Read all 6 events for 17 January at diary.QueenSongs.info
TAB (tablature) is an easy way to encode guitar music. Six lines each mean a string on your guitar. The numbers on the lines (strings) show you the number of the fret where the non-picking fingers you have to put. '0' means open string: there is no finger on the string. Similarly to regular scores the numbers in a row mean notes being played at once.
a B minor chord followed by a D major chord:
In drum tabs:
the lines mean different drums. The number of lines varies in regard to the used drum set. There are no numbers in drum tabs, only x characters. The timing is always "linear": one caracter means usually 1/16 or 1/8 "width".
The vocal tabs:
are special kind of guitar tabs: one string belong to each vocal part. Following the notes on a chosen string you can get the notes for one of the vocal parts. The rhythm can be derived from the lyrics above the tab. Get your friends together and try these vocals out!
About the guitar harmonies arranged for one guitar:
These (where included) won't tell you how Brian exactly played each parts.
They only show you the way Brian has built up those harmonies. The vocal tabs (Queen may be the first band on internet having such things) also make it possible to study the art of Queen harmonies even if you can't try them out "live".
The way of writing ASCII tabs is not thoroughly standardised. These notations show you just one of the possible ways.
Long time ago people figured out that music can be archived in text files using ASCII charcters. The score format cannot be displayed this way, only tablatures and chords. The first place for ASCII guitar tabs and chords was the newsgroup alt.guitar.tab. Early in the nineties a university in Nevada (US) opened an ftp-site for guitar tabs and chords, that was later called OLGA (On Line Guitar Archive). There was of course a Queen directory here too. The first incoming Queen music were the chords for Don't Stop Me Now submitted by Michael Bauer on 13th april 1993. The number of tabs and chords reached the ten in summer of 1994. For copyright related reasons OLGA had been forced to close several times through the years, but reportedly still exist.
Andy Young opened his own Queen tab page back in early 1995 (?). Andy's page had been the ultimate one for long years until Libor's page had been upgraded and opened in 18th august, 1998.
There are of course still mistakes in the files here and there. Commercial issues aren't perfect either but these are definitely better in the respect of exact rhythm description. OTR issues also include drumtabs and basstabs as well. They include score for each part Queen originally recorded, not perfectly transcribed though. (Queen music is very hard to transcribe perfectly)
The transcriptions here are mostly above the "useable" level, many of them are very sketchy, and missing some "less important" parts of the song, sometimes only the solo is included.
For now Queen has got one of the largest guitar(+) music archive, showing the enormous interrest for Queen music. Incoming transcriptions are always wellcomed, there are still many missing songs especially in the bass and drums section. This page continuously need volunteers with good ears to figure out more Queen and solo songs. Drum and bass section both are missing a real "specialist" or more to help to fill those empty directories.
Submitting new files make sure that you didn't use any commercial issues as source.
About the official transcriptions: if you look around in your local music-shop, you can find songbooks with chords, PVG (piano-vocals-guitar) issues and OTR (off the records) scores for some Queen albums and compilations. Almost the full issue catalog can be ordered on-line too.
There is a new Interactive Songbook of Queen, (a multimedia CD) containing guide for many Queen hit songs how to play. There's also a teaching video (Star Licks series) where Brian May shows 25 of his solos twice each: normal played then the same solo played slowed down.
There are still many Queen songs without official transcription, but having an unofficial one here. Piano and keyboard transcriptions also can be found in MIDI format here. Another tab format is 'guitar pro', which supports multi track guitar tab and drum tabs as well, and you can listen to the tab too. (link)