Problems TABing a tune

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by flavaham, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. flavaham

    flavaham Member

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    I'm using Guitar Pro 6 to TAB out a tune I've been working on. It's capo'ed at the 3rd fret. GP6 lets me tell it that but when I looked at the notation, it is wrong. I am treating the capo as "0" on the TAB. Should I still call that "3"?

    Look at it this way - the first chord is an A shape played at the 3rd fret but is open because of the capo. It is a C chord. The notation is showing A. If I tell it to raise the tone up to C then it is giving me an alternate tuning on the top left of the chart. Is that tuning accurate because of the capo? I've obviously never TABed out a song that used a capo, so I'm not sure what the deal is...haha.
     
  2. JonR

    JonR Member

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    I don't use Guitar Pro, but I have a similar issue with Sibelius when notating stuff for my students.
    What I do is notate it as if it's in open position (ie in A major in your case) - and then write on top "capo 3 for original key". IOW, the notation is transposed from concert. But that doesn't matter, because the capo position (at least for all the tunes I do this way) is arbitrary. The actual concert key is of no account. The key will only matter if it's a song one wants to sing, and then one would choose whatever capo position (or open position) suits one's voice. (And even then, one doesn't need to know what the actual concert key is, unless one has accompanists.)

    I used to do things differently - I would transpose the notation staff so it showed the concert key, specially if I was notating the vocal too (which I usually do). But it just looked too confusing, because any concert chord symbols wouldn't match the chord shapes on the tab. (Of course, this was for students, who would be more easily confused than me!)

    For myself, I'm happy to think in a transposed key - eg seeing "A" shapes for capo on 3, I'll think in A. The actual key sound, as I say, is neither here nor there. (I'll know it's in C of course, if I'm thinking of notes, which I sometimes do.)
    The difference, of course, is when one is playing with other musicians; I'd have to tell them it's in C. But that never happens in practice, for me - and wouldn't be a problem if it did. (Of course if I needed to give them notation, I'd transpose their copy to C.)
     
  3. Seraphine

    Seraphine Member

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    Hey Jon...

    How do you like Sibelius? It'll print out a virtual orchestra of insturments and composition? I always wondered if it'll be outright cool / useful. I use PowerTab, which is free, but in little way comparable.

    I imagine it'll transpose into complete Midi files .. if desired?
     
  4. JonR

    JonR Member

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    Not sure what you mean, but it's a pretty comprehensive piece of software. I barely scratch the surface with what I use it for.
    It will open MIDI files and display them as notation, but often needs a lot of editing to get it to look right.

    It will export as MIDI, and also as ASCII tab (using letters q, e, h, etc to indicate quarter, 8th or half notes). Or as graphics - not directly as JPG or PDF, however, which would be useful. (I use other software to convert a graphic image to that.)

    It will also allow you to print out a score as individual parts, with any transpositions you want. I don't work in scores very much, though.

    What I like about it is you can manipulate the notation in various ways to get it looking good: you can bend or stretch ties and slurs, shift notes or barlines sideways, display notes as small-size notes, use 2 or more different voices on one staff. And there's all kinds of fonts too, not just for text but for the notation too.
    Like I say, a ton of options you never get to the bottom of.
    But of course, it's expensive.... :(

    If you want a high end notation software, you can't beat Sibelius IMO, but I'd suggest looking at Finale too, which comes in a few different levels. I think they do a very reasonably priced guitar version with tab.
     
  5. flavaham

    flavaham Member

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    So, here's the problem. I TABed out the tune and wrote the chord names above the staff. For me, when I play a tune I need to know what actual chord I'm playing, so I wrote C over the C chord, which is played in the shape of an open A at the third fret. The chord names are correct but the notation isn't. Some would argue the other side of that coin but when I've ever used a capo, as soon as I leave the fret that the capo is on, I'm back to seeing the fretboard for what it is without the capo. So, if I'm up above the 12th fret, I don't want to think that C now = A...Make sense??

    I don't know. I feel like there is an easier way to do this. lol, thanks guys.
     

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