The books we buy

Are the song books that are sold, I.E. say the Beatles one I bought, the genuine chords as written by the band themselves, does anyone know?

Thanks. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Unless it’s been created by the original artist, then its only ever going to be somebody’s opinion about what notes were played. I’ve found the album books that I bought years ago that were released along with the album to be more accurate than books with an assortment of songs. But again its best to use them as a starting point and watch a video or two of the musician playing them, watching their hands and using your ears to figure it out.


Thanks James.

I’ve bought a few. Some are a complete works (chords only) and some are I guess the original ones that have been released alongside the album.

I was curious because I thought they were maybe as they were written by the band and I’ve started to relearn songs I had learnt Justin’s way but now I know they are not (the complete work ones) I’ll not bother.

1 Like

No worries Stefan.

It could be a good exercise to watch and listen to a few YouTube videos of the band performing the songs and see what observations you make on the chords being played, embellishments and the various strumming patterns throughout the songs.


Probably better to use a service like Justin’s TABs, since they are licensed “official” tabs they are probably the most accurate you’re going to get. Even those though I feel like I remember Justin mentioning that they aren’t quite right.

Justin’s better than most at transcribing so I’d trust him over other authors of random books though.


I don’t know for sure… however I’m convinced that most of the music/chord books for sale are transcribed by others. Even Justin’s licensed tabs.

Some of the songs I’ve learned I’ve found conflicting tabs, so I go look for live videos of the original artists. More often than not Justin’s lesson’s are the most accurate. Not always though!


I think frequently its a bit of a pig in a poke. I’ve bought loads of “official” songbooks over the years and the accuracy varies. I doubt many were written by the artist or taken from the original scores. Some Hal Leonard publications have chunks missing for example. I have a couple of their Iron Maiden collections and solo are often incomplete. Other publisher have put out some accurate “album” books but I’ve lost confidence in anything from HL. I have a huge Beatles song book that all looks pretty good. Staind Break The Cycle and Metallica’s Black Album again good. So to me its a bit hit and miss but as was said earlier its often a starting point to explore further.

My 2 cents


1 Like

Learned something new about you Toby, not sure why but I didn’t expect you were a Staind fan.

Back catalogue Its Been A While and Outside😎

1 Like

Thank you everyone for your thoughts. I think I’ll watch videos and last week I signed up to Justin’s tabs, so I think I’ll stick with these two ways and take them as gospel.