Guitars tabs are important for lot of people who play the guitar. There are many people who say that everyone should play by ear and not use guitar tabs. I agree that playing by the ear is an important thing however when somebody is learning to play the guitar, it will be difficult for the person to figure out a song by the ear.
Using guitar tabs can be beneficial when you are starting out. There are some things a person should consider when trying to play by tabs.
If a person has made a decision of using guitar tabs, he should keep some things in his mind. A person should also practice scales and chord progressions. This will build a solid foundation for a musician.
When using the guitar tabs, a person should figure out what are the chords that are being used and if the person is playing lead guitar, the person should know what key the song is in. .
Generally knowing the key the song is in will help you a lot because, you will be able to learn some good chord progressions in that key.
When using guitar tabs, you should also figure out how the song is arranged. This will improve your songwriting skills.
If you keep these things in your mind, I feel a person can progress as a guitar player. So there is nothing wrong in using guitar tabs, if you know what you are doing.
Eventually, you will be able to play the songs by ear, if you keep on practicing.