Occasionally you will find TAB which includes information on all
of the note lengths. There seems to be no particular 'standard'
way of doing this, but it usually involves a line of letters or
symbols above the TAB.
See below (Section 3.2 part 6) for more details.
If the explanation of the timing symbols is not given in the TAB
then you've got a problem !
In this case a quick email to the author to ask for enlightenment
is the only way forward.
WRITING TAB - GETTING STARTED
Perhaps one of the most important things to do before you start
typing up a piece of TAB is to decide exactly how much information
to include in it. The trick is to convey the right amount of
information in a clear, easily readable form.
Questions you can ask yourself are :
- Is the song played using mostly chords ?
- Are there a number of riffs which appear throughout the song ?
- Is there a clear verse/chorus/middle bit structure ?
By planning ahead a little you should be able to produce a clearly
structured TAB which will not only be easier for others to read, but
also easier for you to type in.
There are also choices to be made when deciding what package to use
when typing the TAB in. All you really need is a simple text editor,
however a mouse-driven editor will probably make things easier.
When you start typing in it saves time if you draw out one blank stave
and then make 8 or 10 copies of these before you start typing in
the fret numbers etc.
If you use a more complicated package like Microsoft Word then
make sure that the characters you use are all the same length.
If an 'm' character is wider than an 'i' character then your TAB
is going to look very strange on another text editor. Choose a font
where all charcters get the same width - Courier usually does the
There are also a number of programs available by ftp which were written
specifically to make TAB writing easier. Details of these programs
including ftp addresses are in the 'TABBING MADE EASY' FAQ by John Kean,
along with other useful hints for writing TAB.
TO TAB OR NOT TO TAB
If a song can be described well with just chords, then it will be
a lot easier to read and write if you just use the chord shapes, rather
than tab out the chords.
BUT - if you do just send in the chords it makes things *much* clearer
if you give the chord shapes as well.
For example, if you wanted to send in Led Zeps 'Gallows Pole' you could
Intro : A7 G/A A7 Am7 Dadd4/A A7 G/A A7 Am7 Dadd4/A
Verse : A7 G/A A7 Am7 Dadd4/A A7 G/A A7 Am7 Dadd4/A
A7 G/A A7 Am7 Dadd4/A G D
A7 G/A A7 Am7 Dadd4/A A7 G/A A7 Am7 Dadd4/A
(You should really have the words underneath as well, but I can't
remember them at the moment !)
Now this is OK, but how many people actually know how to play Dadd4/A
off the top of their heads ?
What you need to do is include some chord shapes like this :
EADGBE EADGBE EADGBE EADGBE EADGBE EADGBE
x02020 x02010 x04035 320033 xx0232 x00000
A7 Am7 Dadd4/A G D G/A
To TAB out these chords will take a lot longer to type in, and
will probably take people a lot longer to read and understand.
Where a chord is based around chords like this, it makes things
much easier if you just give chord shapes and names, then show
where the chords go in relation to the words.