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GMC Forum _ THEORY _ Tab Notation

Posted by: Opetholic Nov 15 2012, 10:33 PM

Hey GMCers,

I have a classical guitar background so I know pretty well how to read standard sheet music and that's how I have been practicing GMC lessons and other exercises/songs. But lately I have started to become interested in using tabs since they are much more abundant and also easier to get. I have a question about tab notation though, which confuses me a bit: When there is a letter "b" next to a note, it means you have to bend it usually. But it doesn't tell how much to bend, semitone, full tone, or even more !?!? How do you determine how much to bend by looking at the tab only ?


Posted by: Qenzoz Nov 15 2012, 10:55 PM

That's actually a good question, just looking at some tab, and if I only had to look at that I would be somewhat confused. Would make more sense if it said 7b9, not quite sure, I don't really use tabs in that way I tend to just bend the note to the tone I hear in the song, and try and get it as right as I can, but I also use guitar pro, where you can bress (b - shortcut for bend) on the note and it'll tell you what note it is bended to, also over the bend it says ½, 1, 1 ½, etc.

I would recommend getting Guitar Pro, great tablature program! smile.gif, or even TuxGuitar (free)

Rock on!


Posted by: Ben Higgins Nov 16 2012, 11:59 AM

This is where tab falls down. Tab is ONLY good if you actually know the piece of music or have it to listen to.

Posted by: Cosmin Lupu Nov 18 2012, 03:43 PM

Amen to that Ben! Guys TRUST YOUR EARS ABOVE EVERYTHING ELSE! If they are not trustworthy yet, make them earn your trust! smile.gif

Posted by: The Professor Jan 28 2013, 09:09 AM

I would agree. Go to the recording and hear how big the bend is, then replicate that in your playing.

There are programs, like were mentioned, that show 1, 1 1/2 etc next to a bend marking, but online most tabs won't have these.

So it's good to go to the source, the song itself, and double check.

I would do this anyway as most tab, even in books, has typos or errors. So the only really solid way to learn a song is to double check any tab/notation with the original recording.

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