Notation Software for guitar

Theory and practice of composition and arranging for classical guitar, discussion of works in progress, etc.
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Theory and practice of composition and arranging for classical guitar, discussion of works in progress, etc.

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pogmoor
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Re: Notation Software for guitar

Post by pogmoor » Sun Dec 30, 2007 9:10 am

Hello Steve,

I can't answer your question about Songwriter, but I've used an earlier version of the full Finale product. IMHO the Finale implementation of tablature isn't very flexible and I certainly haven't been able to get it to produce what I need, which is lute tablature for instruments with 6+ courses. (Sibelius is better at this, but still not wonderful.)

Both Finale and Sibelius come bundled with 'lite' versions of scanning software (SmartScore and PhotoScore). Both of these are pretty good programs and about as good as each other (though I can't remember offhand if you need the full products to get multiple voices) but the results depend on the clarity of the original copy and you always need to spend time editing the output. I don't use SmartScore, but I do use PhotoScore quite a lot; the latest version is fast and works well, though I've always disliked the editing window. I don't think voice recognition is 100% with either product, though it depends a lot on how clear the voice layout is in the original - and in a lot of guitar music the answer is 'not very'.

On MIDI classical guitars, there's an information page here: <http://home.epix.net/~joelc/git_show.html> ; some of the links are out of date, but you can Google for the products mentioned. I'm pretty sure Godin do a nylon MIDI guitar. I tried out an Axon AX-100 pitch to MIDI converter a few years ago; it used a 'hex' pickup, which was essentially a bridge saddle replacement with six individual transducers. I gave up on it as it wasn't particularly good for entering MIDI in a music program (a MIDI keyboard is easier) and the amount of delay between plucking the string and sound output was disconcerting in live performance - though I believe this has improved on more recent models.

As an amateur arranger I originally thought I would need MIDI input quite a lot, but in fact I hardly ever use it. This is because I can find versions of most of the music I want to arrange [mostly renaissance and baroque] (a) already encoded as MIDI files, (b) in existing versions which I can either scan or convert to MusicXML using PDFtoMusic Pro or (c) in lute tablature programs, convertable to notation. The only time I need to use note entry is if I am working from lute tablature originals and I guess a MIDI lute would help me here :)
Eric from GuitarLoot
Renaissance and Baroque freak; classical guitars by Lester Backshall (2008), Ramirez (Guitarra del Tiempo 2017),
Yamaha (SLG 130NW silent classical guitar 2014).

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pogmoor
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Re: Notation Software for guitar

Post by pogmoor » Sun Dec 30, 2007 9:29 am

Another thing about MIDI entry is that it rather mercilessly encodes what you actually play (including rhythmic errors and incorrectly held notes) rather than what you mean to play. As a result, 'cleaning up' a MIDI file you have imported into a notation program can take as long as entering the notes by hand.
Eric from GuitarLoot
Renaissance and Baroque freak; classical guitars by Lester Backshall (2008), Ramirez (Guitarra del Tiempo 2017),
Yamaha (SLG 130NW silent classical guitar 2014).

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Steve Kutzer
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Re: Notation Software for guitar

Post by Steve Kutzer » Sun Dec 30, 2007 1:05 pm

Thanks for the detailed response, pogmoor!

I'm giving Songwriter a try. It certainly won't be the last $45 I waste (if indeed it ends up as credenzaware).

I'll post my impressions of it soon.
See my technology (and guitar!) site CIO Dojo

eduard

Re: Notation Software for guitar

Post by eduard » Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:34 am

I like Powertab and best of all it's free.

Richard Sweeton

Re: Notation Software for guitar

Post by Richard Sweeton » Fri Jan 25, 2008 6:35 pm

Has anyone used both the demo and purchase versions of Sibelius G7? I downloaded the demo version (onto a Mac) and used it to create scores for a few simple songs. I've found it (the demo version) annoying -- its paradigm is bars/measures: You can't insert a note or lengthen a note in a measure (and have the following notes pushed into the successive measures). It isn't all that good for editing lyrics. And it crashed once. Is the purchase version better? If so, I'll buy it. Thanks, Richard

Danny Dishon

Re: Notation Software for guitar

Post by Danny Dishon » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:51 pm

In December I purchased Smartscore for guitar which I purchased for $70 (US). I purchased it so that I could scan a piece of music that I was just beginning to read so that I could get an idea of what it sounded like so I could "sing" the music as I read it.

It has worked pretty well for this. I scanned a Baron Sonata from the David Grimes Volume 1 of Baroque music. This had 8 pages of music and the initial scan worked pretty well. You have to use the editing the scanned systems of music to fix missed features (dotted notes, etc.) This took about 2 hours or so since I was learning the user interface. I was able to add mordents, set the tempo for each section etc. Then I was able get a reasonable midi playback.

If this it what you are looking for I would recommend it.

purpleheart

Re: Notation Software for guitar

Post by purpleheart » Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:32 pm

does anyone use Score Writer 4,
I saw it for only $49.00.It supports vst instruments which is a big plus.
But I dont know how good it is for guitar transcriptions.I have the demo but did not find how to add fingering and string notation.If any one knows please let me know.
Fot the price it looks great

miramadar

Re: Notation Software for guitar

Post by miramadar » Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:10 am

Another vote here for Sibelius G7. It's nearly perfect for the guitarist. It's fairly easy to use, it's priced low, it's got a lot of functions. One drawback I've found with it is that it has a limited number of instruments from which to choose. For instance, I do some flute/guitar duets, but it does not have the flute instrument. I can still input the music, like an earlier poster said, and then overwrite the "name" of the instrument to anything I want. But when the piece is played back in midi, the original (non-flute) voice plays.

But overall, that's a small drawback. I still highly recommend the software.

tbman

Re: Notation Software for guitar

Post by tbman » Sun Mar 01, 2009 5:08 am

To add my 2 cents, I use GuitarPro 5, which is excellent for guitar, does tab and notation at the same time. The playback sounds decent too (different types of instruments are available for playback). What I really like about the software is that it will adjust your notation for you if your note duration is off in a measure. However, it can get out of hand at times so you still have to be careful when inputting. I just downloaded Finale Notepad yesterday and it seems pretty decent also, but the slurs were giving me a bit of a problem today when using a pull off from a chord to a single note, but I'm sure that is just because of my unfamiliarity with the software. Both software allows you to use a midi device to input, but I found that you have to set the note duration, play, then change it again when the note duration changes. Finale Notepad seems fine and its very inexpensive. I still rely on tab along with notation and I haven't figured out how to do tab and notation at the same time in Notepad without having to input each note twice. GuitarPro 5 handles it on its own. The big drawback to GuitarPro 5 is the print output is local font dependent, so if you create a PDF from it, the end user has to have GuitarPro 5 fonts installed on his computer. So far, I have found that Finale Notepad uses font independency when printing so there isn't that problem. So far, anyway.

es335
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Re: Notation Software for guitar

Post by es335 » Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:32 am

Finale Notepad is as a freeware appetizer! Makes the user familiar with Finale's operation concept, works well for some more simple jobs but has obvious limitations which will make the advanced user very soon consider an upgrade (most probably from the Finale range). There is nothing wrong with this and most Notepad (guitar) users works will be satisfied with it. But if not, there are still other alternatives than already mentioned.

I'm mainly using and are very satisfied with Capella which unfortunatelly is only available in German. But another very interresting product I'm using occasionally is Melody Assistant respectively the "big brother" Harmony Assistant which I would like to introduce. Both are comparatively cheap (25$ for MA and 85$ for HA) but very powerfull, stable (!) and sophisticated programs.

Both feature combined staff and tab notation, with either tab or staff automaticaly being filled out, have their own soundfont libary for playback etc. etc. etc.! The demo versions are fully functioning except restrictions in printing. As they offer no upgrade from MA to HA I suggest the "big brother" Harmony Assistant if this fits your budget. If not Melody Assistant is the low budget and definitly more sophisticated product than Notepad.

Cheers es335

PS: A very nice and nowadays almost unbelievable feature is a lifetime upgrade service which is free of charge!!! :wink:

Lebowski

Re: Notation Software for guitar

Post by Lebowski » Fri Mar 06, 2009 2:47 pm

I used to have Finale's notepad, now i have the full version. It was free to download at the time i used it. Now you have to pay for it. It works fine as long as you don't need to write special things like alternating time signature. It gives you a pretty good idea what you can expect from the full version.
With a bit of luck you still might find the free version floating around on the web...

inimeany

Re: Notation Software for guitar

Post by inimeany » Wed Mar 11, 2009 8:30 am

Finale 2008 works very fine for me.

Moderato

Re: Notation Software for guitar

Post by Moderato » Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:39 am

Do any of these programs have the ability to scan a piece of music in for editing?

Can you import a PDF or other file types for editing?

Can you highlight a single measure to up-to a few lines, copy it and paste it elsewhere in the piece while keeping all fingerings intact?

Thanks.

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pogmoor
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Re: Notation Software for guitar

Post by pogmoor » Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:13 am

Moderato wrote:Do any of these programs have the ability to scan a piece of music in for editing?
Moderato wrote:Can you import a PDF or other file types for editing?
Moderato, I don't want to sound sarcastic, but could I suggest you read some of the earlier posts in this thread :?: :!:
Moderato wrote:Can you highlight a single measure to up-to a few lines, copy it and paste it elsewhere in the piece while keeping all fingerings intact?
I do this routinely with Sibelius; I'm fairly sure it can be done in Finale and I would guess it is a feature of many notation programs. If you're interested in a music notation program I think it's always best to try the demo version first - as with a lot of software you can usually try everything except 'Save'.
Eric from GuitarLoot
Renaissance and Baroque freak; classical guitars by Lester Backshall (2008), Ramirez (Guitarra del Tiempo 2017),
Yamaha (SLG 130NW silent classical guitar 2014).

Moderato

Re: Notation Software for guitar

Post by Moderato » Tue Mar 17, 2009 1:05 pm

pogmoor wrote:
Moderato wrote:Do any of these programs have the ability to scan a piece of music in for editing?
Moderato wrote:Can you import a PDF or other file types for editing?
Moderato, I don't want to sound sarcastic, but could I suggest you read some of the earlier posts in this thread :?: :!:
I didn't remember seeing any specific answers to these questions the first time I read through this thread and I just read it again and I'm still not seeing it. Which programs would allow me to scan in a piece of music, import a PDF or other files types for editing? For example if I have a transcription on paper which I made some alterations to, would I have to create the whole piece from scratch in the software or would I be able to scan it in so I can save time? Then I could just make the specific alterations in the program and print out "my version" nice and neat and not have to read off my sheet music full of cross outs & fingering changes? Of course I'd scan in an original version without my scribbles. Or if I could just import say a PDF version of a piece I downloaded from anywhere, and then be able to alter my fingering changes and print out neat copies with all my changes?
pogmoor wrote:Can you highlight a single measure to up-to a few lines, copy it and paste it elsewhere in the piece while keeping all fingerings intact?
I do this routinely with Sibelius; I'm fairly sure it can be done in Finale and I would guess it is a feature of many notation programs. If you're interested in a music notation program I think it's always best to try the demo version first - as with a lot of software you can usually try everything except 'Save'.
I'm especially interested in this feature because so many of my transcriptions have sections which are repeated but the repeated sections don't have any fingering/position notations. Presumably because you should have remembered them from before but nevertheless, I'd find it easier to sight read and not as easy to make mistakes when playing if the fingerings are kept intact for me as a guide, even in the repeated sections.

One thing I'm excited about doing would be to just make printed out versions of my "own" transcriptions, often a combination of two or more transcriptions that I have. Rather then reading off all these different pages, I could just merge all my ideas into one transcription. I don't know because I read so many comments about this program being hard to use, this one not having certain features, this one has bugs, this one doesn't do what I want. Is there one program that will alow me to: Scan in music for editing, Import in PDFs and other files types for editing, copy & paste whole sections keeping fingering intact and just have all the most used features a good guitar transcription would have?

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