Thank You UG Community, You Helped Us Unblock 700 Tabs, Join the Campaign to Unblock More!

Bruce Springsteen and Protest the Hero tabs are online!

Ultimate Guitar

Here's a little piece of awesome news for today - thanks to the efforts of UG community, we have managed to unlock 700 tabs, including Bruce Springsteen, Protest the Hero, and Sufjan Stevens songs.

A little backstory - the whole thing recently began as we silently launched an unblocking campaign, inciting you folks to drop a line to publishers about why you'd like them to stop blocking the damn tabs.

Here's an example.

Anyhow, the outcome so far is awesome - you guys have sent 1908 messages, resulting in 302 songs being unblocked, freeing over 700 tabs in total.

Apart from a big thank you to everyone who participated, we'd like to invite all you kind ladies and gents to join the cause and help us unblock even more tabs.

Here's a list of some of the artists that we wouldn't mind freeing, and some of which are already partially free (visit each of the links to send a message if you're up for it):

Rage Against the Machine
Guthrie Govan
Jeff Loomis
Kiko Loureiro
Bob Seger
Zakk Wylde Journey Needtobreathe

Finally, here's an extra special thanks to users who helped us unlock the latest batch:

Sufjan Stevens Tab Liberators


ohvotrecoeur cuentaparalatar annuit

Bruce Springsteen Tab Liberators

DuhSkwerl mousie4550991 KellyGreen

80 comments sorted by best / new / date

    If the tab was made "by ear", without transcripting from a songbook, is not allowed? This is in the tab rules of this site, right? Why these artirts would be against it? It's a free/amateur version. Right?
    Come to think of it, it is kinda fucked up. You can't write down what you hear in numbers on a website
    No idea but since they sell tab books I think they have the right to not allow anyone to share publicly tabs from their songs. I THINK.
    Aren't like 90% of tab books done by ear from 3rd parties also?
    Yes, but the people transcribing the songs are professionals, and the publishing companies have deals with the record companies, which pays the band, or at least the record company, for the rights to publish the music in a written format. When a printed version of written music is transcribed, and edited, by professionals who are extremely accurate, and published in cooperation with the copyright holders of the music itself, it amounts to the same thing as the album on CD. It's the music. Readable, rather than listenable, but the music all the same. But yeah, I don't see why some artists have this kind of crackdown on amateur tabs on sites like this. Which is why I really doubt that it's often the artist's decision. Probably record company lawyers, and who the hell knows what kind of logic they use?
    That's not always the case though, some tab books are quite wrong. Hell, I have an AC/DC tab book that gets lots of stuff wrong despite it (supposedly) being simple music.
    Looks like we must rage against Rage Against the Machine's machine.
    The fact that of all bands Rage blocks tabs is the biggest irony and hypocrisy of them all! Rage Against The Machine... unless we feel that we could profit of of it and then we'll suckle at the machines fallic looking teet. So disappointing.
    I kinda doubt it's their call. Probably some sort of legal decision made the record company's lawyers.
    The funny part is that the tabs are all on the internet anyway and the official books can be torrented (not condoning just saying). The ONLY thing a musician/band accomplishes by blocking tabs on a site that actually listens to them is to look like dickheads. I promise that the official books are being torrented just out of spite (and if you don't have books and still block you are the biggest asshole in music).
    Captain! Name of website to find such torrents? Having trouble myself... For research purposes of course...
    Not even gonna lie, I've got a huge collection of pdf tab books (to be fair, a few of them were actually purchased). I still have an almost unhealthily huge collection of physical, purchased tab books, though.
    The PTH tabs were liberated after I made a forum mod aware that they were blocked after a miscommunication and PTH, who owned their own rights, never actually wanted them pulled. I'm taking credit for that one.
    Thanks! But also, if you really want to learn their stuff properly too, the guitarists of PTH also have their own publishing company, Sheet Happens Publishing, that prints tab books for PTH's stuff along with many other great bands. Their book for "Volition" is nothing short of great! And their books are made very lovingly. I mean, go ahead and view their tabs on UG, but if you can drop some coin on a tab book, Sheet Happens is a really great company to support!
    I'm a proud owner of many tab books from Sheet Happens (Kezia, Fortress, Scurrilous, Volition, Volition - bass, Volition - drums, Juggernaut: Alpha, Juggernaut: Omega, and Digital Veil). I should mention though, that the books for Kezia and Fortress are crap. I don't know if people should support those... but definitely buy books from these guys!
    Crap how? Just curious because I was thinking of buying the Fortress one eventually. But I've got the Volition book along with Pomegranate Tiger's "Entities" (which I bought at a PTH/PT show last year) and Native Construct's "Quiet World" as physical books, and The Safety Fire's "Mouth Of Swords" and Intervals' "A Voice Within" in digital format, and they did a wonderful job with all of them. If anything, the award for "worst self-released tab book" in my eyes goes to Scale The Summit for "Carving Desert Canyons". I've been penciling in corrections in my copy for a while now. Not that they're blatantly awful tabs, better than a lot of the ones the UG locals would come up with, just, I could have done a better job of them myself, and I didn't even write the damn songs. Just a lot of little details missing and some wrong notes and confusing articulations of notes.
    They were the first two books Sheet Happens did, and by the looks of, Luke and Timmy both A) Never bothered to listen to the songs they forgot how to play and refresh their memories, and B) Never bothered hitting the play button on Guitar Pro to help spot blatantly obvious mistakes. It's just covered in places where bars are missing, things are typed a string up or down, rhythms aren't even close, notes are blatantly wrong, chords are in the wrong voicing if they're the right chord at all, etc. That said, they did help me spot mistakes from the tabs here. I've found that if you absolutely want to get those songs 100% accurate, the best thing to do is to check the book, check the user tabs, then use your ear to determine which is right (if either is right). Shame, I own all of Scale The Summit's books (including bass books, and exercise books) and I never noticed any mistakes I recall except a couple misprints resulting in things like missing bars or upside down pages. I haven't noticed anything wrong in their notes. But then, I'm not sure if I ever did actually learn more than a couple songs from Carving Desert Canyons to notice.
    Well, even the mistakes in STS's book are minor. It's more than likely that they made a "live arrangement" kind of deal where they notated it as if they'd play it live, or perhaps the original GP files they may have written the songs with left unedited. But there are a few spots where they replaced obvious string bends with slides and such. Actually, most of those are on Travis' lead parts, and Chris probably did the transcriptions himself, so he'd know his parts a lot better than Travis'.
    Now that you mention it, I do recall occasionally noticing the articulation on leads being off when learning STS songs. I guess it never stood out because I usually just use the tabs to memorize the notes, and then I actually practice while listening to the song so I got the actual articulation from listening. Fair enough!
    The fact that RATM is blocked is such bullshit. For being anti-establishment, their record label (or the band themselves) sure is a massive chode.
    Gee Halen
    Music piracy back in the day consisted of stealing music sheets of an orchestra or by making mental notes by ear, but in both cases people would make piano transcriptions of popular pieces that could be played anywhere.
    So does this mean that we're finally getting those balalaika tabs that we are not allowed to ask about in the Site Suggestion subforum?
    Couldn't the tabs still be up but with like fake names for the artists?
    So why exactly are these artists blocked? I got the message for the first time yesterday when I tried to view Audioslave tabs. Whos responsible for this??
    The responsible party is whomever controls publishing rights for a song. That can be a songwriter, performer, record label, a publishing company, or any combination of them. And different entities may control publishing in different regions of the world, which gets weird for web sites that are run in one country but have customers in other countries.
    What if you upload them as Page against the Fax machine or something? Will they still be removed?
    Let it be known that if I ever make it with this music thing and people on UG are hearing it, I'd love to see what you all do with my tunes when you tab it all out! It'd probably be all wrong, but what the fuck, I'd see it as people actually want to learn my songs enough to sit there, figure out each note by ear, and slave away at it, picking it apart, then finally show off their work. Do it enough, and you could gain enough experience to become a professional transcriptionist! I'd love to do that for a living. So I definitely support tabs on UG. It's almost like UG is one of the few sort of places where people show their work frequently and actually put that passion to use. Denying people the opportunity to do that is an affront to everything being a musician stands for. Especially considering the average musician starts as a cover artist, learning other peoples' material rather than working on their own. I know if it weren't for sites like UG, I wouldn't have started playing Rush and Metallica tunes when I was a teenager. So thanks, UG.
    Myself, since I write everything on Guitar Pro 5.2, I'd upload all the tabs on UG myself to make sure everyone can learn every songs properly if they so choose for some reason. Kind of like Rings of Saturn does, but with the bass and drum parts (and more if there are more instruments). Again, this is IF I ever make it in the music industry which, let's be honest, the odds are very much against me lol.
    I'd have official tabs available, but I'd just be so interested in seeing how others interpret my songs. Call it a case of interest.
    Scale the Summit? Although in the case of STS (and some of the smaller, independent bands onthe list) I think it's actually not that bad. They're up and coming and could use a little more income. I'd take that over potentially lesser music to listen to. It's not like I could play their music anyway...
    I also think with STS, people were posting the exact same tabs that the band releases in their official books. I have all of The Migration and The Collective tabs that were being posted here and I guarantee you they match STS's self-released tab books note-for-note, articulation for articulation, etc. Exact copies. That's basically tab piracy, though to be fair there are plenty of tabs on UG that are copied from official books. But STS probably relies on tab book sales almost as much as album sales considering the size of their fanbase.
    Very good point. I think that's the problem with relying on tab book sales for a living. The alternative would be to not release the tab book sales, which would still mean a significant dip in their income. Let's face it, unless you're looking to do ear training, why bother transcribing when you can just upload tabs from tab books?
    Yeah, why would bands want kids to play their music? Only bad things can come of that! Fucking short sighted idiots. I don't understand the logic of blocking tabs, especially if the site is happily willing to pay for them.
    Sum ppl r big cogg suggers about other ppl playing their songs for sum reason, I've met a few jerks early in my gtr days who were like that
    FINALLY Sufjan Stevens tabs are allowed!! Thanks UG community! *grabs guitar*
    cinnamon girl - Neil Young, still fucking blocked! I added a version and they blocked it, best waste of time i ever had.
    I would really like to know which tabs from periphery are blocked, because on first observation I couldn't find any. Also one could probably drop these guys a line on twitter or something. Pretty sure they would respond sooner or later.
    elainemalone912 · Oct 23, 2015 03:25 PM
    Brendon small will not let us use dethklok tabs...look at at his UG AMA
    "I believe it would have been Turner Broadcasting's lawyers who took it down. I'm sure that deep down in your heart you know the tab books weren't ever meant to be free. What kind of business model would that be? However, you can always buy it. And if you can't afford it, you always have your ears - that's free - figure it out! I just played with amazing kids - 10- to 17-year-olds - who nailed the toughest Dethklok stuff by ear. Figuring out by ear just makes you a much more solid musician. Soooorrrry but it's truuueeeee." It doesn't really sound like he's the one blocking the tabs, I'd say it's definitely lawyers and publishers who made the decision. EDIT: Hey, you're the guy who asked the question in that AMA, he called you Complainacan!
    Did you read what you just posted... he claims it wasn't him but goes on to say it helps his business... he's a typical berklee student, incredibly condescending and in it for the money
    There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to earn money from your own hard work. Shut up, Complainacan.
    What is music about to you?
    You are everything that's wrong with music. Yes you should love it blah blah blah. But if you create and people want your creation, that deserves financial transaction. Oh man, I can swear on here now! Shut the fuck up you stupid piece of shit.
    Dude, music is his job. When you go to work, you want to get paid, right? Music is how he makes a living. Just because you ask money for it doesn't mean you don't enjoy it. I mean, you can enjoy your job, but I doubt you would do it for free. You need money to live. Well, of course you can make music for fun (or have some other hobbies), but that also means that you also need to have another job.
    Poopbait, but i'm with the labels on this one. UG directly profits off of tabs (via ads or tabpro). Since they didn't create either the transcription or the original song why are they entitled to profits just for hosting the work of others? If UG was ran more like wikipedia or something I doubt bands or labels would care. /rant
    Hosting tabs requires you to pay royalties to artists, so...
    And lets not talk about the tabs that UG stole off other sites. And before their Mods get all defensive, er yes you have a ton of mine on here under an old name stolen from Harmony central , and abunch of lessons taken from intellectual musician before it's demise. Those sites used to pay me, you just stole them.
    There's yet to be any evidence that UG pays royalties. If artists are upset, the tabs just get blocked.
    That's not true dude. We'll post an article on this soon.
    Well the article was posted, and there's still no evidence (only claims). That much is true.
    If royalties weren't being paid, the site would have been taken down by the authorities, like many sites before (OLGA, Mxtabs, etc.). Essentially, the fact that UG still exists is evidence on its own...
    So what's next? Are they going to block lyrics sites? When you sing a song at home, the artist needs to be paid? /sigh/
    So this means the transcribers who contribute to this site are getting paid aswell then?
    Dethklok wants fans to petition HULU to pick up the show. Look how many of you jumped at the opportunity to help him achieve that... yet "I'm sure that deep down in your heart you know the tab books weren't ever meant to be free." You gonna pay said fans for their time and labor or you want them to do it for free? Peoples covers are disappearing off youtube as well guys. It's pure greed. Time for P2P to kick back up.
    Does anyone actually need Rage against the machine tabs they aren't exactly the hardest songs to work out, but if people do the tabs are still up if you look at the album tab.
    True, anyone with enough playing experience could easily figure the stuff out by ear, and by also watching youtube guitar cover videos, this have been helpful for me when working out songs which aren't available on tab.
    i really cant see Zakk Wylde not making his tabs available, surely hes all about the fans and the "black label brotherhood"
    that seems like a new low to me. Have never heard of TABS being blocked. Fair enough they don't want you using the songs in your own videos on youtube and such. But not letting you LEARN how to play them? what a crock of old shit. madness.
    Can you add links for all of these bands? I would love to free up Weezer and the Black Keys, but I can't find the songs they have blocked.