We all know how much of a pain learning from online tabs can be. It often means  printing out page after page of tab and carefully laying it out so you can see it all. And that’s if you’ve even got any printer ink left from the time you printed out the full tab to Freebird.

So when I stumbled across news that ‘there was an app for that’ (ugh!)  I sat back and basked in the glow of yet another technological revolution.

Or so it would seem.

Yeah, it’d be great to eliminate the forest of tabs we all inevitably have lying around and it’d be even better to avoid the panicky page turning when you’re playing along with the song’s record.

But is the best way to do that by shrinking it all down onto the iPhones teeny tiny screen? It’s nice to have all these features in our pocket and not have to strategically paper over our bedsheets in tablature, but it looks (for want of a better word) naff.

Memorise these two bars while you can - they're not hanging around long.

You seem to get all of two-bars worth of on the iPhones pocket sized screen, with tab that moves so fast there’s no way you can read it and play at the same time.

It seems kinda useable for rhythm work, but what happens when you want to learn a blisteringly fast solo? The tab won’t be on the screen long enough for you to even know what key you’re in.

Not to mention you won’t be able to see what’s coming. Impromptu key change? Position shift? You’ll have absolutely no idea, with the revolutionary TabToolkit!

Call me cynical and old fashioned, but I’ll stick with the paper. I can fit more on a page, look at it for longer than two seconds and (most importantly) I can annotate to my heart’s content.

Want some fingering in there? Want to know the chord progression under a solo. Boom, here’s my friend the pencil.

I nailed Panama this afternoon perfectly fine with good old fashioned paper tab/score. In fact, I’ll wager it was easier learning.  A4’s a damn sight easier to read than a lightning-fast 3.5 inch screen.

Paper 1, technology 0.

(And here I was hoping the first item on this blog would be a positive one – cynicism rocks!)