#1
Hello,

First of all, I am sorry if this is the wrong subforum for this, I find the different boards here rather confusing.

I am teaching myself to play classical guitar for almost two years now and what has been bothering me for some time now is this: I am quite good at reading sheet music but I can't really figure out how to play tabs. I know how to read them in theory, but I find it really hard to figure out the exact fingerpicking for any song. It kind of feels like you need an entirely different technique to play after tabs.
I have been wondering if this gets any better over time - maybe I've just been picking songs that are still too difficult for me? Or does it take its own practise to figure out tabs?

As you can see I don't really understand much about the theory yet, so I hope you can help me.

Cheers.
#2
I know in some of the more detailed tabs or beginner/teaching tabs for classical music it actually have the p-i-m-a notation. Although, I hiccup with sheet music for guitar I feel that it is a bit easier than tablature (especially for classical & jazz) simply because sheet music easily tells you the rhythm of what you're playing.

Both do get easier over time! The important part is breaking down the music in sizable chunks (ie a bar or two at a time) then progress from there.

I still remember all too clearly m first experience being in a jazz band and getting thrown hand written sheet music for a piece....and totally blanking out trying to follow along xD

Check out simpler arrangements of classical guitar pieces and try to start from there (ie Greensleeves, Romance, Andatino in C etc.)
~Vince~
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#3
I mostly use sheet music for composing or learning a piece and use tabs for the original position in the fretboard.
Quote by chookiecookie
Go penis them

hard
#4
I personally prefer tab because you can much easier and quicker, find the original position of the riff. If you have trouble, get Ultimate Guitar tab for IPHONE OR IPOD, ipad you will have to pay, and when you play it, it is played in the right speed, and even has some variation of showing eighth and sixteenth notes.
#5
Tabs are simplified sheet music. If you don't have deep writing knowledge, as most of the people, it is nearly impossible. They prefer playing what the tab says, figuring out the finger position and then, catch the rhythm by listening to the song.

Tabs are "how to be a bad musician 101"
#7
if a musician doesn't have clear the rhythm, is almost worth nothing. Strumming may work for some. Not for me
Last edited by Diego Carnero at Apr 30, 2015,
#8
Quote by Diego Carnero
if a musician doesn't have clear the rhythm, is almost worth nothing. Strumming chords may work for some. Not for me


Every song I've learned in the last eight years via tab has included the rhythm. Maybe I've just gotten used to the idea of it being there since I never look at simple text based tabs online, but every Guitar Pro file includes rhythm notation on tablature, and every tab book includes rhythm via placing the traditional notation just above the tabs.
#11
Quote by Diego Carnero
Tabs only are the worst. Complement tabs with sheet music is the best option

+1

I feel in this case though, it's easier to access full classical sheet music vs full classical pieces that are tabbed out. At least IME
~Vince~
Fender MIM Telecaster ('06) [Modded]
PRS S2 Custom 24 ('13) [Modded]
Squier Affinity Fat Strat [Modded]
Yamaha F310

Mesa/Boogie Lonestar 1x12 Combo
Mesa/Boogie Mark V:25

SD Vapor Trail
Xotic SL Drive
Xotic BB Preamp
Boss BD-2
Boss DS-1 [MonteAllums]
MXR 10-Band EQ
#12
Sheet music is for musicians. Tab is for only guitar players. I think some preference for either will stem from where you started. Im self taught guitar player. Self taught tabs. cant read sheet to save my life, so i think you know where i stand. Both have their place. As for learning/ playing, some tabs are put together well but most i find you have to figure out yourself - play along with song or what have you. If its an original song (ie; cant listen to it), texts tabs arent going to help much. I usually go through and mark the chord changes and put a progression together to help me 'see' it but your really just taking shots in the dark.

as others have mentioned GP and PT tabs or similar are accompanied by sheet music, so may want to stick with these versions. Most programs/ players you need to pay for but i find these are well worth it for the costs.
#13
If u can read sheet music there is no reason to learn tabs.
There are videos on u tube on how to read tabs
#14
Quote by Tazz3
If u can read sheet music there is no reason to learn tabs.
There are videos on u tube on how to read tabs


The thing is, I'd like to be able to play both; some songs I like are only to be found in tab notation, e.g. video game cover songs.

I think these replies already kind of helped me understand my problem a little bit more; I will start with simpler tabs and practise to read them well. I also noticed, that, as my ability to read sheet music grows, so does my tab-reading, even if just a little.
#15
Quote by Macabre_Turtle
This is ridiculously untrue.


Yep. Some people seem to be getting "tab" confused with "knows no theory and doesn't know what chords/notes they are playing". Obviously that is true for some people, but you can certainly learn a lot of music theory and apply it to the guitar without ever learning how to read/write in standard notation. You could learn a lot without knowing how to read tabs OR notation actually, if you just use your EARS. That's how a lot of guitarists learned to play up until a couple decades ago actually. I remember interviews with Paul Mccartney saying most of the stuff they learned was just by listening to and copying their favorite artists, or talking to other local musicians and basically "trading" chords they knew with each other.

I've dabbled a bit with keyboard/piano and used to play barritone horn in my school years, both of which used standard notation. For both of those instruments I can't imagine any other way of writing down the songs, particularly the piano where every single note corresponds to a different physical place on the piano.

Guitar isn't like that though. You can play the same note in a lot of different places on the guitar so standard notation is missing that information. Tabs simplify that part by telling you exactly where on the guitar to play those notes. The big downsides to tabs are the lack of rhythm information (which guitar pro/powertab solves, or again using your ears if it's a cover song) and the fact that those numbers written on the tab don't tell you which note(s) you are playing (but if you learn the fretboard you should know anyway).

Really it just comes down to preference and what you are used to more than anything, and what is available for the genres of music you play. You just have to realize neither tabs or standard notation are giving you all of the information you need, so either way you'll have to figure out some stuff on your own.
Last edited by bptrav at May 18, 2015,