We have learned the importance of cliff notes from our Literature classes in Highschool. You may have used them in lieu of reading longer novels or Shakespearian tales. Playing the Guitar has its own version of condensed information called Tablatures or Tabs for short. There is some debate over the correct use of Tabs. Novice Guitarists are both encouraged and discouraged to use them. Tabs are described as either a gift from the Guitar Gods or a hinderance without any in between in sight.
What Is a Tablature
A Tablature is a tool that breaks down the notes into finger placement. If you are unable to diagnostically dissect a sheet of music, Tabs gives you the shortcut rendition of the piece. Each line on a Tablature represents a string on the Guitar. As the music transitions, the Tabs change showing you step by step which string to use in conjunction with the sound. While most Professional Guitarists do not consider the game Guitar Hero actual Guitar playing, Tabs is set up in a similar fashion. They are known as the paint by numbers in the industry yielding the same melodic results as reading the music.
Using A Tablature
You can decide if incorporating a Tablature is right for you by determining your long term goals. Playing a song versus becoming a Guitar great represents the amount of time you are planning to invest. It takes several sessions to gain traction in your practices. A Tab can quicken the pace helping you learn your playlist in measurably less time. Trainers who teach the art of Guitar playing steer clear of using them for a few reasons.
It is believed that learning to read the music will produce long term results. Most Guitar teachers strongly feel using Tabs may accomplish a song or two, however does not mean the student has officially mastered the instrument. Playing the Guitar necessitates the knowledge of each string, the sounds they make and how they work together. Music sheets have the notes needed that can be applied to musical knowledge.
If a Guitarist cannot play without a Tab, it may reduce their progress along with future potential. As techniques and habits are formed, relying on a Tablature can become somewhat of a crutch making it harder to learn notes later. If you are working with an instructor, they may be accepting of them if you have the ability to discern the Tablature charts from the notes. Understanding notes and symbols are often one of the first steps in any musical class. Bypassing that step could plateau causing a need to go back to the basics to further your skill.
The Tab Decision
Tablatures have a reputation to be a cheating method which in relativity is a bit extreme. It is not the steroids of the competition as much as it is a tool of learning. When applied properly Tabs can be a great vehicle across the bridge of Guitar playing success.