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Guitar Tab versus Guitar Sheet Music
Marcus G Robinson
Being able to read guitar sheet music can prove an invaluable asset in today's world. We all know that becoming a pro guitarist means entering a very competitive field. You need every advantage you can muster, and then some. Before we go any further let's first answer one basic question: isn't being able to read guitar tablature good enough? If you are looking to make a name for yourself or earn a living as a guitar player then the answer would be "no". This by no means negates the importance of tab, but in a world that is often oversaturated with guitar players, knowing how to read sheet music can make the difference between success and failure. Let's take a look at this problem in detail
While tablature or tab seems to be a rather recent invention that was born with the electric guitar, the truth is that it has been around for a long time. Even before the invention of the instruments we know today as "guitar", we see examples of tab being used especially with fretted instruments such as the lute. Examples of tablature in the Western world today date back to the 1300's. In Asia tabs was used even before that.
In today's world guitar tab is composed of six lines that represent the six strings of the guitar, four in case of a bass guitar on which numbers are placed which correspond to the frets on the guitar. Most tabs, tablature, tab formats today do not show you the rhythm. The information which is presented gives you a clear picture of what strings and frets should be played. The tab format does not give you information in regards to the notes (pitches) being played.
The sheet music for guitar on the other hand provides you with rhythmic as well as note (pitch) info. This is important becauseit is like getting a detailed blueprint of a car. It allows you to see "inside" and understand exactly how the parts work. This is fantastic because you can use this information to fix your hotrod if it breaks down, or build yourself a new one. Knowing how to read sheet music allows you to understand and break things down, analyze your favorite artists or composers and use those techniques when building your own material, songs.
The ability to "see" inside the music gives you a huge advantage by giving you the power to manipulate and direct the musical flow of your ideas in such a way as to achieve what you desire musically. To put it plainly, the ability to understand sheet music will allow you to create and juggle musical concepts with skills far beyond what most other guitarists possess.
In reality, I don't think that all can be reduced to a question of guitar tabs versus notation. Traditional guitar sheet music does have its problems when it comes to marking strings and frets that need to be used. Traditional notation for the guitar does allow for the string to be identified. This, when used along with the indicated note gives you the fret number. However this has a tendency to fill up the visual space making the notation much harder to read and follow. A combination of sheet music with tab attached seems to be the best answer. Notation will also allow for the indication of the finger that should be used for certain note.
While a combination of notation and tablature will give the best results, we will focus more on notation in this article because of the simple fact that most guitarists know how to read tablature, so it's the learning of music notation that will set you apart from the rest of the pack.
Learning to read notation... hell or heaven sent
If you get the benefit of being able to read sheet music but are intimidated by the look and feel of sheet music notation, then take a deep breath and relax because always seem worse than they are. I know the feeling of looking at notation and feeling like you are looking at alien writings. In truth music is not nearly as complicated as it seems at first glance. it takes a little patience and perseverance to learn but the results are definitely worth it.
You might be thinking that you will never be able to crack the code of notation. Well then, I'll just have to prove to you that it's not nearly as difficult as you may think by teaching you some notation basics right here and now.
Say hello to the musical notes
Guitar sheet music is usually written on staff comprised of five lines. You can write notes either on the line or in between the lines. An easy way to remember the notes that are on the lines of the staff is by recalling the following acronym: Every Good Boy Does Fine (E G B D F). This corresponds to the notes on the lines of the staff as read from the bottom up. To remember the notes that are in this space is between the lines, just remember FACE (F A C E as read from the bottom up). Now, if you have to tell me what note resides on the fourth space of the staff, as read from the bottom up, you can easily recall FACE and figure out that E is the note we were searching for. And there you have it, less than a minute and you know all the notes that are on the staff. If you put a blank staff in front of you and quiz yourself over what note lies on a particular line or space, you'll soon be able to recall them automatically without using the acronyms listed above.
So as you can see learning how to read music is not that difficult, and while it may take a little bit of time to take it all in, the benefits are tremendous. Stick with it and you will soon see yourself standing head and shoulders above the crowd of guitarists out there.
Free Sheet Music
Long before radios, movies, television and the Internet popularized music, sheet music made compositions of the good old days popular, or at least, known.
Piano Sheet Music
Piano sheet music is a printed musical notation for piano. Before phonograph and radio became popular, sheet music was used by musicians to make their compositions known to the people. Many of these were piano sheet music since piano was the most popular musical instrument back then.
Collecting Sheet Music
When reviewing a collection of theater sheet music and covers, it is as though you are taking a stroll through American history. You can relive each era, each decade’s foray into a unique phase of American culture that was central to that period of history. Illustrations on the covers that hold sheet music intact are exquisite and represent the essence of that moment in time.
The Collecting of Sheet Music
Why do people collect sheet music? There are several reasons why. First and foremost, all of us have a favorite song. No matter what walk of life you are from, you have at least one song that brings back memories of days gone by. Whether the memories are good or bad, the song has still become a part of your history.
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