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t ableture may not be the best way to learn

Posted by studebobspongebaker on Saturday, May 12, 2012

i have been using tableture to learn a few songs only thing is i find my self having trouble keeping time with the rest of the music i think i should focus more on timig than just learning a song by finger placement. i have started using ross nickersons books and have learned so much more than i thought i knew. now if i only had some jam sessions with some others i think i might be on my way to stardum, ha . does anyone have any advice on this if so let me hear from you



4 comments on “t ableture may not be the best way to learn”

dbrooks Says:
Sunday, May 13, 2012 @4:20:32 AM

Playing from tab will definitely hold you back. It's important to get the melody in your head and be able to play from that as soon as you can. However, I do use tab a lot to figure out what I want to do with a tune. It helps me analyze and capture what I am hearing and how I'd like to translate that into an arrangement. After I have the tune in my head, I don't use the tab -- unless it's to remind me how I want to play the tune after a long time away from it. And that happens often to the tunes we play at contra dances. Keep experimenting to learn how you learn best.

n1wr Says:
Sunday, May 13, 2012 @6:46:51 AM

Bobby: As you move forward on the road you will find that there really is no one way of learning that meets all of your needs. The Murphy method is good to help ear training. Ross Nickerson's approach is good. And just working with tab is important for at least the following reason. As you progress you are going to want to learn some of the neat licks that guys like JD Crowe and Scruggs play. Working them out by ear is possible, but sitting down with the tab will take hours off your learning curve.

So don't discard any one method - use them all. They are tools. You wouldn't go out on a job with just one wrench in your tool box. Think of it in that sense.

Good luck. Wayne in Maryland

n1wr Says:
Sunday, May 13, 2012 @7:03:39 AM

Bobby: I just re-read your message. You are having trouble with timing. I've been there.

What I have found most helpful is using Tabledit - the program that lets you read TAB. Sorry to take you back to TAB. Tabledit lets you play the song back at as slow a speed as you'd like. Other programs do the same thing, for example Amazing Slow Downer - lets you slow down any recorded song. Play along with the song your working on at a slow pace. Sometime playing slow is a real pain (yea, we all want to play songs lightning fast) but getting the timing right for fast playing is dependent on you getting it right at a slow pace first. Playing along s l o w l y will help you to identify where you are missing your timing. By the way - one way to improve your playing (to get to that lightning fast speed) is to use one of these slow downer programs and start off where you are comfortable, get good at playing there, and then start to slowly increase the tempo.

Also you should have a good understanding of music notation - know how to count out quarter notes, eight notes etc. It gets complicated sometimes. This is a part of reading music (theory) that a banjo player shouldn't overlook. If you have a friend who is a musician and has studied (taken lessons) ask him/her to help you understand this. A teacher would be better, but we all don't have that available to us. Find someone that plays the drums would be especially helpful if they have the patience to sit down and work with you. Having a metronome (lots of free ones on line for computer or as apps) is a big help with your timing.

Again, good luck. Wayne

studebobspongebaker Says:
Sunday, May 13, 2012 @9:49:05 PM

thanks Wayne i think the metronome will be a big help , i just get frustrated because i want to pick up the bajo and play without being hindered by my fumble fingers. i have a tabedit program that i use and it has helped a lot because i can slow it down to a reasonable playing speed. i have figured out that if i get the melody a few times i can do a lot better but i dont finish out one song because i want to move on . i know a lot of peices of them i guess i should finish one before starting another. it helps a lot to talk and ask advice from others and thamk you so much for helping me. a metronome will be the next item on my list

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