Note Values in Tabulature

• Oct 31, 2020 - 09:27

There is one style for note values used in nearly all Banjo tabs and Banjo books, which is also supported by commonly used software like Guitar Pro and TablEdit.
It would be great to implement such a style in MuseScore (which I love for all the other features it offers).

Tab Example 600.jpg


In reply to by jeetee

Thank you for your help. Your example shows exactly the style I want to use. But I am not finding a way to get the entire sheet to have it formatted like you. Mine stays herterogenous:
Tab Example2 600.jpg

If I extend your demonstration file the style changes too:

Tab Example3 600.jpg

Please excuse if I am overlooking the obvious ... but I am playing around for over one hour and these are my best results.

In reply to by bijama1

Sorry.. I'm not terribly familiar with tablature notation so I might be missing what you're referring to as not being the correct style here?

Do you mean the beams should be horizontal all the way through?
In that case, first enter your notes, then right-click a beam (ctrl-click on Mac) and Select→All Similar Instruments. The use the inspector (F8) to either turn on "Force horizontal" (it seems the style setting for this isn't working as I'd expect it to) or check "Custom position" and go into the "Y" field and press the up arrow once followed by the down arrow, to have all beams update to that value of 9,00sp

In reply to by jeetee

Thank you jeetee!

I never would have discovered this trick. That is exactly the style that it is typically used in the Banjo literature.
There is only one thing left to make it perfect ... the stems of the quarter notes should end at the same heith as the horizontal beams are (the first four marked in red). Is this possible too?

Thank you!
Tab Example4 600a.jpg

In reply to by bijama1

Update: To extend the stems of quarter notes to the position of the beams you have to select the option of Stem Style = "Beside Stave" rather than "Through Stave" - but this might not be quite what you want either.


You may need "Beside stave" and "Through stave" at the same time!

In reply to by bijama1

Yes it is possible, but no, currently not automatically.
You can select each stem, one by one and use the inspector to give them a "length change" as required.

I think it would be good to open up an official feature request in the issue tracker to have this beaming/stem style as a valid option in the future, so please do so.

In reply to by bijama1

Furthermore, while I agree that it might be nice to get this result, there is no absolute or definitive standard about this. Look at these two images from Hal Leonard's Banjo Method (Book 1, pages 43 and 44).
Is this really embarrassing? I think (only my opinion!) that readers don't even pay attention to this kind of "detail".



In reply to by cadiz1

Hello Cadiz1,
sorry for being away for a while ... of course there is no "official standard" for formatting tabulature. It also depends on when the books are released.
However, in Banjo (and other Bluegrass instruments) tabledit ( is often used (e.g. see and this software uses the mentioned style as "standard". So I think it would be great if musescore would support it too.

You are probably right, that many readers don't pay attention ... speaking for myself (and a few colleagues) it makes a big difference when I am playing, change looking to my instrument, to the band colleagues, the audience, and the sheet of music. If it is formatted in my usual way I and can catch the next few measures in a second, if not I have to put more attention to carefully reading. Just my experience ;-)

I will follow jeetee's suggestion and post an official feature request.

In reply to by bijama1

"I will follow jeetee's suggestion and post an official feature request."

Of course, I understand.
However, for your information, please note that the programmer (@Miwarre) who implemented the entire Tablature part of MuseScore has not been involved in the program for at least three years :(

That is to say that everything concerning Tablature has remained in the same state and at a standstill for as many years (except for correcting two-three regressions). It's a pity, but that's the way it is.

And I doubt very much that there is a current developer motivated (and having the time) to implement this for Tablatures. There are so many feature requests (I thought there were about 1300 lately) and personally, I think there are other requests, for Tablatures, that are higher in the order of priority. Just my feeling.

In short, it would take a kind of miracle to satisfy your demand, even in the medium term. But, at least, this "Suggestion" will be made in the Issue Tracker and will, at least, have some visibility. And no one is ever safe from a pleasant surprise ! 😂

In reply to by cadiz1

I am software engineer and am very motivated to improve tablature in MS. I used Tabledit and Guitar Pro for many years before switching to MS and I don't use notation. GP tab has some advantages but the sheer engraving flexibility of MS makes it more suitable for me and it's now the only scoring software that I use.

Time constraints could be an issue. What would be a good way to get up to speed with the MS project and source code?

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.