Why Guitar teachers use different tabs for one song? is there a way to do that? sometimes I saw two or three tabs for on song:easy and difficult...


3 Answers 3


I've used multiple tabs when teaching before almost always because neither of the tabs is correct, but one tab might be better on the chorus and the other one is better on the verse, or something like that.

At first, I would re-do the songs in Finale to try to make a more accurate, complete tab, but it took too much time. Another skill I wanted to teach my students is how to research and learn music on their own. Sometimes I would assign tab research as homework and we would talk about how the tab(s) they found didn't seem to sound right when played.

Even professionally transcribed tabs are not always right. The best invention for learning how the original artist really plays a song is YouTube, which I have relied on many times to get accurate fingering and fret positions.

Playing it in the exact way as the original artist often makes it sound more authentic, but the real value in it is the educational aspect. When students look up to an artist, that's an opportunity to encourage them to learn a technique that might otherwise seem boring or unnecessary to them. Sometimes all you have to do is say, "Well the guy in Muse plays it this way", and they are off to the races.

  • 1
    Good answer.+1. Certainly agree about duff tabs. Why would the 'accurate fingerings and fret positions' necessarily be the best - often a guitarist will play where they feel at home? Other places could well be better - it's often personal choice. I've had many students say (about tab) why on earth play it there? It's far better there instead !
    – Tim
    Sep 27, 2015 at 16:40
  • Also agree about the tabs. Important to remember too that the people who are tabbing might not know that much about music / tabbing / guitar, so one should always consider them an approximation of the song (much like Wikipedia articles). TIM - Different positions on the guitar will make the timbre of the notes sound differently. It might be more comfortable to play some licks high up on the neck on low strings but if the artist plays in first or second position, it won't sound the same. Sep 27, 2015 at 18:30
  • I like your idea of making your own version but it does take up so much time. I keep a music book and write down the bare minimum to remind me of the improvements without re-tracking my steps by looking at the original tab. Chord shapes is usually enough. Sep 28, 2015 at 8:31

Different tablatures may contain more detail on instruments, and more difficult plays, which include techniques that require more skill and/or practice to do well.

Let's say one tab is just chords, you just need to remember chord shapes and you can play it, while other offers actual notes of solo parts that can't be described by chords only and you may need to have quick agile fingers to play it well. And also, everybody may hear different notes when transcribing to tabs.


Sometimes a student cant play a song as it was created by the author. A way to achieve proficiency is to start a light version, simplified as a preparatory exercise. I advise never invest your time in boring dull mechanistic repertoire --- you should form a good playable and performable repertoire as early as you can. Many years later you`ll be a prepared happy performer then...However it is a subjective choice. For beginners, I advise guitar songs by Shadows, Ventures, Nirvana and Santana and lute Renaissance music.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.