guitar tablature questions/suggestions

• Jun 4, 2020 - 13:10

I'm in the process of switching to musescore from Finale V25. One thing holding me back is the awkwardness of the tablature editing. Finale has a couple of features which make their tab editing superior.

1) When pasting from notation, you can specify lowest fret
2) I can edit the strings for tablature without modifier keys

For the 2nd item, can I modify the key entry for tablature so that ctrl is not required to change strings? I would like to arrow key through the notes and simple up or down arrow to change the strings. To me, that is more efficient than having to use the ctrl modifier.

But even better, I want to be able to enter music via tablature fretboard because it's so time consuming to adjust fret positions.


You can customize most shortcuts in Edit / Preferences / Shortcuts. So you can make change string not require Ctrl easily enough. Personally, I'd recommend something like [ and ] instead of Up and Down, because those are the keys used for changing pitch on both tab and standard staves, and also for moving text & articulations, possible other symbols, and they are all tied together unfortunately.

I'm wondering why you are changing strings so often - why not simply enter the correct string/fret to begin with? I guess if you are always starting from standard notation? I'd say MuseScore's tablature system works best when you stay within it, definitely the features for adapting standard notation are relatively rudimentary.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Because I typically enter the notes in standard notation or via midi import. As I mentioned before, it would be helpful to have an option to apply a fret range to the tablature staff either when you do an import or paste. Another thought might be a plugin or option to select a range of tablature and set a min and max fret.

But for the stuff I do, open strings are almost never used and it seems the default algorithm favors open strings and lower positions.

In reply to by Jack A. Zucker

Makes sense, that's what I meant about that being relatively rudimentary in MuseScore. An option to set a bound on strings and/or frets somehow could make sense, or an algorithm that worked from one note and found the closest position for the next, that kind of thing.

I suspect a plugin could be written to clean up a fair amount of that - select a region, specify a string or fret range or other parameters, it goes through and refrets it for you. If something like the existing fretboard plugin is possible, I have to believe this would be too. Probably there would still be a need for some manual tweaking, but I bet an algorithm could do a decent job of it.

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