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View Full Version : When did "chords" become "tabs"?



Ukulele JJ
03-03-2009, 04:25 PM
Now maybe I'm an old fogey :old:, but back in the day, when we said "tabs", we meant "tablature".

That is, a written-out arrangement of a song that told you where to put your finger on what string, and when. It looked like staff paper, but it had a bunch of numbers on it instead of note heads.

A mere set of lyrics with the chords written on them was another thing entirely. But it seems like these days, the young whippersnappers are calling that "tabs". I see thread after thread where people are asking for "tabs" when they really just want the chords.

Languages do evolve, that's true. I'm still getting used to people calling any random cocktail a "martini", whether it has gin and vermouth in it or not. But that doesn't mean I still can't get all crotchety about it. :D

So what does "tabs" mean to you?

JJ

Captain Google
03-03-2009, 04:50 PM
Tabs are those things that open soda (or pop) cans. :D

therimidalv
03-03-2009, 04:51 PM
Same as you man, tabs are NUMBERS. Chords in tab form are fine as long as they are in a song of mostly single notes(in which you need tabs) It is confusing paradox, I agree, but you are right sir, chords are when you ask for the chords to the song and none else. A TAB is when you ask for individual notes in the song.

Slick
03-03-2009, 05:11 PM
Tabs are those things that open soda (or pop) cans. :D

I remember when Tabs were sodas :old:

beeejums
03-03-2009, 05:15 PM
Some might call me a whippersnapper... but I was at a buddy's house one time and he offered me a martini, so I said "sure," and he handed me a mixture of vodka and some kind of apple flavored crap... it wasn't bad, but I think he was a little offended when he saw the look on my face.

...I blame MTV.

Stackabones
03-03-2009, 05:22 PM
This.

http://www.ebbcreations.com/catalog/images/Teresas%20folder%20tabs.jpg

UkEdman90
03-03-2009, 05:24 PM
tabs to me are exactly what you have said jj! im only 18 and i to cant stand when people say chords with lyrics are tabs but you know what i guess thats the way its going to be! adaptation is in order I think

Stackabones
03-03-2009, 05:39 PM
Some might call me a whippersnapper... but I was at a buddy's house one time and he offered me a martini, so I said "sure," and he handed me a mixture of vodka and some kind of apple flavored crap... it wasn't bad, but I think he was a little offended when he saw the look on my face.

...I blame MTV.

Oh, man, I hear ya! Like when you go to a bar and order a martini and the bartender asks what kind of vodka you want. :wtf:

I just order a ginger ale.

Lanark
03-03-2009, 05:56 PM
Tabs are little pieces of paper with cute pictures of things like Porky Pig on them that you place under your tongue after some nice chem. major at MIT has made them and your friends at the Belmont st. house have acquired an entire sheet of them really cheap and it's going to be one long crazy summer back there in the middle of the 80's during which at some point you're going to find yourself in a car parked at and empty Logan Airport terminal at 3am listening to Joy Division very intently and it will all make perfect sense. All of it. Everything.

cpatch
03-03-2009, 05:59 PM
A tab is something you run at a bar. I'm with you though...those other things are chord sheets.

SuperSecretBETA
03-03-2009, 06:15 PM
I doubt the word is evolving to mean chords. I would hate for that to happen. They're two different things and should remain as such. I just assume they're n00bs who will someday be corrected. Sometimes, I incorporate both tabs and chords into my arrangements, but I usually say "chords/tabs" for those instead of simply "tabs."

It does bother me slightly that people ask for things they don't know the proper terms for, but I'm more bothered by the users that simply ask for tabs and chords without any other engagement in the UU community. e.g. 25 posts and 25 song requests. I almost lose it, but the UU love encourages me to keep my cool.

I tried giving you some rep JJ, but I guess I already did for some other post of yours recently.

khrome
03-03-2009, 06:19 PM
Tabs are the things that make your text


--> go this way

When I started playing the uke I used to think they were the same thing because when I looked up chords on the intarwebs the author sometimes called them tabs. I figured since they wrote it they should know, right? It didn't take me long to figure out they were wrong. So I blame bad info on the intarwebs for the misinformation.

Howlin Hobbit
03-03-2009, 08:02 PM
I've probably posted about the same thing a dozen or so times. I've pretty much given up though.

And I am an old fogey.

:old: Get offa my lawn you dang kids!

vialde
03-04-2009, 03:45 AM
I'm with the fogies on this one as well. Although I have to say that the quality and consistency of tabs on UU and on UC is streets ahead of the stuff that passes for tab on your average guitar forums. In my experience any way.

deach
03-04-2009, 03:55 AM
Tabs are little pieces of paper with cute pictures of things like Porky Pig on them that you place under your tongue after some nice chem. major at MIT has made them and your friends at the Belmont st. house have acquired an entire sheet of them really cheap and it's going to be one long crazy summer back there in the middle of the 80's during which at some point you're going to find yourself in a car parked at and empty Logan Airport terminal at 3am listening to Joy Division very intently and it will all make perfect sense. All of it. Everything.

lol! Not that I would know what you're talking about.

tori8984
03-04-2009, 04:08 AM
I've probably posted about the same thing a dozen or so times. I've pretty much given up though.

And I am an old fogey.

:old: Get offa my lawn you dang kids!

:uhoh: Lamb it, The geezer woke up !

hoosierhiver
03-04-2009, 04:23 AM
I thought Tab soda was the worst tasting stuff ever.

seeso
03-04-2009, 04:35 AM
It does bother me slightly that people ask for things they don't know the proper terms for, but I'm more bothered by the users that simply ask for tabs and chords without any other engagement in the UU community. e.g. 25 posts and 25 song requests. I almost lose it, but the UU love encourages me to keep my cool.

I tried giving you some rep JJ, but I guess I already did for some other post of yours recently.

That gets me too. It's even worse if the request is written in text style.

"wutz da chrds"

You're asking someone to write out the chords for you, and you can't even spell out the whole word "chords?" :mad:

But hey, some people are here just to figure out how to play something. You don't have to be involved in the community, but it sure goes a long way toward getting your song request filled if you are.

Harold O.
03-04-2009, 06:09 AM
New word: Tablichord :D

dominicfoundthemooon
03-04-2009, 06:19 AM
When did "chords" become "tabs"

ummmm... to get to the other side?

cpatch
03-04-2009, 06:37 AM
That gets me too. It's even worse if the request is written in text style.

"wutz da chrds"
To which the correct response is:

"da stringz u press"

sukie
03-04-2009, 07:43 AM
Tabs are little pieces of paper with cute pictures of things like Porky Pig on them that you place under your tongue after some nice chem. major at MIT has made them and your friends at the Belmont st. house have acquired an entire sheet of them really cheap and it's going to be one long crazy summer back there in the middle of the 80's during which at some point you're going to find yourself in a car parked at and empty Logan Airport terminal at 3am listening to Joy Division very intently and it will all make perfect sense. All of it. Everything.

What about the colors?

casetone2514
03-04-2009, 07:53 AM
I'm a stick in the mud too and don't like words to change but they do.

When I was a younger man, I could tell my friend I was feeling gay whilst sucking on a fag and he would understand that I was happy and smoking a cigarette.

BTW a tab was an almost finished cigarette in my day.

Don't believe a word? Ask any of the older Brits on here.....

Tony

ps When did Awesome come to mean slightly better than mediocre?

deach
03-04-2009, 07:57 AM
I'm a stick in the mud too and don't like words to change but they do.

When I was a younger man, I could tell my friend I was feeling gay whilst sucking on a fag and he would understand that I was happy and smoking a cigarette.

BTW a tab was an almost finished cigarette in my day.

Don't believe a word? Ask any of the older Brits on here.....

Tony

ps When did Awesome come to mean slightly better than mediocre?

Awesome post!

sukie
03-04-2009, 08:04 AM
awesome post!


lol!





.....

UUadmin
03-04-2009, 08:06 AM
better????

Lanark
03-04-2009, 08:18 AM
What about the colors?

I didn't notice the colors because that wall is busy undulating in a most distracting manner and I'm pretty sure my left shoe is chewing my foot a little but I'm not sure if it's affectionate or menacing. I'm monitoring the situation. and did you ever notice the squishy sound it makes when you rub your eye? That's kind of a cool sound. it's squishy.


and I also have no reason not to believe Deach when he says he has no idea what we're talking about. He has no reason to fib about such matters.

cpatch
03-04-2009, 08:20 AM
I didn't notice the colors because that wall is busy undulating in a most distracting manner and I'm pretty sure my left shoe is chewing my foot a little but I'm not sure if it's affectionate or menacing. I'm monitoring the situation. and did you ever notice the squishy sound it makes when you rub your eye? That's kind of a cool sound. it's squishy.


and I also have no reason not to believe Deach when he says he has no idea what we're talking about. He has no reason to fib about such matters.
Winnie the Pooh on acid.

casetone2514
03-04-2009, 12:11 PM
Awesome post!

Oh, man! Don't get me going. I was feeling quite mellow 'til I read this thread but now things keep popping in to my head like - When did the verb "To Win" come to mean "To Buy on Ebay"?

khrome
03-04-2009, 12:50 PM
When I was a younger man, I could tell my friend I was feeling gay whilst sucking on a fag and he would understand that I was happy and smoking a cigarette.


OMG.. 5 minutes later and still laffing. This is epic. it should be your sig. Or should I say, cig.

Captain Google
03-04-2009, 12:59 PM
Oh, man! Don't get me going. I was feeling quite mellow 'til I read this thread but now things keep popping in to my head like - When did the verb "To Win" come to mean "To Buy on Ebay"?

When eBay declared it so.

There was also a time when "I just lost the game" was completely harmless.

Lanark
03-04-2009, 01:10 PM
I do believe that "win" within the Ebay terminology is in part due to the nature of bidding at auction which is in itself a form of competition. The auction and the prize goes to the final and highest bidder among the throngs who compete for the honor (or ukulele as it were.)
It's also probably a not so subtle psychological ploy by the marketing wing of Ebay to couch the process within game terms in order to drive the competitive impulse in bidders to not "lose" an auction and drive the auction price up. If you don't place another bid, you're going to be a loser and nobody wants to be a loser.

khrome
03-04-2009, 02:24 PM
Oh, man! Don't get me going. I was feeling quite mellow 'til I read this thread but now things keep popping in to my head like - When did the verb "To Win" come to mean "To Buy on Ebay"?

I think their site just evolved faster than they can make those changes. Ebay used to not have the Buy It Now feature so everything was 'won' through auctions. When they added Buy It Now, changing the wording plus the extra programming it that goes along with it was probably low on their priority list (at least, that's how we prioritize things in my dept - bug fixes come first, cosmetic fixes come later.)

stanny
03-04-2009, 11:27 PM
Im with you tabs are tablature chords are chords,its always good if us old'ns can enlighten the young.lol
Keep on plinking.:music::music::music:

tuscadero
03-05-2009, 08:00 AM
To your point about Tabs (not digressions regarding ebay or what you suck on in your free time:p)
There is a forum on UU for Song Help, and a forum for Tabs, there is no forum for Chords. So, my question is, if you figure out the chords for a song and you want to share here on the forums, where would you post it? This is for a completed song, not one needing help.
I ask, as I do not want to upset the delicate sensibilities of you fine gentlemen by intermingling my course, juvenile chords with your sophisticated, refined tablature.

cpatch
03-05-2009, 08:11 AM
There is a forum on UU for Song Help, and a forum for Tabs, there is no forum for Chords. So, my question is, if you figure out the chords for a song and you want to share here on the forums, where would you post it? This is for a completed song, not one needing help.
I ask, as I do not want to upset the delicate sensibilities of you fine gentlemen by intermingling my course, juvenile chords with your sophisticated, refined tablature.
You could always post tablature of the chords in the Tabs forum. ;)

SuperSecretBETA
03-05-2009, 08:11 AM
To your point about Tabs (not digressions regarding ebay or what you suck on in your free time:p)
There is a forum on UU for Song Help, and a forum for Tabs, there is no forum for Chords. So, my question is, if you figure out the chords for a song and you want to share here on the forums, where would you post it? This is for a completed song, not one needing help.
I ask, as I do not want to upset the delicate sensibilities of you fine gentlemen by intermingling my course, juvenile chords with your sophisticated, refined tablature.

They recently renamed it to say "Ukulele Tabs and Chords." :nana:

deach
03-05-2009, 08:27 AM
To your point about Tabs (not digressions regarding ebay or what you suck on in your free time:p)
There is a forum on UU for Song Help, and a forum for Tabs, there is no forum for Chords. So, my question is, if you figure out the chords for a song and you want to share here on the forums, where would you post it? This is for a completed song, not one needing help.
I ask, as I do not want to upset the delicate sensibilities of you fine gentlemen by intermingling my course, juvenile chords with your sophisticated, refined tablature.

You don't post much, but I love it when you do.

franulele
03-05-2009, 12:20 PM
humoungous picture deleted by me, Forum Bot needs 10 words

franulele
03-05-2009, 12:24 PM
http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm37/vtguitargirl/TAB.jpg

Lori
03-05-2009, 02:03 PM
I always expect tabs to be numbers on a staff. It is almost a substitute for reading standard musical notation. I learned to "read music" when I learned classical guitar, but was very grateful for tablature when I picked up the 5 string banjo. And now I am learning the ukulele. And when given a choice between regular musical notation and tabs, I find the tablature much easier to approach. Add the chord names, and it's even easier. The only thing tablature is missing is an indication of exactly how long each note should ring. That is where the regular music notations help me out.

I was a little surprised at how many uke- tabs are just melody lines in these forums. I usually expect a little harmony or chord action with my tabs, but that's just me carrying over my pre-internet music experiences.:rolleyes:

A list of chords is only helpful if you already know how the song goes.

Just my 5 cents...
–Lori

cpatch
03-05-2009, 02:04 PM
The only thing tablature is missing is an indication of exactly how long each note should ring.
Proper tab shows note duration (even proper text tab shows duration). For examples, see:

http://www.howtoreadguitartabs.net/#basic-guitar-tab

100percenthapa
03-05-2009, 04:06 PM
So say I needed the chords to a song. Would I ask for the chords in the uke tabs board or in song help?

cpatch
03-05-2009, 04:23 PM
So say I needed the chords to a song. Would I ask for the chords in the uke tabs board or in song help?
The way I understand it, you'd ask in song help whether you needed chords or tab. The tabs and chords board is for the posting of completed tabs/chord sheets.

seeso
03-05-2009, 05:24 PM
The way I understand it, you'd ask in song help whether you needed chords or tab. The tabs and chords board is for the posting of completed tabs/chord sheets.

cpatch is correct. Post any and all requests in the Song Help section.

Lori
03-05-2009, 06:53 PM
Proper tab shows note duration (even proper text tab shows duration). For examples, see:

http://www.howtoreadguitartabs.net/#basic-guitar-tab

Nice link! I have seen tabs with the "basic guitar tab" format, but I wouldn't have known what to make of the "guitar pro" tab. Thanks for the legend!

–Lori

salukulady
03-05-2009, 07:09 PM
Some of you are saying tabs are written on a staff.....not so. A staff has 5 lines. Tabs for uke have 4 lines and tabs for guitar have 6 lines.

Also, for some reason it really bothers me that so many young really hot uke players only read tab and can't read chords. What's that about? And what about reading real notes on a staff? It's not that difficult.

I'm so old school, I'm dusty.

And Fresca totally kicks Tabs butt!

cpatch
03-05-2009, 07:32 PM
Some of you are saying tabs are written on a staff.....not so. A staff has 5 lines. Tabs for uke have 4 lines and tabs for guitar have 6 lines.
A standard staff has 5 lines and is what most people mean when they refer to a music staff. Technically, however, tablature is also written on a staff. (Tablature actually goes all the way back to the Renaissance, when it was used for the lute.)

And Mexican Coke kicks every other soda's butt.

khrome
03-05-2009, 07:55 PM
Some of you are saying tabs are written on a staff.....not so. A staff has 5 lines. Tabs for uke have 4 lines and tabs for guitar have 6 lines.

Also, for some reason it really bothers me that so many young really hot uke players only read tab and can't read chords. What's that about? And what about reading real notes on a staff? It's not that difficult.

I'm so old school, I'm dusty.

And Fresca totally kicks Tabs butt!

According to wikipedia, the lines are called staff (staves?) in tablature also.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tablature

I think tabs are more suited for fretted instruments because if you see a note on standard notation it doesn't tell you what string to play it on. It's also easier for a beginner to get started because they don't have to memorize all the notes on the fretboard. Not to say I like tabs - they are frustrating for me to use because I have been using standard notation for a long time. Both methods seem to have their pros and cons.

Ukulele JJ
03-06-2009, 03:33 AM
I think tabs are more suited for fretted instruments because if you see a note on standard notation it doesn't tell you what string to play it on.

Especially when you factor in re-entrant tuning. Standard notation is very poor at telling you how to play the notes.

Then again, tabs don't do a good job of representing the true relationships between the notes. You can't "see" a fifth, for example, like you can with standard notation.

My absolute favorite way to notate and read uke stuff is... both! Regular notes on the top staff, tab numbers (no need for rhythmic values) on the bottom. Best of both worlds.

JJ

cpatch
03-06-2009, 04:33 AM
My absolute favorite way to notate and read uke stuff is... both! Regular notes on the top staff, tab numbers (no need for rhythmic values) on the bottom. Best of both worlds.
Ditto. (Insert meaningless text here since UU won't let you just post "ditto".)

sukie
03-06-2009, 06:35 AM
Ditto. (Insert meaningless text here since UU won't let you just post "ditto".)

Same here.

cpatch
03-06-2009, 06:37 AM
Same here.
Brilliant!