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Discussion in 'General Music Discussion' started by Spaced Out Ace, Apr 6, 2021.
Idk what I’m doing getting my guitar related news from there.
technically ultimate guitar can take anything they want down from their site... but there's only a legal case for it if the tab is copied from a book you can purchase IMO
There's just no resource available to archive and check against fan tabs, there's no plagiarism index for tablature and notation replication. Someone has to develop it, but at the end of the day if I copy right a melody where I tab out a melody played on the high e string.
5 - 9 - 10 - 15
If you also open up guitar pro, and tab out those string of notes you can't have the software flag all tabs that contain that string. But then at that point if you're checking for that string of notes in the context of the rest of the tab, the rest of the tab would need to be similar/identical for you to really take down all copyright infringement scanned. This only really accounts for the laziest form of tab piracy, where I open an official tab then ctrl + a / ctrl c and paste it into a new blank file.
Fan tabs without accents and exact chord shapes or their correct notes, basically most fan created trancriptions by ear would be unaffected. Because even if the lead line is identical, the chords are slightly off, and so are the other parts of the song like it's time signature/bpm/chord progressions.
I think it'll probably have to be an AI effort with a lot of manual review, but that's also an immense amount of work in the first place.
I agree that losing access to something we used to get for free is annoying, even if whomever is preventing access has the right to do so.
Just to clarify what seems to be a misconception here:
It doesn't matter if the tabs are copied from a book or fan created, even poorly created. They BOTH infringe the copyright.
A copyright covers works that are substantially similar. Furthermore, guitar tab is a derivative work of a copyright, regardless of whether it is official or not, and the law, especially in the U.S., expressly gives the copyright owner the "exclusive rights" to "prepare derivative works". See 17 USC section 106.
Thus, unauthorized guitar tabs infringe the author's copyright, regardless if they are photocopied from a licensed book or fan created from scratch, and regardless of the accuracy.
Funny enough, this discussion made me want to order the Crack the Skye tab book.
I got the crack the Skye book, some of the transcriptions seemed a bit dodgy. UG had better ones for a couple songs imo.
The big thing I don’t like about tab books is just reading the damn things. Especially with songs with multiple guitars, you spend more time turning pages than playing if you try to do songs all the way through. Powertabs and gp tabs were greatly preferable for that reason.
when powertabs got destroyed, it was entirely record companies going crazy filing legal takedowns against any artist they had copyright rights to, most of whom didn’t have official tab books. It’s completely unrelated to whether there’s a book out for a particular song/album. They have the same right to sue you. I remember from the time that people often got in touch with the bands whose stuff was being taken down, and they had absolutely no idea.
it’s all pathetic. Tabbing was my favorite hobby until powertabs.net got locked down and then the vultures at UG uploaded all my tabs after stripping my name off them. Completely destroyed any happiness I got out of it. I say good riddance to that site.
Someone should tab the Constrictor and Raise Your Fist albums by Alice Cooper. I was looking up tabs, and I know for a fact they took at least one of the fan tabs and put it behind a pay wall.
lmao snowflake-how tf you think we learned how to play back in the day?
by ear, learning to read notation and figuring shit out on yer own..
library books, sheet music, which for popular music wasn't ever very accurate.
guess what? Music isn't supposed to be easy!
y'all got it way too easy. crocodile tears...yawn...
How is what I'm saying insincere? And how is it easier with tabs? You have to practice all the same. Almost everyone I know who learns their stuff "by ear" plays it wrong anyway. It only makes sense to figure it out by ear if you already know the artist's playing style. And who are you to say how music is supposed to be anyway? Fuck off!
I don't care how you learn your instrument. Main thing is that it's fun for you.
Now that that is out of the way, that quote goes with most of the tabs too. The main reason I learn songs by ear nowadays is because mostly the tabs are just wrong and miss on a lot of little details. Occasionally I'll take a peek of a tab to tackle something a little faster, though, if it's hard to hear what's going on in the song.
When I used just tabs I didn't really give any thought on those repeating patterns / chord progressions. I started to find those similarities only after I started using my ear and that's what really got my playing / understanding of music to bloom. Tabs were a great thing when starting out, though. I don't think I would've had the patience to learn stuff by ear back then just because of how hard it was. I just wanted to jam.
When you view a tab on UltimateGuitar they are actually meant to pay the artist like Spotify or Youtube would since they are hosting a copyrighted work. Jason Richardson talked about it on a podcast where he contacted them on behalf of himself and a few bands saying why they hadn't been paid. He said they quickly send out all the back payments and set up a future payment system but he points out how many other bands are unaware and not paid. The money you get would be a fraction of what a tab book would make though.
I get some artists like Jason Richardson and Scale the Summit blocking tabs because people were taking tabs from their tab books and uploading them. Like how the Necrophagist tab books is all tabbed out. Now that Sheet Happens are supplying Guitar Pro files with the tabs its pretty clear why they block tabs on Ultimate Guitar.
The majority of older tab books were transcribed by keyboard players so the notes are accurate but the fingering is awful. This is especially clear in the older Yngwie Malmsteen books where they had 3 string arpeggios starting on the B and G strings instead of the high E.
I don't have a problem with tabs being blocked when an artist has high quality tabs easily available to buy online. If you are going to learn Jason Richardson why bother digging up tabs from someone like me when you can get them straight from him with a guarantee they are correct with his fingering. Now when its something like Protest the Hero blocking Fortress tabs when they released a god awful tab book that's not ok. It does bug me knowing I've higher quality tabs on my computer for bands that have blocked tabs but they are well within their legal right to do. Its worth pointing out that just because a tab is official and sold by the artist doesn't guarantee its accurate and just because its fan made doesn't mean that it's not accurate. A lot of artists tab out how they play it live or planned to play it while a fan or hired transcriber will tab out what they played on the album.
Right now its just a correction with record labels and artists trying to find the best way to deal with sheet music. Like how videos were taken down in the early days of youtube before the eventually changed it so copyright holder could claim and monetise them.
And then you've got the Cynic tabs with "here's how Paul plays it" and but you have to shift it to where a human can play those chords.
Yeah, it actually is though.
I didn't know this. I just bought Mastodon - Once Round the Sun and Cynic - Traced in Air digital tab books off there because of your post. Does anyone else do this? That's a great move and I'd much rather have GP files than a tab book in many cases. I did order the physical tab book for Traced in Air, cause it looks like they also very smartly use spiral binding so the pages would actually stay open when you are playing out of the books. Frickin 200-page Dream Theater tab books especially were a nightmare cause of their regular bindings causing them to constantly close, until you'd thoroughly broken the spine.
I might look into Scale the Summit tab books if they're good. I listened to V a whole lot and a lot of it sounded pretty playable for a bad guitar player.
I will say there were some very talented transcribers on UG here and there. It was a lot harder than PTabs.net to sift through the dreck cause that site had a complex approval process that required entire songs, proper rehearsal signs, bass score lining up with guitar, etc while UG is full of "lol hear's the tenth tab of the intro to Limp Bizkit - Break Stuff i play it in standard." But, I got some great tabs for Animals as Leaders songs and stuff that as far as I know had no legal tabs out there anywhere. Katatonia, Anathema, etc, lots of bands that didn't have anything good and legal out there. Or Opeth, who I spend hundreds and hundreds of hours transcribing songs for, but sure as heck didn't do every song of, and whose official tab book was almost exclusively songs I'd already transcribed (or someone else already had). With how many hours it took to give deep listens to those songs and figure out what the hell was going on in some sections, it was a HUGE relief to find transcriptions from other people that were good.
There's also the "path of least resistance" going on with getting fan tabs sometimes, like, sure I'll download tabs to Deftones - Koi No Yokan, but I wouldn't pay for a tab book, because the guitar stuff on that album is simple enough that I could figure it out myself in less than 30 dollars' worth of time. But I sure am more likely to play it if I don't have to spend that time!
Whoa- look at Mr. Fancypants with "notation" and "learning". Back in my day, we played guitar uphill in the snow- both ways. We didn't have no tuners- whatever pitch the town drunk screamed outside the tavern at 3am was A below middle C. Better get up early if you wanted to play.
But maybe- MAYBE- the point of progress is that shit in the future doesn't have to be as hard as shit in the past.
Long post incoming!
As a professional transcriber, I think I can offer a unique perspective here. I totally understand why people are skeptical of tab books in general, based on how they've traditionally been done by publishers like Cherry Lane, Alfred, etc. A huge part of why I got into transcribing and eventually made it my career, is that there's just so much bad information out there. For example, early Savatage text tabs written in drop D tuning, when it should be D standard. Criss Oliva didn't use drop D tuning until Gutter Ballet (title track). It seems like just because those tabs have been floating around on the internet for decades, people assume there's some validity to them. I even managed to track down the guy who transcribed the old Gutter Ballet book for Cherry Lane, and he told me he didn't have any correspondence with the band. Don't even get me started on the pre-Octavarium Dream Theater books. In case anyone missed it, I transcribed all of their 90s albums, using the isolated tracks, and put together my own corrected books for free. Here's my transcription thread: https://www.sevenstring.org/threads/evans-official-transcription-thread.336738/
Unfortunately, artists being directly involved with tab books is rare. It's also important to remember that the old books were done without a lot of the technology we enjoy now, like youtube live videos and isolated instrument tracks. A big part of transcribing (accurately) is doing research: not just the notes being played, but how and where they're played. As @Lorcan Ward pointed out, the transcribers on these old books were often non-guitarists, or they were guitarists who simply didn't have the vocabulary for the type of music they were tasked with transcribing. Those old Metallica, Megadeth, Testament, etc. books come to mind.
Anyway, I'm trying to do my part in changing the way people view tab books. By working directly with artists and using the isolated guitar tracks, I'm able to accurately notate every little detail and ensure that the positions are all accurate to what was played on the album.
Yes, if Sheet Happens didn't block tabs on UG, there would be nothing stopping someone from uploading the GP file and taking credit for it. Guitar Pro 7 does have a password protection feature to prevent editing and copy/paste, which I've been forced to use on the transcriptions that I offer via my youtube channel. All it takes is one asshole to ruin it for everyone else.
Again, the early Dream Theater albums are a perfect example. On the front of the Images and Words book, it says "includes transcriptions by John Petrucci." The key word is "includes". It does not mean JP transcribed the whole album. Far from it, actually. I was told that the publisher sent JP handwritten manuscripts of certain parts. JP would pencil in fingerings. Honestly, when looking through that book, it's obvious which parts he was involved in. That's how you end up with a transcription like Under a Glass Moon, where the solo is pretty darn close, but the rhythms are godawful.
Not my fault that Paul loves that m9 shape
Thank you for supporting the Cynic books. It's been an absolute honor to transcribe Focus and TiA for Paul, and we have more stuff in the works.
The StS books are accurate note-wise, but they definitely need some editing. For example, there are no section markers or timestamps anywhere, and there's a bunch of stuff that would be easier to read when written differently (using dotted notes instead of ties, using 6/8 instead of 6/4, etc.)
Animals as Leaders have official tabs (guitar pro & PDF formats) for The Joy of Motion and The Madness of Many here: https://www.animalsasleaders.org/the-joy-of-motion-guitar-tabs
Sheet Happens originally released the book for TMoM, not sure why it's no longer on their site.
Katatonia, Anathema, and Opeth are all managed by the same management group, Northern Music in the UK. They also manage a band called The Wildhearts, who I just did a tab book for last year. I'm trying to get some books going for other bands on their roster. Hopefully we can make it happen!
Cool. I’d really like some solid books for Anathema, particularly their albums from Judgment through Distant Satellites. I got motivated a few years ago to start transcribing Distant Satellites, especially cause I had the 5.1 disc where it was a lot easier to quasi-isolate tracks, but their stuff was still pretty tedious to transcribe so I got through my favorite song (Lost Song Pt 3) and then stopped.
I did a few songs off katatonia’s viva emptiness and last fair deal gone down, but the production made it very difficult when you’re working off cd audio. Would be great to have books for all their stuff starting with LFDGD, since that’s where things started getting really layered and cool.
I might have to get the Joy of Motion book, knowing there is one. The first album is still the one I’d like the most, but there are decent tabs out there (not amazing, but decent!). Thanks for the info about the StS book.
if you end up doing a bass book for traced in air, I’ll be all over that. I got the bass book for focus that was briefly available! Thanks for all the work you do. Those early dream theater re-dos were huge.
I have all the Scale the Summit tab books and have learned everything from Carving Desert Canyons and The Collective. But The Migration and V have some really difficult bits that sound way easier. The books themselves are really good and accurate though, spiral bound too. The only issues I've had with any of them is some weird misprints like a bar and a half missing from Whales in a solo, and part of Glacial Planet missing that repeats later. But I think those were fixed in later printings.
If anybody has a later edition of The Collective, though, PM me so I can get the missing bit.
Yeah, I love your Cynic transcriptions (and DT!!!!), but damn does that guy have big and flexible hands. I practice that chord every day and it's not getting any easier.
But more Cynic tabs please.
I also got the AAL Madness of Many book, but don't care about TJoM almost at all. Hopefully they'll do Weightless sometime, but the tabs seem pretty good at least.