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How Many TAB Formats Are There?

Posted by Brian T on Saturday, June 21, 2008

In the discussion threads, several pickers have suggested that Banjo in the Hollow/D. Dillard is a good #2 piece after learning to get comfortable playing Cripple Creek. OK, so I found it in the TAB section and printed it.   I'm accustomed to seeing groups of 1/8 notes tied together in groups of four (in the style of the Scruggs book).  So, I used a fine pen to make BITH look like that.  For example, the second measure is 8 x 1/8 notes = 2 groups of 4.  Did the same to Dillard's Cumberland Gap.  Stumbling through BITH a few times, what a "pretty" piece of music! 

Elsewhere, Jay Buckey's piece: "Back Up And Push" is really confusing for me to read as TAB.  Anybody found that one, reworked in a better format?

I am the master of my own destiny as there are no teaching pickers in this region.  Unlike my youth, I really _want_ to learn to play these.  It's either that or start painting the outside of the house.

2 comments on “How Many TAB Formats Are There?”

Texasbanjo Says:
Sunday, June 22, 2008 @5:31:03 AM

There are numerous types of tab and tab software.  Some forms of tab have the "notes" on the line and other types have them between the lines -- and that's confusing to a lot of people.  Sometimes the notes are 8th notes, sometimes 16th notes so in order to understand and play tab, you have to do some figuring on what's happening in the tab.

There are also good and bad tabs -- some are so confused that they need to be thrown away.  Some are so intricate that only a pro could play them.  Then there are the good tabs that are in the intermediate range and just about everyone can play and understand them.  You'll just have to figure out which is which.

Brian T Says:
Monday, June 23, 2008 @12:50:35 PM

TB: I agree that there are some really "bad" TABs.  I put Buckey's "Back Up And Push" right near the top.  For the  nearly good enough ones, I can read music well enough to group the 1/8 and 1/16 notes into what I call "Scruggs blocks".  These make sense to my head.   Learning BITH is now a pleasant puzzle, not a problem.

Can anybody guess what was used to write the TAB in the Scruggs book?

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