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Monday, January 15, 2007

Fitfully, I'm trying to learn the guitar.

Will someone kindly explain to me that when I look up the chord tabs to a song, and play them, they sound nothing like the song?


Try reading the tabs along with listening to the music. Do that a few times, then master a small section at a time before moving on to the next.

What song(s) are you trying to play?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:37 PM  

Give "Whet Kings" by the Hip a shot. I'm a musical spaz but I managed to get it sounding okay.

By Blogger Chopped Nuts, at 9:43 PM  

Or, if you prefer, "Wheat Kings". :)

By Blogger Chopped Nuts, at 9:43 PM  

I'm not sure what format your sheet music is in (Piano-Voice-Chords, chordpro, or tabs) but ime it's always been one of the following reasons:

PVC or chordpro- most often I am playing the wrong version of the chord. Try changing which note leads the chord (an inversion) or the octave.

Tabs- online source material varies, try finding other transcriptions of the song to find differences- blend until it sounds right.

Published guitar tabs come in a few editions for different skill levels. If the cover has a logo on it with the word "authentic" anywhere, the tabs are note for note. Otherwise, they've been simplified.

Another random possibility is that the song was recorded with an alternate tuning and you are still playing in standard. If this were the case, it should be mentioned at the beginning of the sheet music.

Hope that helps!

(as it's my first commment, I guess it's only appropriate to say here that I'm a junkie for your blog)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:50 AM  

Rhythm and timing. Aside from that:

Depending on where you're getting your chords from... sites like OLGA, that have chord descriptions of a song are usually pretty vague.

1) The chord break-downs on most internet sites are often over-simplistic. Generally they are breakdowns of the rhythm guitar rather than the melody or main riff.

Most rock songs that you know by heart off the top of your head are riffs.

2) Sometimes they are giving you the chord (shape your hand should be in), while the other hand is playing individual notes.

A lot of OLGA's Led Zeppelin "chords" use this. Creedence, Dylan, The Beatles.

While they are playing a G or C or whatever, they aren't playing all the strings at once. The Chord tabs don't acknowledge this. You have to hear it by ear... or get tabs.

3) Tabs

Pretty much the easiest, fastest way to be playing songs you want to play.

They give you the 6 strings and the fret which your fingers should be on. All it takes is practice. Lots and lots of practice.

And that takes us back to timing and rhythm...

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:36 PM  


i found your site on technorati. you should check out the video tabs archive at It is a great site for anyone trying to learn to play new songs on the guitar. Hope that helps! Don't give up!

By Blogger j, at 7:53 PM  

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