Rhythmically Notated Tab {or} Notation on top with tap on bottom

I was wondering if I could ask the Gypsy Jazz community a question

-So I’ve made a lot of lead-sheets and I plan on making it into a book at some point specifically targeting anyone wanting to play gypsy jazz to make this music more accessible to everyone.

-Now I’ve made Vocal, C, Bb, & Eb versions so any instrument can read it

For the guitarist who prefers just tabs which would you rather have of the 2 options:

-a book with rhythmically notated tab? (just 1 line of music and no musical notation)


-2 lines of notation w/ musical notation on top and tabs on the the bottom.

I am aware that music notation is important and it's how I prefer to learn music myself but I understand that Tablature can be much easier to pickup for a beginner, intermediate, or hobbyist guitarist.


  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Dupont Nomade - Dupont DM-50E
    Posts: 1,306

    While i have seen several different systems for notating TAB, it seems the most common is to write the part out in musical notation and then the tab immediately below it. Sometimes, people can make editing errors with the tab and I'm able to refer to the musical notation above it to clarify the discrepancy. I also learned to read music as a young student (for a difft. instrument) so while I can't sight read music while playing guitar, I can figure out the notes on the staff when required.

    Your stated goal was to make this more accessible to everyone, and that would seem to lead me to advise using 2 lines. In that way, if one only reads tab, they are seeing it displayed as it commonly is done in guitar magazines, books, etc. If someone wants the music notation and they just see rhythmic tab written, they might pass. You please both groups with the 2 lines, but don't really alienate anyone. My two pennies.

  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 461

    I think both treble clef and tablature are good.

    BUT, do make sure you to put the timing symbolism in the tablature, just as it's always in standard music notation -- even if you include the standard musical notation. Not just fret numbers. Like Tabledit software, for example.

    By analogy, 5-string banjo music tablature ALWAYS includes the timing.

    People should be able to look only at tablature and play in time.

  • edited August 2020 Posts: 13

    Thanks guys.

    I will do 2 lines of music. (with the time signature)

    The music notation on top with the tablature on the bottom.

    The reason I asked was I wasn't sure if people wanted or cared about the note notation along with the tab or not.

    And I like to keep things compact and simple to read, so adding another staff of music will turn 1 page of music into 2 (but not a big deal though)

  • Posts: 281

    I also like to sometimes change the fingering. Which is easier to do if it's not just tab.

  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Dupont Nomade - Dupont DM-50E
    Posts: 1,306

    If you are concerned about making 1 page to 2 pages, and if you are going to put the rhythm in the tab as @pdg suggests, then perhaps you could just make one page the notation and the facing page the tab? That only works if the tab has its own rhythm notation though. Just a thought.

  • AzazzellAzazzell CanadaNew
    edited August 2020 Posts: 174

    +1 for notation and tab.

    If the point is to make gypsy jazz accessible to everyone, I find videos like DjangoKOR's to be perfect : ex

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