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Writing Tab

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I've found that creating a written copy of tablature for songs that I play by ear is an excellent way to become intimately familiar with the tune. Often times, playing the tune is an exercise in muscle memory rather than understanding and as a result of this reality, being able to play a tune may not be synonymous with knowing a tune. I may be splitting hairs here but my point is, I enjoy creating tab and the exercise helps me in more ways than one.

A problem I have discovered is, even though I understand basic timing and counting, I don't seem to be able to figure out how to start the tab for any given tune. I've tried the old, " one, two, three, four, one, two, three..." to figure out the technical aspects of which note of the first measure the song begins on but.... I've failed miserably. Obviously I don't understand everything I know about the subject.

If someone could help me out here.... I'd sure appreciate it. If you can give me more than a verbose definition or rule of thumb to get me started, that'd be great. Maybe you can explain it to me then quiz me by giving me some examples and see if I can get it right. I don't even know if anyone will read this. I guess I'll find out.


Paul Anthony Gray


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Newest Music

Genre: Bluegrass
Playing Style: 4-String (Tenor/Plectrum)

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Playing Since: 1974
Experience Level: Purty Good

[Teaching] [Jamming] [Socializing] [Helping]

Occupation: Nuclear Health Physicist

Gender: Male
Age: 69

My Instruments:
5-string banjo - 2004 Gibson MASTERTONE
5-string banjo - 1989 Fender Leo
6-string guitar
88-key piano

Favorite Bands/Musicians:
The Grascals, Kristin Scott Benson

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Profile Info:
Visible to: Public
Created 12/12/2012
Last Visit 10/3/2021

When I was in Junior High school, I was rejected by the school band after taking that silly little music aptitude test. I think that harmed me in ways I'll never totally realize. Anyway, I was 19 and in the Navy before I tried anything musical again. The lady I rode to church with on Sundays played a guitar and I teasingly asked when she was going to teach me to play it. She started teaching me that day and six months later, I could play anything she could on it. I wanted to play in her bluegrass gospel group at church but there were already two guitars so.... I bought a second hand banjo and taught myself to play by listening to tapes of the Lewis Family TV show that my dad mailed to me from home. . I was 19 and have been playing ever since.

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