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Progressing again...playing with out tab

Posted by Judith511 on Friday, April 12, 2019

like this

So the other day I just decided to not use the tab with the tunes I know or should know. It just kind of happened naturally and I realize that I can play at least 5 tunes without the tab. But .....I need to look at something and I find if I look at the banjo frets I mess up because one thing that playing with the tabs has  taught me is to just play without looking at the frets.  More practice I think. I am playing both Clawhammer and Scruggs style now...the tunes I can play with out tabs are the Scruggs ones but I am getting good with Waterbound in the Clawhammer style. Maybe I will even record it and share LOL . I Can play along with the Strum machine to Soldiers Joy and Mississipi Sawyer.  Im trying to play the way Evie shows on the lessons as I can see it is a more efficient way. So doing the drop thumb then the next note with the index.  Seems to be working for me. :)

6 comments on “Progressing again...playing with out tab”

WayneConrad Says:
Friday, April 12, 2019 @3:04:54 PM

It's great than you can play without looking, and kind of a twist--a neat one in a way--that looking messes you up. I'd love to hear you playing, so don't be shy. I think it's cool, too, that you can play in both Scruggs and clawhammer.

Friday, April 12, 2019 @4:42:44 PM

By all means, I agree. Give it a go. I am sure it will go well.

Judith511 Says:
Friday, April 12, 2019 @8:08:23 PM

Thanks WayneConrad . When I get a recording I am happy with.:)

AndyW Says:
Friday, April 12, 2019 @11:34:32 PM

Judith, time to treat tunes where you can't play without tablature as 'unlearned'.

If you can play the tune well enough reading the tab and have done for a while, then it only takes a little bit of concerted effort to put that tab away for a tune.

I think my 'firsts' were like yours, tunes where I sort of just didn't start looking at the tab.

The awkward bits are often changing between A and B parts, especially if you practice the parts individually a lot.

I think now you've made the first step you will soon have all the tunes you know 'off tab'. it's extremely freeing just to pick up that banjo and play.

Certainly with clawhammer fiddle tunes it's almost a 'must' to be off tab with a tune in order to get near any sort of 'performance speed' to play along with a recording/full speed jam.

The only 'trap' for you now is to endlessly play the five you have down pat. They are learned!!!! Concentrate on freeing up the others.....

Judith511 Says:
Saturday, April 13, 2019 @5:34:38 AM

Thanks @AndyW I think you are right if I can't play without the tab then I really have not learned the tune. I keep starting new tunes and learning new variations to one I already play. I'll have to start a list but yes it would be great to be able to just play and not have to have the tabs with me.

Deleteme Says:
Tuesday, April 16, 2019 @4:17:28 AM

@judith511, The more you play without tab, the more you learn your banjo. When you know your banjo you can play without tabs as the music just rolls out of you. You have to go through it in each tuning too. It is so much fun when it begins to happen. Suddenly you know what you are hearing and your ability to learn by ear and remember tunes greatly increases. Finally you may just want tabs to see variations to practice. Keep practicing and it will turn more into playing which is fun!

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