Rhythm is one of the three building blocks of music theory. Without it, timing wouldn’t exist- much like the basic tablature system lacks timing and rhythm. For music theorists who take the time to learn the three building blocks of music theory- rhythm, harmony, and melody; the payout will be enormous in the long run.
Not everyone has the time or patience to learn how to read and write music with standard notation. Tablature, also called tabulature or tabs, is the world-renown solution that proves to be much faster in terms of learning, writing, or reading a song in standard notation. In fact, it is much more likely that a guitarist seeking to learn a song will find tablature long before standard notation is found.
Figure 1 – The top shows standard notation, while the bottom shows tablature. Notice how there is no rhythm or timing for tablature, as compared to standard notation.
Music theory is vital to any guitar player that is looking forward to a long-term hobby or even profession. The majority of young guitarists decide to skip music theory, and instead start learning tablature of idolized bands. This is often a bad idea for a number of reasons, and is usually better to learn music theory first- however “less fun” it might be, since it will be a phenomenal help in the long run.
Figure 1 – It might not look like a fretboard, but it is! Don’t worry if it looks confusing- it’s actually quite simple. Learning music theory is vital to the avid guitarist!