Hello all,

I like this tune and want to play it but I can only read TABS.  I've looked just about everywhere but can only find the notation which I'm unable read. If anyone knows where I can find the tabs, that would be great.

John Green

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Waltzes are easy to convert to tab, I'll put it on my "to do" list. Shouldn't take but a day or two for me to get to it. I'll post it here when done.

Hi John, I hate to be "that guy" but I used to be in your position years ago.

After making due with the play-by-numbers system, I decided to work through a course of study.  I find the Mel Bay Banjo Method by Frank Bradbury to be well graded and easy to follow.

What I found is that before I set down with the fundamentals, I would spend months trying to learn a solo.  I decided to spend that same amount of time instead learning the basics.

One phrase I no longer need to say is "I can only read tab."

If you can read tab then you have the hard part of notation down-- note duration. You should also be able to recognize the standard markings like repeats. 

I recommend spending just two or three months time on a course of study. That is not that long.  

You only have to learn to read once.

Another great part of the Bradbury method is that he gets one started with alternate fingering early on.  That is the key to classic banjo.

He also spends a good bit of time on second banjo parts and chord structure. 

By just jumping into tab solos I found I ignored alternate fingering and learning the positions. I had to unlearn bad habits.  I regret starting with the tab method.  I wish I had someone convince me to do it right in the beginning.  It was actually Clarke Buehling that got through to me and set me on the right track.

Hi John, I'm with Joel on this one, one of the things to consider with tab is that unless you have a recording or know the tune well, it isn't always easy to make sense of it. By being able to read music, you can scan through a score and get a pretty good idea what it's supposed to sound like before you even begin to play. It also makes a huge repertoire of music available to you. It's well worth putting in the time to learn.....Steve.

Once again, into the breach? Do we always need the same old lectures with these requests?

Perhaps we ought to have a FAQ to reference for tab users...

Thanks Marc,

I tried to create a TAB from my original notation score created in Encore and for some reason it would not let me!!! Anyway automatically created TABs for banjo are usually wrong as the software hasn't a clue which position the notes are in and as for the 5th (Octave string G) it is hopeless. 

Ian

P.s. I hope  that we see a video from John is you can do him a TAB ;-)

Yes.

Trapdoor2 said:

Once again, into the breach? Do we always need the same old lectures with these requests?

Perhaps we ought to have a FAQ to reference for tab users...

Let me elaborate.

It is not a lecture, it is a recommendation.  Frankly, I wish that it was an absolute when I started.  I feel like I wasted time.

I by no means consider myself a great player and I pretty much crumble with stage fright for no reason, but my personal sanctification level with playing banjo has increased a million times since I got a handle on reading.

But it is not just about "reading"-- it is the rest of the stuff that goes with it, namely alternate fingering and position playing.

I just want to share with people my experience and how this end of playing turned on a light switch.

Its ok, Joel. I think I'm just getting cranky in my geezerhood. Now get off my lawn! ;-)

As I have said before, I don't really care about the mechanics of learning...I'm about getting people to play the tunes. How they get there is their business. Being able to read notation is always going to be a plus...but not for everyone.

Ian, I have been inordinately happy with how Musescore handles converting to tab. I have never found a program that handles the 5th string properly, so it always requires manual plotting after the dots are keyed in. Apart from that, it does a very good job.

I have been working on the 2nd for Joel's "Spanish Dance #2" and it is a tough slog (#1 was easy...). I'm thinking that since the original was for piano 4 hands, perhaps I should try to arrange it for 4 banjos! 

Many thanks, that would be a great help to me.

Trapdoor2 said:

Waltzes are easy to convert to tab, I'll put it on my "to do" list. Shouldn't take but a day or two for me to get to it. I'll post it here when done.

Hi Steve, thanks for your comment.  Firstly, regarding the tabs.  I would know the tune first before I decided to try playing it so there is no problem there.  Secondly, I do agree with you that it is good to put in the effort to learn to read the notes and I'm looking in to that now.  I also believe that tabs can be a stepping stone up to notation.

Steve Harrison said:

Hi John, I'm with Joel on this one, one of the things to consider with tab is that unless you have a recording or know the tune well, it isn't always easy to make sense of it. By being able to read music, you can scan through a score and get a pretty good idea what it's supposed to sound like before you even begin to play. It also makes a huge repertoire of music available to you. It's well worth putting in the time to learn.....Steve.

Hi Joel,  thanks for the information regarding the Mel Bay book.  I looked on Amazon and found (Frank Bradbury - Banjo Method, C Tuning - Concert Style).

I saved it in my wish list and will buy it in due couse.



Joel Hooks said:

Hi John, I hate to be "that guy" but I used to be in your position years ago.

After making due with the play-by-numbers system, I decided to work through a course of study.  I find the Mel Bay Banjo Method by Frank Bradbury to be well graded and easy to follow.

What I found is that before I set down with the fundamentals, I would spend months trying to learn a solo.  I decided to spend that same amount of time instead learning the basics.

One phrase I no longer need to say is "I can only read tab."

If you can read tab then you have the hard part of notation down-- note duration. You should also be able to recognize the standard markings like repeats. 

I recommend spending just two or three months time on a course of study. That is not that long.  

You only have to learn to read once.

Another great part of the Bradbury method is that he gets one started with alternate fingering early on.  That is the key to classic banjo.

He also spends a good bit of time on second banjo parts and chord structure. 

By just jumping into tab solos I found I ignored alternate fingering and learning the positions. I had to unlearn bad habits.  I regret starting with the tab method.  I wish I had someone convince me to do it right in the beginning.  It was actually Clarke Buehling that got through to me and set me on the right track.

See? I told you waltzes were easy...

The mp3 is considerably faster than 'standard', it just sounds better to me there (150bpm).

The tab reflects the position markers in the notation, mostly. If I felt I needed to alter it, I did. I also watched Ian's delightful video...something I highly recommend. Ian adds stuff like arpeggiated chords, additional twiddly bits, etc. I did not include them...though they add much to the tune.

I would print out the notation and the tab. The notation has fingering (which I left out).

edit: don't hesitate to tell me if you've found an error. I did this rather quickly! ;-)

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