The tab system used in this site is a unique visual system that shows the rhythm and where to fret the notes and chords( let’s call it RGTAB).It’s my own invention out of necessity, as I became frustrated, along with my students, over the years, with standard tabs.Basically, this system separates the rhythm from the notes, i.e., where they are fretted,for easier visual-auditory-motor comprehension.Most students have a harder time understanding the rhythm than figuring out where to put their fingers. A well articulated right hand,i.e.,rhythm, is most important for musicality and musical expression. In RGTAB, it’s easier to tap your foot, clap your hands, count aloud; to clarify the beats if it becomes unclear in your playing, and doesn’t sound “right”. The divisions and the syncopations of the beat can be difficult to figure-so slow it down and count/tap/clap until where the down,up, rest,and off beats are understood.It’s not easy, although it seems like a child could do it (few do!). So here’s how it works:
Rhythm in RGTAB-
Fretting the notes in RGTAB-
This is the simple part : a big numeral is a string, i.e., 1 for the first string ( the highest sounding-farthest away from you), 2 for the second string, etc.
Uke and Mandolin–
On fretted instruments, one typically uses some left hand techniques called pull offs, hammer ons , and slides. In RGTAB they look like this:
Pull off: 32-0 , or pull your finger off the third string second fret to the third string open.
Hammer On: 10-3, or pluck the first string open and than put your finger down on the 3rd fret.
Slide: 21-sl-3, or pluck the second string, first fret and slide it up to the third fret.
Notes plucked together: plucking more than one note at a time is called a pinch.In RGTAB, a pinch looks like this under the rhythm value:
The next step is to go to Fretted Arrangements, and try out the tab. Listening to the related sound file, following the tab, and finally trying to use it as a guide to figure out what you heard is a good process. It is important to listen first as you may be able to play many of the parts by ear; next you might use the tab to clarify the measures where you are unsure or stuck. If this is difficult to complete, just contact me!