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You can also select files with find, etc and pipe the output to tar. How you will do it depends a bit on the proportion of included to excluded files in a given directory tree. Perhaps you could give a bit more colour on what you are trying to do.
As "billymayday" mentioned find will help you to specify the files or directories
here are some samples to use tar and find
Compress 30 days old files in current directory
#find . –type f –atime + 30 | xargs tar czvf name.tar.gz
#tar czvf name.tar.gz ‘find . –type f –atime +30’