From Tape to Tab


As I mentioned before, our band has been practicing some covers for now so that we can gradually move from them to our own songs as we get more gigs and more popularity. Due to recent additions our arsenal seems to be full for now. Last time we decided we’d practice two more songs with one of them being Iron Maiden’s Infinite Dreams.

The problem with that song is the first verse which is, to say the least, a bit messy. To further the confusion a proper guitar tabulature for the song was nowhere to be found. I tend to practice songs by ear but pretty much always check out the best guitar tabs in the Internet to see if there were some more logical fingerings I couldn’t figure out myself.

The other guitarist in our band said that he needs a tabulature for the song so I felt it was my obligation to transcribe one. There was just one problem: the first verse. It’s really messy and I can’t really blame the guy who made the previous tab for the song. Luckily there was a stereo mix of the song in YouTube so I just plugged my headphones in and turned the volume all the way down from the other channel.

While I could now clearly hear the separate guitar parts it didn’t help me much with the fingerings. That’s where the live video footage comes handy. Also in YouTube there was Infinite Dreams video from Visions of the Beast DVD which must be the Maiden England show from November 1988 in Birmingham, England. This edit clearly showed the fingerings of many of the licks played in the song. Particularly few of the similar sounding licks are played from different positions depending on the guitarist.

All of the official live Iron Maiden footage can’t be used in this sorts of tasks since the edits can be horrendous on some of the newer DVD’s. Don’t believe me? Watch Rainmaker from Death on the Road DVD and see if you can make any sense of it. I tried to count (failing miserably) and the camera switches about 100 times in a minute. That’s some seizure-inducing shit!

Anyhow, I also made the drum track for the song from a scratch since the earlier versions pretty much blew it. Proper drums make any Iron Maiden tabulature sound more authentic. The tab was recently approved in Ultimate-Guitar.com and you can download it from below.

Iron Maiden – Infinite Dreams (GP5)

For as long as I can remember I’ve been transcribing songs with Guitar Pro. I think I started with version 2.3 and soon after the version 3 was released. All of the text-based Iron Maiden tabs I could find when I started playing guitar were just awful and so I had to develop an ear for listening and transcribing the solos etc. myself.

This is a great exercise for developing your musical hearing and also developing song writing skills. If I ever wanted to write a classical piece I knew that all I had to do was to transcribe one and that got me into the mindset of that musical style.

Sure, you might not get the first song right but after you’ve transcribed 10 songs you’re getting close. Keep at it and you’ll learn a library of licks, riffs and a way to write them at the same time. If you want to start transcribing right away and don’t know where to start consider reading the article below.

How to transcribe music (MaximumMusician.com)

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About Ianuarius

A Finnish guitarist, composer and guitar teacher. View all posts by Ianuarius

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