8va on stave vs TAB

• Aug 17, 2020 - 15:22


I'm wondering if it's possible to have the tablature indicating a high note while at the same time the note on the stave is written one octave lower. I've tried to use the 8va indicator but it seems it can be applied to the stave only.
For example I want to write a C# at the 14th fret on the 2nd string while the same note should be displayed on the stave one octave lower.
See the image as an example.
Is there any way to do that?

Thank you

Attachment Size
8va.JPG 19.77 KB


I don't think so, on linked staves the pitches are (and have to be) identical
You can add a note an octave apart and make one invisible in one staff and the other in the other staff

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

This seems to be a bug or bad design decision. I don't remember seeing ottavas being discussed regarding tablatures before, but putting an 8va above a tab staff is meaningless. When you put the 8va above the standard staff, the tablature should update to the correct fingering for the actual notes rather than duplicating the ottava. The notes are not played on the same string or in most cases even the same fret position.

Thinking out loud, there is one situation that this would make sense, and that is when harmonics are used to raise the sounding note exactly one octave, but the notation would need to be updated either automatically or by the user.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Hello Jojo,

thank you for your quick reply.
I think the pitches on the linked stave and tab should be identical, but not written in the same way, otherwise we would miss the purpose of the tab.
For example it's easier to read a C on the 2nd space from the top, instead of reading it on a ledger line and then with the 8va indicator that note should be displayed on the TAB at the 8th fret of the 1st string.

In reply to by M123M123

I will start by saying I haven't see a lot of guitar music but I've never seen an ottava used on guitar music. One question that will be asked is how common is an ottava on guitar (or other plucked instrument) music where the tablature is used?

Perhaps @cadiz1 would have some insight since he's a knowledgeable guitar and lute teacher.

In reply to by M123M123

I would say you should put this in as a suggestion (set severity to S5-Suggestion) in the issue report and leave all other fields to their default. You can check the Workaround box since there is the workaround Jojo suggested.

Suggestions are entered at https://musescore.org/en/node/add/project_issue?pid=1236. Someone might change it to a bug later if the people at Ultimate Guitar (who own MuseScore) thinks it is.

In reply to by mike320

A workaround:
1) Add a second guitar - standard notation - to your score (which is standard + linked staff TAB I guess)
2) Copy-paste the content of the top staff into the new one. You get: Guitar1.mscz
3) Remove the ottava line (in new staff) -> Change octave up with Ctrl + Up. You receive: Guitar1bis.mscz
4) In Instruments Dialog ("I" shortcut), change the Staff Type, ie to get a TAB staff
You are here now: Guitar2.mscz
5) Edit normally the placement of the frets regarding your wish: Guitar3.mscz
6) Finally, remove in Instruments dialog, the initial TAB staff: Guitar4.mscz

In reply to by M123M123

Hmm, possibly, but not at all sure. Unless very nice surprise and motivated developer, having time, and if the implementation does not cause insurmountable difficulties. With linked staves, I have some doubts... but I have no such ability in this area, so I prefer not to say more! 🙄
I would even say that if it were "easy", it would probably have been implemented already. Moreover, for a few years now with MuseScore, there is no longer a developer specifically in charge of Tablature as was the case of Maurizio Gavioli (@Miwarre). So, I don't want to break your morale, but workaround procedures in this use case probably have a bright future ahead of them!

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