An alternative for TAB?

Instead of writing a number to represent the fret, I have started to write 1 (root) to 7, and this is more useful because it exposes both the music AND the string. This is obvious so I’m sure that it’s been done before, so why doesn’t everybody do this?

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If I recall what Adam Neely (a bassist and YouTuber) said about sheet music, he said that over time he had acquired enough knowledge of his fretboard to deduce where to play what from reading sheet music alone, instead of relying on TAB to show him the position in which to play.

Also, your method requires the root to stay consistent, which isn’t the case if the music modulates. Then you need to season it with flats and sharps to display accidentals… and it becomes as much of a salad as traditional sheet music. But it’s just my guess from reading what you wrote.

Perhaps you should show an example of what you mean.

Good idea, I will post an example.

A piano is 1:1 between sheet music and a note (key), but guitar often leaves one with multiple string choices (between 1 and 5 for a typical 6 string), and you must know the string to schedule 2WPS vs DWPS vs whatever. So, one needs sheet music AND TAB.

Note that double-escaped is the ONLY plectrum technique that doesn’t need TAB or some kind of explicit specification of string.

Also note that if one is playing bass (with fingers) TAB is also not required.

Ah: “any single-escaped plectrum technique requires annotations to sheet music to specify the string, often via TAB.”

Classical guitar sheet music often does indicate the location of where notes are to be played and often which finger. The fret location of a barre as well as how many strings to barre is notated in classical guitar scores. This is integral to notation of music for the instrument.

You can also annotate the type of pick stroke on standard notation which comes from violin/viola/cello/contrabass notation.

This is a piece of music that everybody will recognize. The bottom is the TAB. Three notes in ()'s indicate a change of slant (the switching portion of 2WPS), and two notes in ()'s indicate either UWPS or DWPS. Notes without ()'s are either a rest stroke or a trapped pick changing slant and escaping. But the main point is the TAB is very readable but also retains a lot of musical hints; the actual fret numbers are not really interesting, except, perhaps if one can’t read at all. It is totally deterministic but one must realize that it starts on an upstroke. Anyway, not for everybody, but it seems to work very well for me.