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Guitar tab/chord question


(@grungesunset)
Reputable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 344
Topic starter  

I need help when it comes to learning songs with tabs that are like this:
G Em D
The letters above are the chords to the song

C G Em D
Just play the chords and strumg a along

Not sure if tab is the right word for it but...........How do you get the timing down for these? I've tried sitting there just humming the strumming to myself which works until the strumming pattern changes then it throws me off balance. I'm used to tabs where it has each strum noted with a quarter note/ eighth note etc to tell me the timing so I'm kinda lost.

The song in question is this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ay4MrybVGQg

The strum pattern changes at the end of each line in the lyrics.......I think. I tried watching him to see what chord it is he does it but the tab I have is standard tuning and I think he's in Open D.

Any tips, suggestions?

"In what, twisted universe does mastering Eddie Van Halen's two handed arpeggio technique count as ABSOLUTELY NOTHING?!" - Dr Gregory House


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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5599
 

I watched the video, I agree he is in an open tuning, not sure which.

As for the chords, he plays the same pattern over and over until he gets to the chorus. Forget about the lyrics for now and just count it out.

This is just an example, not what he is playing

G F C Bb Am
One & Two & Three & Four & One & Two & Three & Four &


That is just an example, I really didn't spend time to even find out what key he was in and what chords he is playing. But find out the tuning, then the chords and just count it out and write it down. Once you get the strum down, then slowly practice singing to it. It takes practice to sing and play at the same time, but you will get it.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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(@ginger)
Reputable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 395
 

Well, I didn't look at the video cause i need sleep but just real quick. I have a small snippet of tab that shows chords like yours does and I know from listening to the song that those chords are played after the words are sung. Like this song, I know for a fact they sing lyrics an a little music change a chord or to. The key is really getting the strum pattern down correctly so that you can make it sound like the song your playing. heres that tab! You will notice that the Em chord is played for most of this verse, and it's true, it really is. Cause in this song they do that and then the next chord is an E but the tempo changes in the song, so it's very important in my opinion to know those strum patterns so you can play a song like this!

Am Dm G
Oh it's not hard to know what you're thinking
Em
when you look down on me now
Your trance of love is seeking to turn this world around
But in my state of blind confussion
no god can pull me out
I see your love is willing
to turn me inside out

E A G D
And then I see you there
E A G
These lonely tears I cry
D
I wish they'd release me


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(@greybeard)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5899
 

Try starting out with counting the beats, in your head - or on paper, if you like.
Am Dm G
Oh it's not hard to know what you're thinking
Em
when you look down on me now

I don't know the song, so I'm just guessing, here. Many songs are written with 4 beats to the bar, put in Am, 4 strums (a wild guess, but the first beat may be on "it's", not on "Oh"). Dm seems to have two bars - one over the 2nd half of the line and one covering a pause, in the singing. Put in 8 strums of Dm.

To me, G looks like it comes in a beat before the word "when", so it is another 4 strums.

Em seems to carry on for the rest of the verse, but we only want to add one bar, for certain and maybe a 2nd to cover a pause before the next line.

Go to youtube and try playing that simple strum pattern against the song. Are the number of beats right? Do the strums seem to tie up with the music? If so, you need to work out the strum pattern. If not you need to find out where the count is going wrong and correct it. Get the number of beats first and only when you have that down, should you start looking at a strum pattern.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
Greybeard's Pages
My Articles & Reviews on GN


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(@urbancowgirl)
Reputable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 431
 

I can't really help as I am in the same boat but I share your frustration. Almost all the tabs I find are like that. It's hard anymore to find ones that have the strumming pattern on them.

All my life I wanted to be somebody. Now I see I should have been more specific.


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(@blueline)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1705
 

I actually prefer this method. When I'm trying to figure out a song, I first write out all of the lyrics. Then, line by line, I'll look for the root notes for each chord change. I place those (write them) above the corresponding lyrics. Greybeard's comments come into play here. Knowing the beat count helps at this point. In fact, knowing when the chord changes occur based on the lyrics helps me to find the beat count. Strumming patterns kind of fall into place once you have those components.

Teamwork- A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.


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(@rr191)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 59
 

I get the sheet music If there is song I really want to learn. The sheet music will give you time signatures, etc. and will be very helpful in knowing when to change chords, etc. I use the tabs to help with other parts that may not be in the sheet music. And you don't always need to buy the music -- check your public library. They may have the sheet music you're looking for.

-- Rob


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(@unimogbert)
Estimable Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 174
 

Calling this stuff tab is misuse of the abbreviation for tablature.

This is lyrics and chords. It gives a hint (sometimes wrong) of where to change the chords.

This is like what I produced for myself in the last century as I wrote out (by hand or by typewriter) the words to to songs I wanted to learn and then wrote the chords above the words where they changed.

You have to know the song and have a sense of the rhythm for these lyric/chord sheets to help you.

If you don't know the song then you need sheet music, preferably sheet music with tablature in parallel with the notes so that you have all the needed information.

My $.02.

Unimogbert
(indeterminate, er, intermediate fingerstyle acoustic)


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(@greybeard)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5899
 

You have to know the song and have a sense of the rhythm for these lyric/chord sheets to help you.

As tab provides no timing information, you need to know the tune to be able to make sense of a tablature. If you don't know the tune, you need sheet music.

I started with nothing - and I've still got most of it left.
Did you know that the word "gullible" is not in any dictionary?
Greybeard's Pages
My Articles & Reviews on GN


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 Cat
(@cat)
Noble Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1225
 

I need help when it comes to learning songs with tabs that are like this:
Any tips, suggestions?

Just keep in mind that it's your PICK HAND with the rhythm in it! If you're sweating the "how" on strumming something you've heard...well, it ain't worth chasing after it, now is it?

Feel what you play...play what you feel.

Cat

"Feel what you play...play what you feel!"


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(@grungesunset)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 344
Topic starter  

I managed to figure the strumming pattern out. He does change the pattern and the end of each line, or should I say before each line. He strums C-Em-Am-G as 4 downbeats. Thank you for your help.

"In what, twisted universe does mastering Eddie Van Halen's two handed arpeggio technique count as ABSOLUTELY NOTHING?!" - Dr Gregory House


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