As I write this, my new Epiphone Casino is sitting in my lap and I’m looking up George Harrison guitar tabs. Unfortunately, when you’re best known as one of the Fab Four, lawyers love to block access to your work that doesn’t bring in royalty checks for your estate. This can make finding tabs—which are often user-submitted works—for artists like The Beatles difficult to find. When looking for one song in particular, What is Life, my go-to tab site came up short.
Begrudgingly, I turn to Google for “George Harrison What is Life tab”, getting a spammy list of results full of ad-filled tab sites of questionably quality (any other guitarist that’s searched out tabs this way before should know exactly what I’m talking about). I eventually found an incomplete, but close enough version of the tab that could at least help me figure out how to play along with the song.
When I went to print the tab (I’ve recently started saving tabs for songs I want to remember to PDF and keeping them in Dropbox), I get a lightbox informing me that printing is a premium feature. The “Download PDF” button triggered the same modal. Ugh.
I opened Chrome’s Web Inspector, but then decided jam time isn’t the time to waste stripping out the unnecessary markup and re-adjusting space in my text editor. The tab was already being displayed in a
<pre> element, so I figured I’d just copy and paste the already-monospaced chords and lyrics into my text editor. Highlight the text, hit CMD+C and…another f’n modal? Son of a bitch!
@stevegrunwell What are you, some sort of hacker?! ;)
— David Ensinger (@DavidEnsinger) January 11, 2015
As I started digging through their site’s source, I was searching for
var ctrlDown = false;
var ctrlKey = 17, vKey = 86, cKey = 67;
if (e.keyCode == ctrlKey) ctrlDown = true;
if (e.keyCode == ctrlKey) ctrlDown = false;
if (ctrlDown && (e.keyCode == vKey || e.keyCode == cKey))
In all my two minutes of searching the most obvious locations, I didn’t come across an elegant way to crack the safe. Fortunately, anti-clipboard measures are less like safes and more like plate glass windows, so I did what any pissed off musician would do: I threw a brick through it.
In my console, I simply typed:
$ = jQuery = undefined;
You could set them to
With that, I’m going to go back to playing my new guitar.
Bonus: In case you don’t listen to it as often as I do (which is, like, all the time), here’s What is Life: