Reading TABs in English by Dr Joe
FIRST: We have 3 rows: G C and F, starting outside and moving
in towards the bellows.
SECOND: A button is identified by row and number; C10, 10th button in 2nd row! F1, 1st button in 3rd row.
THIRD: For each button there are 2 notes: one note pushing in and one note pulling out the bellows. Most of our playing is pulling, so we indicate that by just notating the buttons, without any special markings. Pushing in requires this notation ( ), parenthesis to distinguish it from pulling out the bellows.
FOURTH: To simplify TABing, we can often avoid repeating symbols etc.
FIFTH: A 'space', or '.', means RELEASE that button and
play the next button(s).
SEVENTH: When 2, or more, buttons are played simultaneously, no '.' , or space, exists between the numbers:
EIGHTH: TABs are usually arranged by phrases, adornos or
pasaditas. Sometimes in a run of buttons you may see ~ or * ; G2~.C2.G3.*C3.G4
Ninth: A TAB can be played on any Tono acordeon, and it will sound good. Remember, G-C-F just means 1st-2nd-3rd row. Yet, most of the TABs, to match the recordings, require the appropiate box; usually Sol. However, there are some TABs, in the archive, for FA and MI boxes and this info is given as part of the TAB text. And, there are some purists among us who will use E-A-D, F-Bb-Eb for indicating 1-2-3 row when those boxes are used on the recordings.
This is all one needs to know to use the TABs. Especially, if one already knows the the ritmo of the song, or has a recording to listen to for help with the ritmo.