The pros and cons of Guitar Tablatures

Guitar tablature vs. Standard Notation – Part I

The pros and cons of Guitar Tablatures

The pros and cons of Guitar Tablatures

Today, in Learn Music Blog, we bring a new post. This time, we give way to another musical instrument which is very famous in WKMT London Music Studio, and that is the Guitar. Thomas Rickerby is the main guitar tutor for our students. He is fully prepared, and also plays for his own rock band, The Hound, to which we suggest you all to check them out. We are very used to the classical music, although, as good musicians, we like to explore other types, and make our students aware of all the different types of music and genres exist to have a full knowledge about music. So this is one of the genres we are going to explore now.

Thomas has prepared a series of articles in which he explains interesting and helpful topics for those learning guitar, and for those insterested in knowing more about other concepts such as guitar. Click on the links aforementioned to access to every chapter of this series.

The guitar is a wonderful instrument to play but not the easiest to read at the beginning. One of the most challenging issues the guitar students face is the fact that one note can be played in many frets with different strings. For Piano students, for example, that does not happen, as one key belongs to one note on the Staff, but not for guitarists. That is why a Tablature (or its shorter version, Tabs) is one of the most useful tools to have a kick-start. This method started actually during the Baroque period, a very long time ago, and it was used mainly for Lutes. This method was later applied to the Mandolin and the guitar. It can sort out the main issue of finding the notes quickly on the fretboard, as this can be tricky for any beginner student as contrary to standard piano tuition where the keyboard has a very clear pattern to find the notes, in the guitar, the frets look exactly the same and there is no clear pattern as in the piano. We can find setbacks or even flaws in the system, which is the lack of rhythmic information provided to the performer, so this means that the student either should know previously the song or he or she has to listen to it from a record. On a music sheet, all information is available, and if you see a guitar music sheet, you will be able to recognise all the necessary information to interpret any music, such as pitch (notes), duration (note values), articulation (smooth or detached notes) and dynamics (how loud or soft we should play). 

There is another powerful and pragmatic reason to consider studying the notes from the staff after your first contact with the Tab method: the staff has been around from hundreds of years and it is a universal way of reading any kind of music for any instrument.

Do not hesitate to leave your comments and thoughts about this series of articles.