mary. (grrlskout) wrote in avantcello,
mary.
grrlskout
avantcello

treble tabs to bass clef???

So, I've been playing cello for under a year, but I'm completely loving it. I want to ultimately play beloved punk and rawk songs on it. Shouldn't be too difficult, right? Only they are all written in treble clef, and usually I can only find guitar tabs of the songs. I'm pretty new to reading music, but I'm doing a pretty good job on sight reading bass clef. My question is this: If I find guitar tabs that say something is a C and an F#... can I just play a C and an F# on my cello? Or do I have to completely modify the note to make it sound right on the cello????
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You'll find that most punk and rock songs are easy to play on the cello, so long as you don't have to do any fast pentatonic runs in tricky keys. Since the guitar is tuned in 4ths, these runs are often easy and require far less shifting than on a cello which is tuned in 5ths.

To answer your question, there is no transposition needed when reading guitar tabs that have chord symbols, unless the guitar has been detuned (such as in many Hendrix, Nirvana, and metal tunes) and the person tabbing has not transposed the chord symbols for you. And if the tabs do not have chord symbols, it's usually fairly easy to pick out the parts since guitars are tuned (low-to-high) EAdgbe. In relation to the cello, the low open E string on the guitar is tuned two whole steps higher than your lowest C string. The high E string on the guitar corresponds to the E on your A string. The best advice I can give you for transcribing guitar is to actually learn your way around on the guitar and figure out how to recognize certain common chords and scales on the guitar and how they relate to chords and scales on the cello.