Guitar notation (not tablature) for bendings / hammer-on / pull-off / slides_with_only_first_pick etc

• Sep 28, 2023 - 15:28


I've been wandering about if there's a way to do these kind of performance actions in guitar notation. It's been a nightmare since to avoid the second or subsequent notes to be played in these note modificators I had to do it with complex bendings. Which doesn't sound as it should (a bend is a bend, and the other techniques are different).

I only found this workaround, but it's a nightmare to edit / maintain / generate, since I have to:

  1. Generate the visible notation notes.
  2. Add the visual modifiers (slides and HO/PO are easy, but for bendings I need to use an inverted squared piano pedal with lots of parameter changes).
  3. Mute all the notes affected by the modifier.
  4. Generate a secondary voice with only the picking notes.
  5. Add bendings to these new notes and hope the bending graph fits the ressolution I need (it's very hard to see where to place the modifier points, since the h-scale is not obvious and apparently changes depending on the length of the note it modifies).
  6. Hope the maximum note-range spread doesn't overpass the 6 semitones, or then you're screwed. It usually isn't a problem, since bendings and HO / PO are usually less modified. But with slides it can be a full guitar-length, pretty much more than just 6 bars.

Common problems I find with the slides are when the notes other than the first one doesn't need to be played. For example in a guitar with a slider. Now, without this tricky hack I described before, the playback plays the first note and the second note (at the end), which sounds horrible. Imagine having this issue with a long slided melody containing 3 or 4 notes and only the first one being picked. I attach a picture with an example of this which I really can't afford doing it with a bending (because I can't get the tempo of the note-changes right at all).

I attach a screenshot of the final result (with the picking notes in red) and the view of the mess I need to do to make it sound as I would.

Besides that messing score I end up, with complex guitar notations such as solos, is the problem that the bending modifier affects the sound of the guitar (to emulate the bend itself), and it sounds weird, or it even has to be reset to zero value or it will affect the following notes that would not be affected by it.

I'm using MuseScore 3.6, since I can't update to 4.x until a few days from now (for computer specs). But I've been looking densly in version 4 documentation and I have not seen anything related to this topic among all the amazing updates it has.

Is there anything I'm loosing? Or can it be implemented somehow without having to do this messy-complex two-voice hacks? The visual part I can handle it without any problem, but the playback really annoys me (having 2 or more picked notes where there only should be 1 is really a back-down for me).

Thanks a lot in advance for your answers / help on this topic.

Kind regards!

Attachment Size
slide-guitar.png 6.26 KB
bendings_ho_po.png 70.46 KB

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