im curious. im a new guitarist (only about a year and half experience) and have been trying to expand my musicianship by learning by ear as often as i can. this usually means i'll read a tab or use guitarpro to learn a song, but when i see somethign is wrong, i'll edit it myself to something i feel fits and sounds better.

my current thought is that is using guitar pro or tabs cheating? i mean with guitar pro it is all there for you. you dont have to do much work beyond just playign the song (at a slower speed than going up to normal or w/e). a tab you have to still listen to the song and figure out the melody and rhythm and what not THEN bring it up to speed.

Do you learn the song where you play it correctly, cleanly, and consistently?

If the answer is yes, then you aren't cheating.
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Yeah, it doesn't matter how you learn songs. But if you use your ears, it also trains your ears. I don't see the point of regular tabs. If I'm going to use tabs, I use Power Tab or Guitar Pro. But most of the time I make my own tabs or just listen to the song and figure it out without the help of tabs.

But if you just want to learn the song, of course it's best to do the easiest way. For me the easiest way is not to read a tab. I'm better at listening to the song and figuring it out by myself. Because many times tabs just have mistakes that I need to correct so I really end up listening to the song. Also IMO rhythms are a lot easier to figure out by listening to the song. You can't really cheat in music.
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No using tabs isn't cheating in any way, but it comes a day when your ears develop and you realize the tabs you're using aren't as accurate as you first thought. You find mistakes, you can hear that some notes are off in a solo etc - and at that point, you might as well start transcribing it yourself and learning the songs by ear. Unless you have really good memory, you'll want to write it down - and for me that's how my own first tabs were made.

Tabs for guitar, in functionality, is extremely similar to sheet music, it's just easier to understand and usually a better alternative; because with just sheet music you don't really know which strings to play in many situations and a lot of things will be less obvious.
As for GP vs regular tab, it's just better and more efficient. Tabs you have to do more work yourself (set up metronome, make/realize proper note durations/etc if needed) but in the end it's pretty much the same thing.
Guitar Pro seems really good for learning to read sheet music too. It's useful for me because if I can't get the rhythm by seeing the tab and hearing the playback, I can just look at the other stuff with "proper" notation. Helps me count out rhythms when I can see it.
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Why would you spend tens of thousands of dollars to learn about a language you already speak? It was over before it even started dude

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brot pls
How is using any learning tool available to you cheating? This isn't math class and if it was, you would be saying its wrong to use a calculator to solve complex derivatives. If you want to learn a skill your cheating yourself by not using it, if it helps you learn and grow as a player. Consider tab or GP/ PT programs the same as a guitar teacher. They're there to teach and for you to learn. Everyone learns differently and if you can play by ear, great!! if not, you have options available to you. There are many paths to greatness.
Tabs are also a powerful tool for your own music as well. I haven't learned a cover is years, but I use GP all the time for my band's music. It's handy for practice, for remembering, and even tweaking the song.

Embrace every tool at your disposal. It's what you do with your guitar that makes the difference. As long as you aren't blatantly stealing other people's material, you can't really cheat when learning to play guitar.
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