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Old 05-25-2011, 09:47 AM
Originally Posted by KcMsterpce View Post
Hm... Yes, time is a big factor in being good at music.
No matter how darned good someone is at an instrument, 50-85% of that is PRACTICE. The rest is natural talent. Professionals spend countless hours a week playing and honing their skills.

With that said, tab is a great tool but it can also be a crutch. I am not one to talk bad about tab since I am a tab whore myself.
However, I've spent many MANY hours in the past listening to a song and painstakingly learning it by ear. This is before internet was such a good source for stuff, too (1990s). I wrote my OWN tab to songs such as BLACK MAGIC WOMAN, WISH YOU WERE HERE, WAR PIGS, and others.
It takes a hell of a lot of time, but it's healthy in many ways:
- It teaches you how to listen to music and understand even instinctively how it's constructed much more easily than just reading tabs.
- The piece becomes much more personal to you.
- If you spend enough time and do it RIGHT, you also learn that song backwards and forwards and gets dedicated to muscle memory much better than just using tab.

Tablature is great, but even professional tabs aren't always right. Even if they're the same NOTES, some times the original artist plays it in a different part on the neck. Believe it or not, it can make a difference in the sound of the song if played on a different part of the guitar.

I would recommend you spend 2 hours getting a song down that you can't find tab for. See how much you discern from listening alone. Even write down that tab if you want. Come back later (the next day) and listen and play it again. Most likely there will be some changes to the first time you wrote it down because you have a fresh take on things.
I found that after doing my own tab on a handful of songs, other stuff came much more easily to me; either from learning it by ear, or even just another song tab'd out. I had a better grasp on what was going on with other songs.
Yeah over the years i've always had to fill in blanks even on what seemed like well done tabs and i get better at it all the time.

I recall the tab for Electric Funeral being rather incomplete and the parts that were there weren't really correct either. I eventually learned to paly the song from the tab and listening for what was actually played at certain parts. In the end the tab was more of a starting point and that's more what they've become in recent years.

Timing was something that was tough to pick up at first but i've always played along with the songs so unless it's something particularily difficult i can pick up the right time after a couple of tries.

The practice is definately key. I can definitly pick up a new song a lot quicker these days then say 5 years ago but i always need that starting point which is where the tabs come in. I've tried to do songs by ear, recently i've been listening to a lot of Tragically Hip and some of the bass in their songs is great but i can never find tabs for stuff that wasn't singles. There was one song i tried, can't recall the name just now, but i just couldn't manage it. If i kept at it maybe i could but as it is i have a hard time finding time to just play let alone the task of learning by ear.

My dislexia and ADD don't help me either though they don't interfere much any more. When i first started i had to learn what to do with either hand separately. Practice it to the point i didn't really need to think about the motions so that i could then peice the two hands together and paly the song. It doesn't happen like that today when i learn a song (learned Hooker With a Penis most recently) but i still have some troubles.

One in particular is that if i move my left hand a good distance down the neck from some rason my right hand wants to do the same thing and its a concious effort to not have it do that sometimes, lol.

I've always wanted to go and get some lessons so that i could pick up key's and scales and the like but just never had the time or extra cash to get it done.
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