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Thread: Need tab reading help

  1. #1

    Default Need tab reading help

    Ok so I’m not completely new to reading tab/music but I’ve been wondering somethings for some time.

    1, this pic here has both “sheet music” and the tab over the traditional bars I see chords noted. How does this correlate to the tab? Is it saying that I can play that chord rather than the tab/single string?

    2, all that being said, how does one go about picking the correct chord to play in place of a single string? I see some people playing both individual strings/notes and mixing it with chords. Is there something in the tab that tells me what would be appropriate?


    For instance if I were to play the imperial March, rather than finger picking individual notes/strings is there something that shows me full chords that achieve the same sound yet fuller?


    Here’s my example pic.

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/3d/c0...71a8a96926.png

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    1,493

    Default

    When sheet music or tabs have chords listed as well, the tabs or notation indicates the melody while the chords indicate the harmony. Conceivably, what you could do is to get a friend who is willing to strum the chords with you while you play the melody as per the tabs. Otherwise, you could play the chords and sing the melody.

    The mixed approach you are talking about is called a "chord melody." If you are good, you can usually work out a chord melody for yourself, and otherwise, you can get tabs to play the chord melody rather than just single notes. They are a bit trickier, though. I have linked to an example of this kind of tab.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1bMF...d9hd68AIg/view

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    NorCal
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    447

    Default

    James Hill's website, The Ukulele Way, covers this in detail. Seek it out and try a few of the free lessons. If you subscribe, it is actually in Canadian dollars so is about $2 less in USD. I signed up and was very satisfied with the lessons.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
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    9

    Default

    Hi,
    Correct me if I’m wrong but there at least three ways to display music.
    There is the traditional way, which has a base of five horizontal lines called EGBDF and five spaces FACE plus notes above and below to extend the range. The problem for string instrument players that it does not show which string to press and which fret to use, which is where TAB comes in as it does.
    The problem with TAB is it does not show the note duration which normal music does. There is also a problem if there are slides or hammer on or pull offs, which depending on who wrote the piece it might show or not.
    If you know the tune, then there is no problem with note durations ,you already know it. Classical music is a different ball game altogether on a keyboard.
    Chord symbols are what a piano player playing most music will play with their left hand while the melody is played with the right.
    Ideally, we get all three on the page at once. On top, the song in full notation with the chord symbols above and directly below it the Tab. Imagine a line going from top to bottom whic gives you when to play the note and it moves from left to right to give you the song.
    Oldden

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Durham, UK
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    110

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by default View Post
    Ok so I’m not completely new to reading tab/music but I’ve been wondering somethings for some time.

    1, this pic here has both “sheet music” and the tab over the traditional bars I see chords noted. How does this correlate to the tab? Is it saying that I can play that chord rather than the tab/single string?

    2, all that being said, how does one go about picking the correct chord to play in place of a single string? I see some people playing both individual strings/notes and mixing it with chords. Is there something in the tab that tells me what would be appropriate?


    For instance if I were to play the imperial March, rather than finger picking individual notes/strings is there something that shows me full chords that achieve the same sound yet fuller?


    Here’s my example pic.

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/3d/c0...71a8a96926.png
    It might seem overwhelming if it is all still brand new, but I don't think uke players should postpone chord melody 'for later, when they are good enough'. Wilfried Welti has a free beginners course on his website: https://www.ukulele-arts.com/tabs-and-e-books/?lang=en
    There are other sources and books, but he actively uses the upstrums as well as the downstrums. This means that you get fuller partial chords if your melody ends on the 3rd or 4th string. You will need patience as you will be reading traditional notation, and tabs+ (the + is the squiggles that show the direction up or down). Once you've checked this out, you will be able to make your own chord melody arrangements of easy songs. For Baa, Baa Black Sheep you'd pick all melody notes out of the chords, except for the F chords, where you add a few other notes.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    1,340

    Default

    I love playing chord melodies. My singing voices isn't great, so this gives me the ability to "play" the melody, instead of singing it. I've written a couple original chord melody arrangements as well. It's not super hard to do. It just takes some time to work it out and write it down. Writing it down is the important part, especially as I get older, and I forget stuff quicker. I played one of my songs at an assisted living concert we did recently and got rave reviews.

    Use the tab sheets like the one posted in the OP, and mix the chords with the notes. Take a song you really like and know well, find the chords, and then figure out the notes.

    Here are some good chord melody sources
    https://sites.google.com/site/tabs4ukes/

    https://static1.squarespace.com/stat...k+11+12+17.pdf
    My ukulele family.....
    KoAloha Koa concert - circa 2006 (Living Waters)
    aNueNue Moon Bird concert - Spruce & Rosewood - 2018 (Blackwater)
    Blackbird Clara - 2019 (Oasis Bright)
    Cocobolo concert - 2019 (Worth Brown)

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