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Feb 9, 2020 - 4:38:16 PM
20 posts since 6/3/2018

I have learned lots of tunes for Guitar and Banjo using tab. I picked up the fiddle about four months ago. I know several tunes but I can't use tab. I don't understand the differance. It is handy to use for the parts the ear doesn't get right of. But the tabs that I have don't jive with my ear.
Any tips.
God Bless

Feb 9, 2020 - 5:04:49 PM

4977 posts since 9/26/2008

I don't use it, but I think fiddle tab is a little different. What does yours look like in comparison to guitar tab? Often fiddle tab doesn't differentiate the 2nd (and 3rd) finger much and rely on key knowledge (again, I think) to know which finger placement is used (ex. difference between G and G# in key of A). 

Edited by - ChickenMan on 02/09/2020 17:09:01

Feb 9, 2020 - 6:04:13 PM

851 posts since 8/11/2009

Mandolin Tabs, play okay on the fiddle with the exception, that it sounds like you're playing the mandolin part on a fiddle, but they totally will work.

Feb 9, 2020 - 9:43:32 PM
likes this

257 posts since 12/2/2013

My tabs use this system, the numbers are finger positions not frets.

Feb 10, 2020 - 7:46:47 AM

4289 posts since 6/23/2007

I use tab for some guitar and all my banjo playing. Based on my long experience using both tab and standard notation, I would say that standard notation will work much better for the fiddle. I find it easier to visualize and mentally hear the music when I use notation. In fact, there are times when I print the tab AND standard notation for guitar or banjo music so that can realize what is happening musically.

Go to a library and start reading info on standard music notation. Learn about scales, keys, chords. Everything you learn will be useful, and there is a lot to learn. Be patient and start with short simple versions of tunes. Music theory can applied to every instrument. I use guitar ideas on the banjo. The fiddle teaches a person a lot about melodies and how they can be used.

Feb 10, 2020 - 11:59:46 AM

3073 posts since 6/21/2007

Richard's system is the one that Wayne Erbsen uses in his "Old Time Fiddle for the Complete Ignoramus." He also shows the musical notation for the piece, which is a good way to be introduced to standard notation.

I played finger-style guitar for over 40 years using mainly notation (classical) but some tab (folk). I tried to use notation when I started playing banjo (CH), but had to go to tab because my mind and fingers would -not- see the high G being played on the 5th string.

Several years later I got into fiddle, and prefer notation, so if I need something transferred to the other method (notation -> tab, vice-versa) I fire up my Tabledit program and "transpose."

Feb 11, 2020 - 5:05:02 AM

20 posts since 6/3/2018

Thanks for the replies. I am just useing my ear for now. I just couldn't see why one instrument would be differnt from another in learning.
I have to say fiddle is tough to learn. Maybe with the holding this way,bow this way, and this note this way and that note that way.and a hundred other things I must know to play fiddle I became overloaded.
God Bless

Feb 11, 2020 - 5:33:24 AM

4977 posts since 9/26/2008

It is really nothing like guitar or banjo. Much more to learn. Being fretless is plenty of difference, then add bow control... The fiddle doesn't let a beginner just sit down and learn to play a tune in a few minutes like the ukulele. Good luck on your journey.

Feb 11, 2020 - 6:20:34 AM

2307 posts since 10/1/2008

Well .... notation is more accurate than tab in that duration is written not just pitch. Though TAB shows finger placement..... fiddling requires the player to be on pitch , in time with good tone. Bowing and fingering and all the nuance that can go with that. A newbie mandolinist can pick up a simple fiddle tune in the week he or she starts playing. Fiddlers ... not so much. Soooo ... my tips ... check your intonation with your tuner. Since you play guitar lay down a rythm track to play with. Be patient and play daily. Muscle memory is involved. R/

Feb 11, 2020 - 7:15:30 AM

4289 posts since 6/23/2007

The tuning of a stringed instrument can make reading notation easier or more difficult. The standard tuning of the fiddle, GDAE, creates 5ths between each string. That tuning works fine with standard notation. With the exception of the "B" string a guitar is not too bad. But standard tuning for a bluegrass banjo is DGBD which makes using standard notation more difficult.

Standard notation has features which can provide more information than tab does. That information is usually most useful to fiddlers. I use tab all the time for banjo, but I sometime run into situations tab cannot handle. I do use notation to help familiarize me with the banjo fingerboard. But when a banjo player does this, they end up playing the banjo like a guitar.
They use their fingerpicks like flatpicks and pick single strings instead of using "rolls".

Feb 11, 2020 - 1:11 PM

1718 posts since 12/11/2008

I'll add to the chorus and say that standard musical notation seems to have been specifically created for fiddlers and fiddling. With keyboard players being second in line to the party.

Feb 11, 2020 - 3:00:44 PM

3073 posts since 6/21/2007

Originally posted by Lonesome Fiddler

I'll add to the chorus and say that standard musical notation seems to have been specifically created for fiddlers and fiddling. With keyboard players being second in line to the party.

With a few horn, woodwind, organists and others thrown in!  [ ;) ]

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