Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

565 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a guitar at home and I've only recently started playing it as much as I do saxophone or flute. I took out a guitar book and was unable to read the tabs on the paper. I can read regular notation fine while playing guitar and I know the basis behind reading tabs, but I hate looking down at the frets to see which one I have to press down instead of just playing.

Why do people use tabs? It's just weird, you know?

Distinguished SOTW Member
3,494 Posts
Most guitar players that I know are lazy and don't bother learning
the simplist things about their instrument.
They can go forty years without moving past a basic triad.

Forget tabs. It's a useless notation system for lazy people.
I have learnt guitar and am constantly having to demonstrate
to the 'guitarists' the right chord to play, or some nice alternatives.

I sometimes look on Youtube to get some ideas about a particular
song, and I am astounded by the videos people put up there with
the wrong changes.

One guy who advertised his video, as an 'advanced jazz guitar'
lesson was calling out the chord names, but in some cases he was
wrong, such as E-7b5 for a D-7b5.

And with guitar you have limited positions so often you are substituting
one chord to achieve another. I see these guys don't even realise they
are using a substitute. For example they play a B-7b5 for G9. Then
if you ask them to play a B-7b5, they will say they do not know how to.
Another chart had G-6 written instead of E-7b5. Same notes, certainly,
but the G-6 made no sense in a II-V-I in a minor key.

I apologise to all the extremely fine guitar players out there whom I admire.
However, it's the other 90% that drive me crazy.

Tabs are dumb.

Super Moderator
26,388 Posts
Tabs aren't a new phenomenon. It started with the lute in the 16th century. They had many more strings.

Tabulature is not a reading device. It's a storage device.

Distinguished SOTW Member
3,287 Posts
The guitar tabs I see, have no rhythm info and are really just note guides to be used with a recording or with previous knowledge of the piece assumed.

They really are a sort of transcription to be used in reference to the recording and the recording is where the rhythm info is and the player has to use their ear as well.

Sometimes they are useful for guitar solos where standard musical notation becomes a mess.

For example, there is a Van Halen transcription book with tab and musical notation and in the guitar solos the musical notation sometimes looks a bit of a mess because it doesn't translate that easily and then the tab part becomes useful if you have already heard the guitar solo.
1 - 6 of 6 Posts