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Sources of bad tab?

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unimogbert
(@unimogbert)
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Joined: 15 years ago
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Topic starter  

Since I resumed playing a few years ago the internet has introduced the concept of online tabs for songs.
As I've picked a few pieces to challenge my fingerstyle development I've found that sometimes the tab is awkward and even sometimes unplayable by those whose fingers are attached to their hands.

As I've studied how to change the tab into something playable I've often found that the notes are correct but the suggested fingering isn't. If one changes the fingering around the tune becomes playable. I'm sure this is no surprise to many of you.

Is there some application that tab posters are using to run a recording into which produces tab that then gets posted without sanity checking for playability?

I'm finding the work of converting tab to playability to be a good learning exercise but it's also tiring.

What's going on out there???

Unimogbert
(indeterminate, er, intermediate fingerstyle acoustic)


   
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cnev
 cnev
(@cnev)
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From what I've seen 90% or more of what's on the Internet isn't right whether it be the notes themselves or the suggested fingering. Heck I've even seen tab books in music stores that had some of them most ridiculous fingerings for songs that I already knew.

I think and I could be wrong, in terms of rock music, these tabs are done by someone after the fact trying to tab what they heard. It's not like the guitarist for the band sits down with someone and writes out or shows them how they are playing a piece, so in a sense it's the tabbers interpretation of what he thinks he hears.

It can get difficult if it's a song that has multiple guitar tracks layered over each other.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


   
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Musenfreund
(@musenfreund)
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More reliable tab is available through Powertab. You need to download the powertab editor from Power-tab net. Then tabs are archived at Powertabs.net. You might have better luck there.

Well we all shine on--like the moon and the stars and the sun.
-- John Lennon


   
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Ricochet
(@ricochet)
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I have long suspected that the music publishing industry has seeded bad tabs all over the free tab sites. There's plenty of simple incompetence, of course.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


   
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Musenfreund
(@musenfreund)
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Good point -- there are also some good sources for reasonably priced and more accurate online tab:

Freehand Music and Musicnotes.com.

Well we all shine on--like the moon and the stars and the sun.
-- John Lennon


   
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cnev
 cnev
(@cnev)
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Ric,

I don't think the music industry is that intelligent, the problem is that most tab on the Internet was written by 13 yo kids

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


   
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Blueline
(@blueline)
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More reliable tab is available through Powertab. You need to download the powertab editor from Power-tab net. Then tabs are archived at Powertabs.net. You might have better luck there.

+1
I've found the most reliable stuff via Powertab. Although there have been some clunkers there as well. Not many!- just a few.

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


   
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unimogbert
(@unimogbert)
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Topic starter  

Ric,

I don't think the music industry is that intelligent, the problem is that most tab on the Internet was written by 13 yo kids

What I'm asking about is whether those 13 y/o are just running music into a computer app that spits tab and then posting it in order to appear "productive". (Producing good tab is clearly a laborious process.)

The powertab site seems ok but the kind of music I prefer doesn't seem to be there in much quantity. (I don't reconize many of the artists )

My first contact with unfingerable tab was a powertab file though not obtained thru the website.

Unimogbert
(indeterminate, er, intermediate fingerstyle acoustic)


   
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jwmartin
(@jwmartin)
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I've found that adding YouTube to the mix is a great help. I was trying to learn a White Stripes song (Truth Doesn't Make a Noise) and the tab was "correct" note-wise, but there was one part that went |---2h3--5p3--2p0--| and for the life of me I couldn't get the 5p3 to sound right. So I finally thought to check out YouTube and there's a video of Jack playing it live and lo and behold he does this |---2h35/3p2p0--|. Much easier to play and sounds better too.

I've gotten in the habit now of copying a tab from the 'net and pasting it into MS Word. I change the font to a fixed-width font (Consolas, which most people won't have as it's aimed at developers. Courier New and Lucida Console are both good) and reduce it to 8pt size. Then I go through and edit all the crap out and try to get it into a standard format. Simple things like not showing the chord fingering unless it differs from the standard, pulling out repeating sections so they aren't shown more than once and putting the title and artist at the top of the page. My goal is to get it down to 1 page if possible. Sometimes it's just not feasible, but most things can fit on 2 pages (since I print duplex, it's still on 1 sheet of paper). It can be a lot of work, but it makes it much easier to read and when I discover mistakes, I can fix it in my Word file.

I've just started trying Powertab. It seems to be a little more reliable, but I don't like the interface and the way it scrolls. It's virtually impossible to play and read at the same time.

Bass player for Undercover


   
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Riff Raff
(@riff-raff)
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My favorite example of bad tab is when the entire song is to be played on one string. :shock:


   
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boxboy
(@boxboy)
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Bad notations probably stem from a number of reasons, but I know my cheapo notation software can garble something beyond playability (my recording software does the same).
For example, the first few bars of a given guitarpro file look like this:

So, it's an open Em pattern with the fretting hand static.
But when I export that as a midi and bring it into my notation software so I can print it, it gets translated as this:

I took the liberty of circling where it all goes wrong.
If it wasn't 135 BPM, maybe...
:)

Don


   
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jwmartin
(@jwmartin)
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My favorite example of bad tab is when the entire song is to be played on one string. :shock:

That was something I forgot to mention. I love the ones where some riff is being played on the 2nd and 3rd fret and they tab out that one note on the 7th or 8th fret. Uh, wouldn't it be easier to play that on the next string down? I get this picture of some guy sitting in his bedroom playing this riff and his poor hand flying up and down the neck trying to play 5 notes that he could hit just by moving a couple of fingers down a string. :D

Bass player for Undercover


   
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mmoncur
(@mmoncur)
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I've found 90% of them are bad but there are some good ones out there...

Unfortunately the professional ones aren't much better. I bought a tab for RHCP's Under the Bridge from sheetmusicdirect.com and it has some ridiculous fingerings at the start. The ascii tab from the net was actually better.


   
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benpari
(@benpari)
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Most bad tabs are created by 13 year olds and other people who are incompetent at it.............

When I need good tabs I either use guitar pro(which costs money) or power tab.

You could also go to google and type "bit torrent [name of album] tab" and get scans of the tab book, but you didn't hear that from me. :lol:


   
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Misanthrope
(@misanthrope)
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