else would I tell him about this notation? - Can the reader imagine the rhythm? (make longer dash strings after a long note, make only one or two dashes behind a short note) - tip: use double tab lines!
e|-------------------------------------------------------------------------||
B|-------------------------------------------------------------------------||
G|-------------------------------------------------------------------------||
D|-------------------------------------------------------------------------||
A|-------------------------------------------------------------------------||
E|-------------------------------------------------------------------------||
                                                                            |
e|-------------------------------------------------------------------------||
B|-------------------------------------------------------------------------||
G|-------------------------------------------------------------------------||
D|-------------------------------------------------------------------------||
A|-------------------------------------------------------------------------||
E|-------------------------------------------------------------------------||
So you make the combination of both melodies/harmonies easier to understand.! And final question: Are you satisfied with your work? If yes, well done: You obviously wrote a good tab! It doesn't matter if you are a beginner or a pro guitarist, just go as much into detail as you can so you get better and your tab gets really good, too - even if you are a beginner! :) ... Because I don't like all this copy and pasting, those hours of hammering on "-" or " " i wrote a little tool which is really helpful. You just enter your Name and email once and save it. The program will reload your name and email the next time automatically. By entering song, artist and perhaps a youtube link, and selecting the tuning, the program writes the head for you. After that, you can add different tab lines to make your tab as perfect as needed. (Ctrl + N / D / S / P for normal, double, shorty and portion tab- just try it) I also gave you the possibility to write 3 texts (urtext.txt files) which can be added to the tab by just hitting F1,F2,F3. So you can e.g. paste your favorite ASCII or just a standard note to every tab! (see "shortcuts" on top of the program for really fast tab writing!) I hope it helps you as much as I helps me ZYABLA^HUYABLA and I would be pleased if I got a feedback concerning bugs, suggestions or simply a "thank you" ;) Download Have a wonderful day ;D your Martin Messner
More Martin Messner lessons:
+ Aspects About Lyrics 3 Songwriting & Lyrics 12/20/2010
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+ More Exercises 2 Guitar Techniques 12/07/2010
+ Aspects About Lyrics 1 Songwriting & Lyrics 12/06/2010
+ The Second Lesson: Improvising Soloing 09/22/2010
+ Easy Trick For Advanced Rhythms Guitar Techniques 08/30/2010
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