Express Guitar - The Ultimate Guitar Learning Kit

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learn guitar  | master guitar | guitar TAB


  Master The Guitar: The Truth About Guitar TAB

  Guitar TAB ... is it the greatest thing since guitar strings for the
  beginning guitar player? Many people will tell you it is ... so
  here's a few thoughts to help you "pin your ears on straight"
  before you make your own mind up.

  Many people tout TAB as the newest approach to playing guitar.
  But contrary to popular belief TAB or finger notation has been
  around since the 1500’s. Early examples can be found in Italian,
  French and German lute tablatures.

  The lute is a six stringed instrument and predecessor to the
  guitar that became the favorite instrument of Western Europe
  during the Renaissance period

  TAB can also be found as a form of communication amongst various
  "fringe - dweller" stringed instruments, such as the banjo and
  the pedal steel guitar.

  So don't be fooled by TAB. It’s not new and it’s not the answer
  to every guitarist’s needs.

  What is TAB ?

  TAB or Tablature is a method of writing down music played on
  guitar or bass.

  Instead of using symbols like in standard musical notation, it
  uses ordinary numbers.

  What TAB will tell you ...

  TAB will tell you what notes to play - it will tell you which
  string to play and which fret to press the string down at.

 TAB will sometimes give you an indication of the rhythm of the
 piece i.e., it may tell you which notes are long notes and which
 notes are the short notes.

 However it will not tell you exactly how long or how short they

What TAB will not tell you ...

 TAB generally will not tell you the duration of the notes - so in
 most cases you will "have" to listen to the song yourself, with
 the TAB in front of you to work out the rhythm of the notes.

 TAB will not tell you which finger you use to fret each note.

 Tab usually will not tell you anything about picking and
 strumming - you will have to decide for yourself where to use
 upstrokes / down strokes and so on.

 Should you rely on TAB?

 To read or not to read...that is the question.

 Should you learn to read TAB or standard music notation? There’s
 many a valid argument for and against reading TAB or standard
 notation. The answer rests entirely in the following questions
 and how you answer them:

 (a) Do you want to know what you're doing? Yes or No

 (b) Do you simply want to copy others? Yes or No

 (c) Do you only want to play music that has been played on the
 guitar? Yes or No

 If you answered no to question number one and yes to questions
 two and three, then TAB is for you. There’s no need to read any
 further and I wish you all the best with your guitar playing.

 But if you want to learn more about your options, read on ...

 The guitar player who only reads TAB has to contend with the
 following issues :

 This player can only play songs that have been played on the

 Remember, TAB is a way for guitarists to communicate ideas among
 themselves, so one of its major drawbacks is that it only works
 with guitar.

 In short, it’s a closed world a sort of 'guitar only' club.
 Since other instruments (piano, saxophone, drums, etc.) do not
 use TAB, the "TAB only" guitarist is limited to playing music
 that has been exclusively performed on the guitar.

 Another issue to consider is that anything you write in guitar
 TAB will not communicate anything to non-guitarists. For example,
 a pianist will have no idea what you have written since a piano
 doesn't have frets!

 A third problem is that you don't know which TAB version is the
 correct one.

 Since there are many different ways of playing the same musical
 idea on a guitar, how do you know which TAB version is the
 correct one you are hearing on the recording ?

 Let’s face it. If we typed in the song "Hotel California" into
 any TAB site we would be confronted with at least 21 different
 versions of the same song.

 Keep in mind that many of these TAB versions have been submitted
 by players with very little musical experience.  Suffice it to
 say that can be disappointing.  There’s certainly room for

 O.K you can see that the "Truth about TAB" is that, taken by
 itself TAB is neither good nor bad. However, if it’s the only way
 you receive information about the guitar it can be extremely

 I do recommend learning how to read standard music notation?
 Ultimately it does have many advantages to someone who plans to
 play the guitar well on a long-term basis. High speed reading
 and recall of standard music notation is just one of the
 essential skills the advancing guitarists needs to acquire.

 But the bottom line is:

 The best music comes from inside yourself - not from TABS


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As a student of Mike Hayes since 1999, I have found his teaching methods and products to be first class. Whatever style or area of music I have been interested in, he has provided me with useful information, advice and study materials. His style of teaching and teaching products enabled me to progress through his guitar course far quicker than I ever imagined. He also helps in teaching yourself to find and develop your own style of music. Mike’s teaching gives his student’s the ability to become useful musicians, not just guitarists.

Stephen J Reid
Guitarist & Musician



This course teaches us how to learn, how to retain, and how to recall information quickly. This entire program is built around "connected learning" with key phrases, picture words ( yes there is such a thing ) and the most dynamic personal motivator I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

Ken C Simpson
Business Owner & Guitarist
Queensland, Australia



The course is varied, in-depth and well-structured, making learning and comprehension fast, thorough and enjoyable. It’s a great way of learning, as you can pace yourself and move onto the next stage when you feel competent. I find this course both innovative and inspirational. I find myself leaving Mike’s lessons with the determination to reach my new goals.

Karl J Ricker
Sales Manager
Sunshine Coast, Australia