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Post new topic Tabbing 101
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Author Topic:  Tabbing 101
Ralph Coulter

Texas, USA
Post  Posted 27 Sep 2019 6:20 pm    
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Newcomer to this versatile instrument and need some how to advice on tabbing. Currently use C6 and E tunings, ( yes I now own 2). How do you go about transposing from notes or usually guitar tabs to a specific lap steel tuning? My ear isn't fully developed. 2nd part of this is how do you pick out a 'common' tuning to use for a particular song? Appreciate any info- thanks
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Brad Richard

Chisago City, Minnesota
Post  Posted 6 Oct 2019 11:53 am    
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Ralph - I wish I had a better answer, but.....
I do it the long way. I'll start by either finding melody notes on my piano or from a tab and then hand write them out on a blank sheet music form (treble clef).

Then using a C6 fretboard layout I made, I transpose the notes by hand onto a blank C6 tab form. I keep my unplugged lap steel close by to check that it sounds right.

Then, using the same fretboard thingee and a basic chord chart, I start finding harmony notes where I think they fit.

Then I try to figure out chord note placings where they sound good and where I can actually play them.

Then I try to play it and adjust note placements ("fingering"?) if it seems to make playing smoother or better or something.

As I said, it's kind of a long process. The good thing is you tend to learn the fretboard and chords as you go and what goes where. That said, I only do it this way if I can't find a tab elsewhere. Otherwise, I let Doug B. and many others do all that heavy lifting and I just try to learn to play (hopefully like them someday).

Attached is a YT link to a song I did this way.
Good luck and have fun. And if you figure out a better system or ideas to make it easier, please post

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