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The Trouble with TAB

A Form of Musical Notation Using Numbers and Letters on a Staff.

PUBLISHED: Jan 2, 2005 UPDATED: May 14, 2020 • VIEWS: 16 • LESSON CODE: UL43

Instruments: ukulele Subjects: readingTABintermediateadvancedbasics

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The Trouble with TAB

TAB, short for tablature is a form of musical notation using numbers and letters on a staff that that corresponds to the number of strings of fretted string instrument. Theses number tell a player which fret to place their fingers on rather than which pitches to play.

TAB has a history with lute music from centuries ago and has found wide use in the music publishing industry catering to the guitarist who can't or doesn't want to learn to read. TAB doesn't exist in mainstream music, primarily by some music magazines and on the internet.

Learning to read TAB can be accomplished in minutes. Learning to read standard music notation takes a lot of dedicated work and is well worth the effort.

"I think anything that separates guitar players (ed. ukulele players also) from the rest of the music world is bad. Tablature is a certain secret code only for a guitar player. So you have guitar players who can read tablature and not music." - Peter Bernstein

On other real benefit to being able to read standard music notation is you then have access to a wider range of material from other instruments and not limited to ukulele TAB.


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Related Lessons

Related Lessons for The Trouble with TAB at this time.

Reading Ukulele TAB - Alternate Notation • Updated: Feb 12, 2020

TAB or Tablature Tablature is an alternate form of musical notation, which tells players where to place their fingers on a particular instrument rather than which pitches to play. TAB is sort of a secret language between guitar players and ukulele players. Although a shortcut to getting started it actually serves to alienate one from the rest of the music world. With fewer alternate note locations than the guitar, reading music on ukulele is a lot easier than you might believe.

Natural, Sharp and Flat Notes of the `Ukulele Fingerboard - C Tuning • Updated: Aug 3, 2018

Standard music notation, the natural, sharp and flat notes of the ukulele fingerboard for C tuned ukuleles. Covers both high C and low G tuning variations.

Learning the `Ukulele Fingerboard (Finally!!!) • Updated: Jan 12, 2019

Most players struggle with learning the names of the notes of the ukulele fingerboard. There doesn't seem to a pattern and notes repeat. There is an easy way and it's easier that you think!

Most players know the names of the open strings for their favorite tuning.

In C Tuning the open strings, from ceiling to floor - your nose to toes are named G C E A, no sharps or flats.

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Ukulele- Reading Music Series - Primer
Updated: Jan 3, 2020

Learn to read single note melodies in the first/open position.

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