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There's a song I've been dying to play, relatively simple, but I'm not good enough to figure out how to tab it. How can I get a song tabbed if I can't do it myself?

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quick query - have you googled already? There are a huge amount of tunes already online as tablature:-) – Dr Mayhem Mar 22 '11 at 0:00
I have looked for it, it's a rather obscure song apparently. The lyrics aren't even available online. – Anonymous Mar 22 '11 at 0:44
@kylex - Edited to remove the pay offer, this isnt the place for that; just ask the question, maybe someone will fill your request to some extent. Refer you to @Jeff Atwoods answer here;… - if you cant find it on the internet, then its a valid question – DRL Mar 22 '11 at 0:48
If you could name the song, and/or link to a youtube video, that might help. – Dave Jacoby Mar 22 '11 at 16:51
I made this a real question, and it now suits neilfein's excellent answer. – Matthew Read May 28 '11 at 3:29
up vote 7 down vote accepted

What you're talking about is a transcription service. However, these can be expensive, and the ones I found on a quick Google are geared towards musicians who want to put music or tabs on their own websites. Paying someone to make what's essentially sheet music of a song you don't own (I assume this is not music you own the rights to) brings up all sorts of copyright problems. You have a few options. My answer assumes you can't find tab for this song online:

  • Ask a friend how to play the song. Most communities of musicians have a few people who are very good at figuring out songs from the recordings.

  • Buy the sheet music; even if you don't read music, it'll have chords and lyrics and some even have guitar tabulature. This is your best option, and the most legal.

  • Learn how to figure out the music on your own. Except for the most complex music, learning how to do this isn't all that hard, but it is a skill that takes time to develop.

  • Ask the musician or composer. Many obscure or local musicians will be accessible in this way.

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No it's not music I own, but neither is it available to purchase. The quandary of copyright. – Anonymous Mar 22 '11 at 0:52
Is it possible you can contact the composer or their estate and simply ask? – neilfein Mar 22 '11 at 0:54
@Neil: I have, but have not heard back from them. – Anonymous Mar 22 '11 at 1:03
@Neil: Follow-up, the lead singer just sent me a pretty detailed email telling me how to play the song, and the tuning he uses. So frickin' awesome! – Anonymous Mar 22 '11 at 4:02
@kylex - Glad you found what you where looking for, this might still be an acceptable answer since point 4 of @Neil Fein's answer says contact the the musician/composer. All the other points are also good advice, although they didn't work for you. Would be interested to know which band/musician/artist it is actually. – DRL Mar 23 '11 at 5:27

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