Chords playback: Guitar "Solo" templates with default guitar sound

• Jul 20, 2020 - 05:48
Reported version
3.5
Type
Functional
Frequency
Many
Severity
S5 - Suggestion
Reproducibility
Always
Status
PR created
Regression
No
Workaround
Yes
Project

Currently (R.C.) when you choose the three guitar templates (Solo category), ie Guitar/ Guitar + Tablature / Guitar Tablature, the playback of the chord symbols sounds like a... piano. Unexpected, at least, and I can't imagine which guitarist would want that.
So the suggestion is to set a guitar sound by default for all three guitar templates.


Comments

Title Chords playback: Guitar "Solo" templates with default sound guitar Chords playback: Guitar "Solo" templates with default guitar sound

This was specifically requested by a guitarist, and I can see a certain logic to it:

1) the playback doesn't honor the fret diagram and indeed might not actually be playable on guitar
2) chord symbols are used more on lead sheets than actual guitar arrangements, and is a guitar is playing just the melody, someone else would be playing the chords, and it's as likely as not this would be a pianist

That said, it really doesn't matter to me.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I probably have a vision, at least for the templates, too simplistic, or naive, or simply coherent of the expected functioning. Guitar templates scores = guitar sound. Unless pianists prefer to hear a guitar sound when playback chords.

Chord playback for Guitars may need a different implementation, a different voicing though. It is more then just the sound.
Then, as Marc said already, , on a Guitar staff you have the notes, strokes, fingerings, and the chord symbols are likely to be played by a different instrument, very likely a piano.
Think also a voice staff, there piano accompaniment is the most natural choice.

Maybe we can still 'fold' the mixer channels, but exclude the harmony channel from that folding, to make it more obvious and better findable?

" on a Guitar staff you have the notes, strokes, fingerings, and the chord symbols are likely to be played by a different instrument, very likely a piano." Really? Surprised, to say the least, by this sentence.

"Think also a voice staff, there piano accompaniment is the most natural choice."
Opinion highly questionable here as well. Singers accompanying themselves on guitar must be at least as numerous as singers accompanying themselves on piano. But there is no way to verify this, and that it depends very much on the style of music, it would be a pointless and endless debate.

I don't understand how would be feasable to *"exclude the harmony channel from that folding, to make it more obvious", but anything in the sense of better visibility, accessibility (this chords playback feature is a major feature of 3.5) would be IMHO welcome indeed.

Yes, singer might get accompanied by a guitar too, but sure not have the "Voice Oohs" or "Choir Aahs" as the sound for the chord symbols. Or chord symbols on a Trumpet staff, an instrument not even capable of playing chords.
And the chord symbol playback' voicing is not what a guitar would use or play, but that of a piano player. At least currently.
Hence Piano as the sound for chord symbols is the most (and IMHO only) sensible default.
Another reason is that Piano is the default sound in all cases the we can't determine which instrument to use, as Piano is the first channel in any GM Soundfont.

If you want Guitar accompaniment, change the channel's sound, simple as that.

"Another reason is that Piano is the default sound in all cases the we can't determine which instrument to use, as Piano is the first channel in any GM Soundfont."
Yes, I had already figured that out.

"If you want Guitar accompaniment, change the channel's sound, simple as that"

Except that, currently, it's anything but 'simple as that' (and "well" hidden).

It is very simple, once you know where to find it though ;-)
We'd need to document it (better) for sure, in the handbook pages for chord symbols and mixer

To me the issue here is that expanding the channel strip is non-obvious no matter what channel we are talking about. So it’s a general issue to solve for the Mixer in MuseScore 4, and I have no doubt this will happen, but I don’t think this particular sub-channel is any more special than others so as to require a special solution.

As for the question of what to use by default, as mentioned it doesn’t matter to me. The normal assumption with chord symbols above a lead sheet is that some other instrument will play those chords. The melody is sung, or played on a melody instrument, someone else plays chords. So it’s good we don’t usually have the same sound. As mentioned, it doesn’t make sense to hear a chorus of trumpets for the chords just because you happened to choose a trumpet sound for your lead sheet.

But piano and guitar are the two instruments capable of accompanying themselves, so at least some guitar lead sheets would be played on guitar by people accompanying themselves. And in that case it certainly makes sense to hear guitar for playback.

True one doesn't normally need to change the pizz sound, but changing its level isn't uncommon. And the guitar subchannels specifically - distortion etc - are probably fiddled with more often (or would be if people knew about them). Also things like the various synthesizer subchannels.

Anyhow, I'm fine with the template change. You could consider also making the same change for the guitar instruments in instruments.xml. I tried it a while ago and it does work. But, it adds the harmony channel always, rather than on demand (only if chord symbols are present), which has the disadvantage of probably breaking a bunch of tests.

I would say unless we get a ton more feedback in the next few days, that makes sense. I still figure there is a good chance we will want this change, but it's harmless to wait.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I am brand new to guitar tablature. I want to make sure I understand your comment about "1) the playback doesn't honor the fret diagram and indeed might not actually be playable on guitar". I am noticing that when I put a guitar tab-type chord in a measure, the frets used for the tab chord are NOT the same as what Tool > Realize Chord Symbols gives you. Whereas the standard tab symbol for a Dm7 chord uses frets X-X-0-2-1-1 (reading from lowest to highest string). the Realize Chord function would give you 0-X-3-X-1-5. Yes, its the same chord, but almost unplayable on guitar. Is that what your mean by the #1 in your comment? I guess the Realize Chord function realizes piano chords rather than guitar chords?

In reply to by odelphi231

There’s no such thing as “piano chords” vs “guitar chords”. Chords are chords. A “C” chord has the notes C, E, and G, that may be present in any order and in any octave and be played by any instrument. MuseScore chooses an arrangement that sounds good on just about any instrument. But it’s not necessarily the same order your fret diagram might happen to specify.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Thank you Jojo. Someone needs to create a plugin that does this. There are cellphone apps that do this, so I know something like this could be programmed as a plugin - or even built-in as a part of Musescore. With the linked tablature feature, Musescore is already about half-way there to creating chords with guitar voicing.
I realize Musescore is owned by a guitar software company so they wouldn't want competition, but this is not competing with them. This is completely different software.

Playback of fretboard diagrams shouldn't be too difficult to implement.
And/or another chord symbol realization type esp. for guitar
But neither is related to the issue at hand here

Indeed, it should be pretty straightforward for the playback code for chord symbols to check to see if a corresponding fret diagram exists, and if so, to use it as a guide in constructing the voicing. It's a bit complex in that there is actually no guarantee the fret diagram has the same number of strings as the instrument itself is set up for, etc. But most likely it's easy enough o handle the easy cases, and for the rest we could just give up and go back to what we already do. Feel free to submit a separate Suggestion to the issue tracker for this.

Use staff's string data if it exists (and the number of strings match), else use standard guitar tuning (if 6-string diagram), else fall back to 'normal' (Piano) voicing