Using tabs instead of music score?

Home Ear Training Forums Tips, Tricks and Resources Tips and Tricks Using tabs instead of music score?

This topic contains 9 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of quintusvw quintusvw 3 years ago.

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    Profile photo of larsguitar

    I have become pretty good at reading tabs qand of course you need to listen to the song if you can’t read a score, but tabs are a great way to learn a song fast.

    Profile photo of puncatrator

    I agree! tabs are great for solos riffs and basslines. most tab sites give you chord charts too for simpler songs.

    I can actually read sheet music but I am pretty slow at it except for singing so I normally just hit for guitar and bass.

    Profile photo of kristin_r

    I am somewhat familiar at tabs but I am much more used to reading sheet music. I think that they can be pretty helpful though. I went to check out the site mentioned above ( and it looks pretty interesting so far. I will have to look into it further. In case anybody wants to learn more information on tabs and how they work – wikipedia has all kinds of good resources.

    Profile photo of chaulky

    good tip Kristin. I am starting to read sheet music as a learner and tabs aren’t something i am picking up that easily as yet. More research will help me learn.

    Profile photo of horn8287

    Tabs are a great shortcut if you know the tune, it’s kind of like the jazz “fakebooks”. I will tell you though, there’s nothing more frustrating in a professional setting than a guitarist who can’t read music! If you want to go pro, definitely learn to read. :)

    Profile photo of v3jimenez

    Tabs are really useful for guitarists because most guitarists rely on shapes of scales as they move up and down the guitar neck and not really on the name of the notes. In my experience, I didn’t really know which notes are which on the fret board until a few years after I’ve learned playing the guitar chords.

    If you’re playing songs which have tabs readily available, then they would serve you great. If you’re in a setting where sheet music is more available than tabs (e.g. worship service, choir, classical concerts), then it would help if you can read sheet music and know where the so-fa syllables are on the fret board.

    Also, it would help if you’ve memorized a number of shapes of scales on the fret board because this may help you memorize your do-re-mi on the guitar. :)

    Music is Freedom

    Profile photo of pomeroy

    Tabs are way easier, but perhaps it would be beneficial to use both tabs and sheet music? Maybe you could learn the song originally by tabs and then go through the same song with sheet music. Has anyone done this before, and if so, was it helpful?

    Profile photo of britanica

    I am all for avoiding sheet music. haha I am absolutely clueless when it comes to reading music and playing it. I don’t recall ever hearing someone (I know) saying they use tabs over them, I will have to give this a try.

    Profile photo of alexx

    I know tabs are different than chord sheets/fake books, but as a piano player they’re very useful. If it’s a song you know, you can always work in melody notes. Plus you have the key, so you can improv with passing notes between chords.

    If you sing & play it’s really easy, you can just sing or accompany & play the chords, don’t even need to add any extras if you don’t want to.

    Profile photo of quintusvw

    Tablature is the entity that opened the door to my passion – guitar playing. I tried multiple times to learn guitar the ‘traditional’ or ‘conventional’ way (classic music notation), and it never quite stuck with me. One day a friend introduced me to tablature and I saw the world of music open up to me.

    I would not say that tablature is more effective than music notation, but for me the experience started because I could more easily be introduced to what music is using this method, and then approach music in a more formal method (if I so chose to).

    I see tablature, as well as traditional music notation, as methods to bring across theory of music. Its a vehicle with which to convey the concepts of music to the reader. What do you think?

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