tab vs. chord notation differences

captain-janeway

Active member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
1,002
Points
38
Came across this "Notes for the beginning Ukulele Player" that is an intro to basic music theory for uke players

http://www.lakesidepress.com/UkeSyllabus.pdf

Question for people. Usually if I was to see a chord like G, I see it as 0232. I read these left to right as 4th string, third string, etc.

He has a quiz in here asking "what chord is played by tablature 2-3-2-0?" His answer is G. To me it's an F#m.

If I look at standard notation I think a G would be 0232 as well.

Does this make sense to anyone? If you happen to pull open the pdf it's p. 67 Section 10 with the quiz on p. 71.

His explanation of an F chord on the lead sheet on p. 61 is 2010 which makes sense. I'm trying to figure out if it's just a typo on his part or if I'm missing something.
Thanks
 

rorym

Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2017
Messages
197
Points
16
For questions 14 and 15 of the Uke Quiz on page 6 the author uses 4-3-2-1 notation for the G7 and G chords respectively: 0212 and 0232. The notation on page 71 is very likely a typo. My guess would be they copied that section from another source.
 

captain-janeway

Active member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
1,002
Points
38
For questions 14 and 15 of the Uke Quiz on page 6 the author uses 4-3-2-1 notation for the G7 and G chords respectively: 0212 and 0232. The notation on page 71 is very likely a typo. My guess would be they copied that section from another source.

thanks. didn't notice that. I'm trying to learn some theory better that does immediately bury you under every variation of scale, chord, interval, etc. Maybe it's my learning style, but I get kind of lost in it.
 

merlin666

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 7, 2015
Messages
1,850
Points
48
The chord is written with a uke standing up and you face the fretboard. The other way round you would have to stand the uke on its head and count from the bottom.
 

captain-janeway

Active member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
1,002
Points
38
The most general convention, of centuries' standing, is to "spell" chords from the lowest string (from a linear tuning perspective) to the highest: on uke (regardless of tuning pattern), from string 4 to string 1. The strings are numbered in the reverse order because if more strings are added, it will be to the bass end, where the numbering is open-ended. But when spelling chords, we go from "bottom" to top, reflecting how chords are theoretically constructed--also the natural (for most Westerners) left-to-right reading order as you look at chord grids.

This 4th to 1st spelling order should also be used for tablature, corresponding to reading from bottom up, as we "read" graphs from the origin (at least, in the positive direction).

By the way, 2-3-2-0 would be Ebdim (triad, i.e., Ebmb5), not F#m.

That made sense. The 1st to 4th in his example seemed off. It also seemed to conflict with the other info in the document
Thanks on your other catch. I glanced up at his other example using G7.
 

merlin666

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 7, 2015
Messages
1,850
Points
48
Indeed I never understood the numbering schemes with some people counting up others down, and if your uke has more than four strings it all falls apart. It is not intuitive, and I work with numbers all day long.
 

ukudancer

Member
Joined
May 19, 2021
Messages
119
Points
18
G is definitely 0232. The other way is just weird. I've certainly never seen it written out that way.