First off ... great site and many thanks to all involved.

I have been learning for 6months now, which classifies me firmly as a beginner of course. My guitar tutor gave me Tracy Chapman - Fast Car to learn, and the tabs for this have been really helpful. But with finger picking the tabs are very "exact", i.e. it gives you all the info you need pretty much. And its been a joy to learn, I think i have pretty much got it now.

However ... for strumming pattern tabs it "only" contains the chords but not really anything on the rhythm. For example I learnt Brown Eyed Girl and Wonderwall from YouTube and they write out the strumming pattern on the screen as a sequence of "U" and "D" letters with appropriate spacing. For a beginner like me its very helpful.

Obviously many people put a lto of effort into submitting tabs onto the site and its much appreciated. So there is absolutely no criticism here, Just wondering is there a reason why rhythm is not added as part of the tabs?

Listening at normal speed and trial and error probably the best solution and if I was 10 years younger and much less busier I would defeintiely do that. Unfortuneately i started to learn far too late have very limited practice time due to various reasons (i.e. the wife :-).

An alternative I was thinking is software that will slow down MP3's and maybe even make an attempt at muting the vocals. I am trying to find some, but any reccomendations appreciated.

Anything else?
Guitar Pro. The tabs have the strumming and you can hear and see the rhythm at the same time. You can get GP tabs for virtually all songs, and the program isn't too expensive.


I'm checking out GP6 now, it looks awesome! I've only been using GP5 but this looks awesome. I'm upgrading for sure.
Last edited by NOSPI at Jun 21, 2010,
It's not that hard to get the rhythm just by listening to the song. If you slow it down, it will only make it harder for you. I find that the best way to get the rhythm is just listening to the song and moving your hand up and down (to the beat of the song), so you know when they do an upstroke and when they do the downstroke. Basically, it's a matter of practice, in a month or so you'll be able to get almost every song by yourself. In the long run, it is worth the practice needed to get it down.

edit: Guitar Pro usually sounds terrible on strumming parts of the song and you can't hear the difference between downstroke and an upstroke. Also, no groove and no feeling for the rhythm.
Last edited by -Rodion- at Jun 21, 2010,
Thanks for the responses. I take your point on learning by listening at normal speed. Its a little daunting and its not laziness that I don;t learn by listening. More a combination of lack of confidence and also i like to learn things from "exact" specifications rather than vague ones.

I guess i better bite the bullet and try. Maybe best first steps is to do it with my guitar tutors help. For fast car he was using a cd player that slowed down the music.

After a quick series of searches found this:


Might try one of the demo's and see if it helps.
Windows Media Player can slow down the music to half speed. Audacity (free) can slow it down as much as you want to.
If you keep practicing, you'll suddenly realize one day that you're able to do it by yourself without any difficulties...