Change tuning without changing what frets are played?

• Jan 15, 2017 - 19:51

A while ago I wrote the bass guitar part for a song with the tuning BEAD. This was before I learned how to change the tuning in the program, so I just wrote down it was in BEAD and wrote the frets I would play in BEAD, but in standard EADG tuning.

Now, I am attempting to add that to a different sheet of music that is the Guitar, Bass, and Drum parts of the song all together.

Is there a way to change the tuning on the bass part without altering frets played?



upload the first few measures (at least) of the score. There should be an easy way to fix it, but I for one would need to see it.

Hey, I think I figured it out

1) Change to BEAD tuning: \
    Right-click the staff→Staff Properties→Edit String Data: Change to BEAD with being careful to use the proper octave numbers.
2.) Now, transpose this to be the same frets as it was before (hopefully):
    Right-click the staff→ Staff Properties: Change Play Transposition to a Perfect Fourth (the spacing between most guitar/bass strings) and make sure the Octave is set to up
Apply this and all should be okay. Double check my suggestion.

In reply to by frezendetk

The aforementioned method seemed to work back in 2.x in 2017, but it is verified that it didn't work as intended upon testing pre-existing notes in 3.2.3.

Here is another proven method:

Notice that the "Transpose written pitches" thing seems to only apply to new notes. If you have notes already, you've got to transpose those first, and then applying the [transpose written pitches] will change the tabs to how it should look so long as you do it right. Any new notes from then on will work according to the setting. It's kind of confusing.

As an example:

1) Add Guitar track as Tablature
2) Insert frets [0, 1, 2, 3] as quarter-tones, i.e.: [E, F, F#, G]
3) Now imagine you want to "drop tune to half-step" your "guitar"
4) Transpose Minor 2nd down via [Tools→Transpose→By Interval→Down→Minor Second]
5) Now get to the [Staff/Part Properties]→Transpose written pitches to sound [0 Octaves] + [1 Minor Second] also down.

The tablature appears once again as [0, 1, 2, 3] with the addition of playback sounding a half-step down as [Eb, E, F, Gb]. From then on, new notes should sound a half-step down: a 0-fret on the E-string should sound like an E-flat. You can verify this by looking at the on-screen piano during playback, but in the status-bar, as well as the on-screen piano, a regular pitch will show when merely selecting a note, so it can be confusing – not sure if that was intended or not by the development. Good luck.

P.S. As proof, attached is a file with a resulting measure or two:

In reply to by worldwideweary

Wait a minute!

The method of changing string pitch values still works and is probably better than doing what was just posted, especially since when selecting notes the appropriate pitch will show.

0) Insert fret notes likes mentioned as [0,1,2,3]
1) Edit the guitar string data as an example for a half-step down guitar: Eb, Ab, C#, F#, Bb, Eb (no Db Gb apparently?)

2) MS automatically raises the tabs up to accommodate the string setup. The notes show as [1,2,3,4], sounding like [E A D G] and they appear so in status-bar.

3) Now merely transpose those down with the transpose tool (not the instrument properties setting). All new notes will follow the mapping. Works just fine. No need to change the "Transpose written pitches to sound" attribute this way.

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