So who the hell is Captaintab?

Well, you may or may not be relieved to know that the "alias" is a joke. It started life when I was tabbing songs and posting them to the Jeff Buckley e-mail list. Since it was threatening to become my life's work, or at least I pretended that it was, the nickname seemed appropriate when I signed on with Tripod's web-hosting service and they asked for a member name.

My name is Michael Harris. I'm a guitar player in Melbourne, Australia. I've played for a long time and often worked out other peoples' songs but this is the first time I've really seriously tabbed stuff out. It's fun. Tedious on occasion, but fun, when you're dealing with artists of this calibre.

I bought Grace while based on the West Coast of the USA, early in 1995. Several months later I was able to catch one of Jeff's shows in San Francisco (The Great American Music Hall), and that was what got me hooked. I've seen a lot of great shows but this one got to me. When I returned to Australia (with tickets to an imminent JB tour already long sold out), I searched through the internet for information, found the then premier site for JB matters (Gayle Kelemen's Unofficial Jeff Buckley Webpage), read a whole heap of stuff about him, and looked through the guitar tabs she had uploaded from postings to the e-mail list.

I concluded pretty quickly that while there were some useful tabs of bits of songs, there were some wild guesses as well, and pretty close to no convincing tabs of whole songs. So, in the spirit of "If you think you can do better, prove it!" (or was it "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em"? Or "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all"?), I made the foolish claim that I would set about working out all the songs from the album. Well, with the exception of "Corpus Christi Carol", I've done it. Finally. (About two years later....) And here they are....


If you want to communicate with me, you can do so via email at m.harris@iaesr.unimelb.edu.au. I try and answer all emails, and usually do so more promptly than I update this site. (You may have trouble sending mail here if you have a Hotmail account.)

If you got some use out of the material here, you can also just sign my guestbook! I appreciate that people who use the site take a small amount of time to express their thanks that way.

However, if you feel you must take me to task for something I have or haven't done, see the next section.....


If you're a tabber yourself, then I'll set out some simple ground rules for correspondence. They are (I think) pretty easy to follow:
- Glowing tributes to the contents of this site can be paid via the guestbook!
- Questions about the tabs, including the tunings and chord voicings blah blah, can be sent to me via email. I'll respond as soon as I can.
- Requests to tab particular songs can similarly be sent. I'll respond on an I'll-see-what-I-can-do basis, which is, of course, at my discretion!
- Suggestions about the tabs here, or offers to submit tabs, are another matter. The following paragraphs tell you what you need to know.

Basically, the first thing to note is that I am open to suggestions and to constructive criticism. For many of the bits and pieces I have tabbed, I don't think there is a uniquely "right" or "wrong" way to play them, and even if I favour a certain way, I am willing to present others.

What this means is, if you have specific suggestions about my tabs, like "Well, I play that chord 0/0/1/2/3/4, which is different to what you tabbed", I'm happy to see such things. If I like your suggestion, I'll include it somewhere and credit you. But it's my call, OK? (And I don't always update promptly....)

The second thing is, I'm not so fond of pointless criticism, or claims that I've gotten it "wrong". Particularly when the claims are not well founded. Again, by all means, feel free to try and persuade me of your different (and better?) way of playing this bit or that bit. But I've been told that my tabs are "inadequate" by someone who obviously wasn't paying attention very closely to them, or to my responses to his correspondence. (They may well be inadequate, but he didn't bother to explain why, and since he claimed that I was limiting myself to "simple chords and changes" -- uh, look again, brother! -- I just lost patience with trying to explain myself.)

A friend has also received correspondence about my tabs claiming that the tabs, while OK as they stand, are strictly speaking incorrect due to me using incorrect tunings.

Hmmmm ...well, the main reason this annoys me (apart from the person not asking me themselves on what basis I believe the tunings I chose were the ones Jeff used, although maybe they had their reasons) is that this sort of claim belongs in the category of "Just How Big An Idiot Do You Think I Am??"

The fact is, I have some seriously good reasons (and evidence) for using the altered tunings I use in songs like "Mojo Pin" and "Last Goodbye". You can take my word for it, that the tunings shown here are pretty reliable. I've seen the tunings that this person is claiming to be the "correct" ones, and I'll put good money on theirs being wrong and mine being correct, if it comes to that. Which it shouldn't, I hope.

The third thing is, this is MY page! It was set up for me to put my own tabs online in my own time. If you are doing complete tabs of your own, there are places you can send them for exposure and feedback. Try sending your tabs to the respective mailing list in the first instance. I think for the Jeff Buckley list, at jbel@bit.net.au, you have to subscribe before you can post (an anti-spamming precaution). The Ben list can be accessed via the www.virginrecords.com site that I link to. There is also the OLGA (On-line Guitar Archive) site which I think is linked to on my Links page.

Now, I am not going to be too precious about this -- I'm interested in seeing other tabs, and I am in principle willing to stick other people's tabs on this site, with their names prominently displayed. But please don't think that if you send me a fully tabbed song, it will end up here. That will be up to me if I want to do it, OK?

So what is the moral of the story?

I am not soliciting "contributions", but I welcome feedback and suggestions. I will react to them in the spirit they are sent, so even if you think I've made some serious error, just politely suggest your chosen improvement. If I like it, you'll be likely to see it reflected up here, eventually!

So, uh, are we clear.......? Good, I'm glad.


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