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tab writer?


Woods Palmer

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Originally posted by Woods Palmer:

Anybody know of an automated tab writer. The kind where you play a cd in your computer and the tab writer software will create the tablature

for you?

 

thanks,

 

Woods

Sure...you can pick it up at Best Buy.

 

Don't forget to purchase the optional USB hand attachments that'll automatically play the part for you as well.

 

;)

 

Sorry for the hazing, woods, but to us your question is about as audacious as walking into the free weight section of a gym and saying "hey guys, is there a way I can get buff without, you know, having to lift stuff or do anything at all?"

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  • 3 weeks later...

Ditto here RBG...been tryin' to tab out the bass line from Boston's "Long Time" ever since that song was released... :freak:

 

I can vouch for one of the Tascam Bass Trainers...I have one and use it all the time to learn church songs. One other thought to Woods...check out some of the freebie audio file editors. Many of them will let you change the tempo without changing the pitches (I use an old copy of CoolEdit2000 to do this when we play a tune in a different key sig...gives everyone something to practice to). Generally, this sounds much better than using the Tascam's facilities to slow it down...it ends up sounding very "grainy" with the Tascam. But, that's still better than nothing.

 

As an example of the audio editor route, here's the intro of Infectious Grooves "Punk It Up" slowed down to 67%: Punk It Down...

 

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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Originally posted by Dave Sisk:

Oh boy, I hate to do this, but...

 

http://www.mymusictools.com/utilities_28/easy_tab_maker_pro_20650.htm

 

Just play your guitar and it magically creates tabs. Sure sounds simple...yup yup...

 

Dave

Is that program for real????

Tenstrum

 

"Paranoid? Probably. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face."

Harry Dresden, Storm Front

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Dave,

 

What did you use to slow down the intro to "Punk it up"?

Tenstrum

 

"Paranoid? Probably. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face."

Harry Dresden, Storm Front

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Originally posted by Tenstrum:

Dave,

 

What did you use to slow down the intro to "Punk it up"?

Ten: I used CoolEdit2000. You just select the section you want to tinker with and go to the time-stretch menu. I *think* quite a few of the audio editors have this capability.

 

As far as the auto-magic tab software, I have no idea if it actually works. I seriously doubt it works well enough to even use, but I suppose I could be wrong. It's free, so give it a try!

 

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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Ya know, we always talk about tab as if it's not a respectable learning tool. I think it actually is. I find tab harder to read than standard notation though, but that's just me. I think that standard notation with tab underneath is the best combination. I've also actually seen tablature that has music notes on it (thus identifying the correct rhythm of the piece, which IMHO is the biggest shortcoming of "common" tab...no rhythm notation means). However, I can't recall where I've seen "rhythm tab"...the normal tab is the text-only variety simply because it's easy to create, I guess.

 

There's also such a thing as drum tab...it actually identifies the rhythm in a matrix-like deal, similar to the piano-roll type editors that you see with most software sequencers. Now, if you could put those two together, you might have a pretty decent learning tool. But, to me, standard notation still just seems easier to read...I know that's not true for everyone however.

 

We could debate this for days with no resolution of course. What really matters is the end result...when your fingers hit the strings (when the rubber hits the road?), what comes out the jack on the bass is the actual tangible result regardless of whatever means you've used to get there.

 

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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You could say that the end result is the same whether you learn a song by ear, by tab, or by written music. But the end result isn't the same.

 

Come play one of my gigs sometimes....there are no rehearsals and you either read the music (which is usually a lead sheet with the melody in treble clef and chord name and occasionally it is a bass part with every note written.) or you hear what other people are playing and you play appropriately.

 

I can't see any way in which tab would help you with either of those things.

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The eternal tab debate, yuppers ; }

 

...If I have a recording of a simple part and a correct TAB (which I think no auto-tab software is even going to come close to an optimised OCR workflow's results anyway) of that song, I can struggle through the tab, and get the rhythm from the recording. But it sure seems like a PITA to deal with the TAB, and it sure doesn't seem to give me a good internal picture of phrasing, stucture, or musical logic that I can get from even a cursory examination of actual musical notation.

 

Besides the clumsy not-even-close-to-realtime experience of deciphering tab, THAT's what I dislike the most: the TAB obscures much of the musical thought, does not represent the things that make me understand the part contextually, as it fits into a larger musical idea, or set of ideas.

 

With TAB I actually have to be chained to the instrument; with notation or a recording I can learn a lot about the part and how it fits simply by looking or listening, and it sticks with me.

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We tend to use simple chort charts for church music, but most of the learning of church songs is based on ear rather than any other means. I have on occasion created standard notation of a part for future reference, etc. Ear is by far the best way for me.

 

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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Ditto on Transcribe -- It's pretty amazing.

 

As far as the tab debate goes, I don't really understand the snippy reactions it seems to trigger (and yeah, I realize some of them are half-kidding). I see it as a very useful accompaniment to standard notation, which clearly has its own limitations, especially when it comes to showing how a person actually played a line. And as a mnemonic device, I think it's great. Viva la tab!

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I have to agree with Brian and Dave. Tab can be a very useful learning tool. But it shouldn't be completely relied upon.

And I'm also speaking as someone who doesn't know how to read sheet music.

For most songs I try to use my ear to figure out, but about half the time I do end up using tab from some magazine.

Do I feel like I'm any less of a bass player? Nope!

To me, there really isn't much difference between reading sheet music and reading tab. You're still reading the music off of a sheet of paper either way...

 

I guess my personal philosophy is to use my ear as much as possible and then fall back to other means once I get as far as I can go.

Tenstrum

 

"Paranoid? Probably. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face."

Harry Dresden, Storm Front

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Yeah, but the people who learn how do both always end up favoring real notation. There isn't anything in TAB as far as instrument-specific fingering and techniques that can't be put into a standard notated piece... but to jam what notation is capable of conveying and to use it IN REAL TIME is not reciprocally true.

 

TAB works, but it's limited and slow to work with. And it doesn't convey much to someone who hasn't heard the piece before.

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Tell me, Brian, is there a single thing you can put on a tab sheet that can't be conveyed on a sheet of standard notation? The answer to this question goes well beyond fretted instruments too: you can convey instrument-specific info for ANY instrument on its part using standard notation.
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I'd prefer to see standard notation with articulation markings, but not cluttered with position and fingering marks. That's where tab comes in. Notation conveys the musical thought, and tab helps in conveying its execution. Cram every single bit of information onto a single staff, and you'll end up with something practically unreadable. I think tab taps into muscle memory, which I totally rely on.

 

And again, I'm talking about tab as a learning tool, not something that you'd chart out for someone to read on a gig. Besides, the less tied to a sheet of paper, the better, I find.

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Sorry Brian, but even for the learning tool (and not the realtime) scenario, I could see either

 

(1) widely spaced staves.

 

or

 

(2) double stave, with gestural and fingering below.

 

I want a clear view of what is actually going on MUSICALLY because I learn, understand, remember things AS MUSIC, and not merely as exercises in muscle memory. But I realize your employer is hooked on TAB ; }

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I really don't understand why you need postition and fingering marks.

 

If you look at a piece of written music, you can "hear" what it sounds like without any instrument. At least that is one of the purposes of truly learning how to read music.

 

Then the next task is to play what you hear on your instrument. And we all know how to do that, right? That's a huge part of learning to play an instrument in a rock or jazz context.

 

An automated tab writer would only give the machine's opinion about where to finger notes. We all know that many notes could be fingered in many different places.

 

I'd feel better about the magazine tab transcriptions if the actual player was consulted and asked, "is this where you played this note?"

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I suspect that the brunt of well-done tab (not that stuff on the internet) is used to learn how to play real showboat parts that one can haul out and say, Lookie what I can do! It is fun to take some of those things apart and see what makes 'em (or the original player/conciever) tick - but I still think I get a quicker grasp of it musically if notation is involved. And even if the actual fingerings are correct and contribute to the part's playability, the TAB only gives me so much insight on why the part may be compelling.
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Originally posted by jeremy c:

Learn a song by tab and then tell me how you do when you get to band rehearsal and the singer wants to do the song in a different key.

Well, I had something similar happen to me. I had to learn a handful of songs for an audition and didn't spend a lot of time on it. I thought something was fishy when everything was in D-flat, the evilist of keys for 4-string bass. :freak: I plowed ahead and got the muscle memory thing working.

 

(Yes, sometimes I find it's easier to remember patterns than actual notes. What's the 6th tone in G-flat major? I don't care; if I'm in 2nd position I just lay a pointer finger down on the D string 1st-fret for it. In a different position? Use a different pattern.)

 

Anyway, I show up for the audition and see the g****rs playing all these open chords in the key of D-flat, and suddenly it hits me that they're all tuned down a half step. :eek: So now my options are (1) play 'em as I learned 'em in standard tuning and deal with watching the g****rs play "wrong" chords, or (2) tune down a half step and hope I don't make a mistake (buh-bye muscle memory). I went with how I practiced.

 

It went pretty well until they wanted to try some stuff I hadn't had a chance to practice before hand, and I didn't want to be a drag by taking time to tune down. Now, I'll admit, my ear has gotten lazy because I've been in g****r bands for so long that it's easier to just look over and see what they're playing than to really play by ear. And I'm pretty terrible at transposing on the fly. Long story short, there was one passing chord that for the life of me I couldn't figure out until late in the song. Not that what I was playing earlier was a train wreck, it just wasn't good.

 

So yeah, Jeremy's ear would have been better all around in that situation, as well as his transposing skills.

 

From your earlier example, Jeremy, I would have a hard time dealing with a lead sheet in treble clef; it's like speaking in a foreign language to me. Now you want to transpose down a minor 3rd? For me, that's like reading German, translating to Mandarin, and then finally going to English. It's a few too many mental hoops to be jumping through while flying by the seat of my pants. Having the chord names helps dispel the first translation, but now you hit that one that's out of key and it'll derail me every time. :rolleyes: My wife can do it effortlessly -- even in alto clef -- but not me.

 

Sure, transposing can be fairly simple as long as it's not something like taking key of F# down to D# (again, on a 4-string).

 

The other weird thing that was making me dizzy the other day was when I was playing with a keys player and his board was like 3 steps out of standard tuning. It was just like one of those optical illusions that gives you a headache after a while. (Why is he playing a Db over a Gmaj ... and it doesn't sound like crap?)

 

Much respect to Jeremy for what he does so well. :thu:

 

This post has more to do with transposition and ear training than tab. Perhaps because those are more important skills to acquire.

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