NotePad offers the ability to create guitar tablature.
Creating Guitar Tablature
To create a tablature staff, use the Setup Wizard.
the File menu, choose New, then select Document with Setup Wizard.
You will now see page one of the Setup Wizard.
Next. We’ll set up our document staves manually. In the future
you can select pre-set guitar documents and document styles here.
the left column, click the Fretted Instruments category. A list
of stringed instruments appears in the second column.
the second column, click Guitar and then click the Add button.
“Guitar” appears in the third column.
the second column, click Guitar [Tab] and then click the Add button.
Now, both “Guitar” and “Guitar [Tab]” appear in the third column.
Next. In the Score Information page the wizard asks you to enter
some basic information.
“Guitar with Tab.”
in the Composer box and type your name.
Next. The Score Settings page of the appears. Here, the Wizard
asks for the time signature and the key signature. We’ll leave these settings
alone for now. The Wizard asks you to specify a tempo, pickup measure,
and default music font. Again, we can leave these settings alone.
Finish. The document opens with a standard notation staff above
a tablature staff. You are now ready to begin entering your music.
The document you just created is already
set up to take into account the standard guitar transposition which sounds
an octave lower than written. Now, let’s learn the best way to enter music
into a guitar score.
Copying Music to and from
a Tab Staff
To add the tablature notation, copy the music directly from a
standard staff into tablature. To demonstrate this we’ll continue with our guitar score that includes one standard staff above one tablature staff.
- Enter some notes in the first measure of the standard staff.
the Selection tool .
the first measure so it is highlighted.
the highlighted region down to the tab staff, and release the mouse button.
You should now see the Lowest Fret dialog box.
OK. The first measures of music translates into tablature
notation. In this case, the fret numbers represent the
pitch as played on the lowest possible fret in standard guitar tuning. If you want the tab positioned
farther up the neck, you would enter the desired fret in the Lowest Fret dialog box.
This ability to copy music from standard notation
into tab, and specify a lowest fret, can be applied to smaller areas of
the score by selecting part of the measure. To do this, click and drag
over a region including the partial measure(s).
In addition to translating standard notation
directly to tablature, you can also copy tablature directly into a standard
notation staff. We will use the second half of “Spanish Dance No. 2” to
demonstrate this. For this example the tablature is entered for you already.
String and Fret Number
You can edit tab numbers and move them
between strings manually with the Simple Entry tool. This method gives
more control over the movement of single and non-contiguous fingerings.
- While pressing
the key, click a fret number and drag it down to the adjacent string. The fingering moves to the new string and fret, and
the number changes accordingly.
- Use the up arrow and down arrow to move selected tab numbers
between strings, or the left arrow and right arrow to move selection between fret numbers horizontally.
You can also easily change the fret number.
The Simple Entry tool should still be selected.
pressing the key, click any fret
number in the tab staff. The tab number changes color to indicate
it is selected.
the numeric keypad (or while holding down
, type a new
number. You can now use the numeric keypad to enter any one- or
the “+” or “-” key to raise or lower the fret number by one. Remember
that when you change the fret number, you are effectively changing its
pitch. To ensure the standard notation accurately represents the tablature,
drag the tablature up to the standard notation staff with Selection tool.