Why you should say NO! to tabs
This might be hard to everyone understand and there will be a lot of defenders who will say that tabs are good and fast way to learn and tabs give valuable information of the songs you want to learn. Everything in nice educational package which will only benefit you. Truth is totally different.
The progress with the lines and numbers will actually do the opposite they seem to do. Tabs will prevent you from learning fast and great way. Before I will prove this for you, I want to mention that tabs are not EVIL or totally bad things. They are just preventing you becoming great musician. In the "real world" tab players always play the 2nd violin. Ear players have the widest repertoire of songs to play, great sound, jamming abilities and more. I know this because I've seen this in several festivals and I know these players. Players who are great and players who are not that great. I want to be great also...who doesn't? I realized that first thing I need do is to start to listen to music more carefully and get rid of bad habits.
NO MORE BAD HABITS! Have you ever though what is your real potential as a guitar player and musician? If you think you will find this potential with TABS, you have chosen wrong path. We can think that habits we have are the best ones but actually most of the habits which seem easy and simple will lead us to wrong direction and it is very hard to get rid of these habits. Maybe you will have those habits whole of your life and you will never really find your real potential as a guitar player? Maybe it is time to give a try for something new and different?
It is all about emotion and understanding music. Playing from tabs can help to certain point but if the habit continues too long, real possibilities and abilities of the musician will never show up. I wish that I would never started to play from tabs because past couple years I have only developed my listening skills and I have learned more songs in 1 year than past 20 years before that. That is only because I never use tabs anymore and I ever won't again.
I was a tab players and that's the only reason I can honestly say that playing from tabs can make obstacles and prevent us to be great musicians. I did not used to feel music that much, approach in music was judging, error seeking, academic etc. Lot of rules and schools. I used to think "This cannot be done like this because the book says like that".
When we use tabs and written music there is like a wall or a curtain between us and the "Real Thing" which is the music we hear. We cannot see the wood for the trees. Danger is that we just focus on some details about playing technique or try to get too much intelligent about some details of the written music. Many technical obstacles can be solved with actual listening and bringing the emotional aspects in. Of course motor skills need practice but without songs musician is nothing. That is what I heard from the great Tommy Emmanuel and it is true.
Music is all about emotions you go through with your instrument. If you can get your emotional level matched with the instrument and music: You will be friends and happiness with it forever. You won't fail.
I used to be just like many of you and struggled. Now without tabs I listen to music more, know more different music styles, songs, players... It is all great because of YouTube and social medias.
We won't see any great guitar player ever who use tabs. You just cannot develop your senses to be used in music with a piece of paper. It is impossible. It has never happened and it won't never happen. You have to listen to the music you play very carefully and detailed way until you can be a great musician. There is no shortcuts and tabs are only preventing that and creating the curtain between music and you.
When I threw tabs away, personality started to come out from my playing. Because the papers with numbers weren't there anymore I started to listen to the actual playing more and even it was slow first, I enjoyed every moment from the beginning. Every small detail of music brings methe fun and excitement.
When you learn something by listening carefully, it feels like that even 1 or 2 notes mean something for you.
Tomi Paldanius has graduated as a classical guitar teacher in 2003 from Turku Music Academy in Finland. He released his first guitar method (First steps in guitar playing) in 2003 as a final diploma of his studies with excellent grades. Since 2005 Tomi has travelled Europe, US, Australia and Asia with a purpose to find the true happiness with the music and instrument. From his own research and interviews with many great acoustic guitar players like Tommy Emmanuel, Richard Smith, Sungha Jung, Andy McKee, Adam Rafferty, Joe Robinson, Michael Fix, Doyle Dykes etc., From these great artists Tomi has learned the way to appreciate music as it's most natural way = by listening.