AGW

Tablature software – what you need to know?


So what is tab software? And do I need it? It’s a moot point whether you actually need it, but as guitar players tab software can benefit us greatly. Briefly, tablature software is dynamic in that it allows you to view and play back guitar tablature, that’s to say the dots… the music. Not only can you hear the tune, but you can loop it and even slow it down – ideal for learning tricky bits. You can also print it out, but then it loses all the aforementioned functionality. It becomes just a score on a piece of paper.

The arranger/composer can enter music by hand or trigger it via a midi instrument, typically a keyboard. Many guitar teachers and guitar teaching sites use tablature software and by now large archives have been built up that contain many great and famous songs. In fact, if it’s well known, it’s probably been tabbed already.

The question is which software do you choose? We’ll look at three offerings, two of them are free: Guitar Pro, Powertab and Tabledit.

Guitar Pro
Probably the best tab software for guitar. It looks great and is Windows/Mac compatible. It lets you change tempo, has a looper, metronome, and chord and scale library. It comes with a huge bank of sounds and a mix engine. All in all a lot of bangs for your buck. Guitar Pro is a steal at just under $60. Incidentally, AGW is now using Guitar Pro. More details here…

Powertab
This is only available for Windows. It’s pretty easy to use and could be just what you need. What’s more, Powertab is free to download. AGW has an archive of Powertab files and we’re not ditching it! The great thing about Guitar Pro is that you can import Powertab files into the program and hey presto you have an instant Guitar Pro file to play with. More details and free Powertab download here…

Tabledit
A free Windows/Mac compatible tab editor that’s been around for a while and has a cohort of loyal fans. On top of guitar, Tabledit lets you tab banjo, mandolin and bass. Plus it goes beyond its rivals by offering tabbing for non-fretted instruments such as harmonicas, dulcimers and accordions. AGW also has some Tabledit, but we can and will import those into Guitar Pro. More info on Tabledit here…

We can recommend all these bits of software. It’s up to you to decide which one suits your particular needs and perhaps your pocket. Have fun and keep up the pickin’…