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TAB interpretation.

Kiron Kid

Member
Messages
53
What do you guys and gals do, when you look up the TAB to a song, and you get different versions? I looked up "How Many More Times" by Led Zeppelin, and I found a common one on the Internet. Yet, my Zeppelin songbook has it written up differently. And, Guitar World magazine has another version of it.

Do you just go with whatever sounds best to you?

Thank You
Kiron Kid
 
M

Member 995

I would trust a reputable source, not some free garbage. Having said that, some of the licensed transcriptions I've seen have been awful.
 

Bluesful

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
40,268
Having said that, some of the licensed transcriptions I've seen have been awful.
Agreed. It is often odd to me that many tabs easily accessible on the net seem to be more accurate than the licensed stuff that costs $$.
 

flatnine

Member
Messages
324
The Zeppelin TAB books that are labeled "Authentic Guitar Tab" are the best ones you can get. However tab books are pretty much never written by the composers themselves so you'll need to re-finger things to your liking.

Guitar World magazine does a great job as well...

Led Zeppelin Complete is pretty much useless.
 

townsend

Member
Messages
1,520
I would go with the Guitar World tab in general; lots of those are done by fine guitarists (e.g., Andy Aledort and others), and of course, compare with your ears how it sounds to the original recording.
 

Yer Blues

Member
Messages
8,643
I would play along with the song! Your ears are the most important tool you have and better than any tab book.

I do not really buy transcription books anymore, but I remember even stuff from Hal Leonard would be correct. If I was starting out right now I'd probably go to youtube lessons over tab books.
 

JonR

Member
Messages
15,063
Do you just go with whatever sounds best to you?
Yes. Your ear doesn't lie.

Despite its reputation, net tab is more often correct than not, but when it isn't you can't always be sure exactly how wrong it is (or where). And most of the time you either never get the whole thing, or it's impossibly difficult to follow (with no barlines or other markers).

I agree with flatnine, the "authentic transcription" books are about as good as you can get (very rarely wrong, and only in tiny ways when they are). And laid out in an easily followed way, often with proper notation too. The disadvantage is they're expensive, because one song (with all the instruments transcribed) will take several pages, so either you don't get many songs, or you get a huge and expensive book.

But always trust your ear, checking with the original - making sure, of course, you are reading the tab/notation correctly ;).

Like Yer Blues, I wouldn't buy transcription books these days, and rarely consult online tab. I prefer to do it all myself. (If I do consult tab, it will be as a starting point, which I would then go on to expand and correct, working from the original, using slowdown software.)

There's also the issue (not often clarified) of alternative tunings. Jimmy Page did use different tunings quite often, which (unless you know the tuning for sure) makes things harder. Without any prior knowledge, it can be very difficult to guess tunings from listening - that's where other opinions can be valuable.
 

Yer Blues

Member
Messages
8,643
Honestly, when I was using lots of tab I couldn't remember all those numbers anyways. I would see something like "ok.... he's around the 5th and 7th frets on the E and A string" and just start around there to get in the ballpark of where it was on the guitar until it sounded right.
 

fenderlead

Member
Messages
4,425
Some Tabs I've seen are hilarious.

I sometimes wonder what the original artist would think of them.

Some Tabs are very good though.
 
Messages
7,046
The most current LZ offerings are quite good. Errors may still creep through, but these published versions are the only way to go. The magazine versions are usually at the same level.

Consider that an top transcriber is doing much of the work, it's checked by a experienced editor, the engraver and proofers might pick any remaining errors. Then it's sent to the artist who ostensibly checks it.

Further, when the transcription is re-used in another project (like some I've done recently), it gets another set of eyes. It's fairly common that I'll notice something even at that stage—I'm learning this music perfectly so I can record sound-alike audio, so almost nothing is getting past me. Long story short, transcription work is incredibly hard and multiple looks are needed. The free stuff online, if done from scratch, is usually done poorly. Even at best, it never includes rhythm, never includes standard notation, it's never edited, etc.

I'll disagree with the expense of books. It's time consuming work. Most don't realize that even the best and fastest transcribers are spending around 6-12 hours to transcribe a song, then add in the other related labor costs. People often balk at the prices for custom transcription work. Most of the best guys don't work outside of the publishing industry, but ask one of those guys credited at the top of the page what he'd charge...

Of course I have a vested interest in publishing, but support this industry or the dreadful on-line free crap is all that will be left. We're luckily to be able to buy the books.
 

Kiron Kid

Member
Messages
53
Thanks for the replies. Very much appreciated. I met and talked to Jimmy for awhile after one of their Los Angeles shows. But that was a long time ago. I should have asked back then :-(

Thank You
 

guitarjazz

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
22,051
Thanks for the replies. Very much appreciated. I met and talked to Jimmy for awhile after one of their Los Angeles shows. But that was a long time ago. I should have asked back then :-(

Thank You
Jimmy Jimmy? Cool.
Jimmy don't use no stinkin' TABS.
 




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