Guitar finger picking pattern arpeggios with held notes
A guitar player often plays arpeggios with the right hand while holding a fixed chord with the left hand. This is extremely common in guitar playing, often sloppy written down using TAB notation without any proper note lengths. However, any guitar player knows how to play these: Any plucked note is supposed to ring until the same string is plucked again (or the chord changes, but sometimes even beyond). Many songs are played this way, sometimes using fixed chords, often varying then during picking. A very famous example would be the intro to Stairway To Heaven.
Musescore doesn't allow entering these so that they are easily editable, look correct and are played correctly. I appended a small example score demonstrating the problem. It contains four instruments all playing exactly the same, only the display variant is different (standard notation, simple TAB, common TAB, and full TAB).
The easiest way of entering this in Musescore is to simply denote the pattern in the TAB score, but then everything is played in one voice which makes any note stop as soon as another one starts, which is not what is supposed to be played. This I did in measure one. It looks okay in any display style, but of course because all notes are eighths, it doesn't sound right. It sound as if after each plucked string, that string is muted again before playing the next one. Polyphony only exists if several strings are also plucked at the same time.
So I figured that I could use voices to make the notes ring longer while others are played. This has been done in measure 2, and it has been done again in the measures 3 to 5 with notes crossing the bars. These sound (about) right (except for point 3, see below).
This has three problems:
Entering this isn't straight forward anymore. First you have to enter the score as before, then assign to each note on any string a different voice (e.g. notes on the G string are all voice 3), then you have to make each note longer, so that it rings until this string is plucked again (at least that's the best way I came up with). Entering such a thing once is manageable. To play around with different patterns (i.e. editing such a thing) is a PITA.
It looks horrible. Look at the screenshot. Only the simple TAB is readable anymore. The common TAB can still be used, but it you want to let notes ring beyond the measure borders, you get lots of ties (I only have 2 but there can be much more of course).
You only have four voices. Guitars have six strings (some even more). So this doesn't cover all strings. In my example, I share the voice 2 between the B and the D string. Of course, notes played on the B string are now aborted as soon as a note on the D string is played, etc.
Is there any better way to enter these absolutely standard things of guitar playing in a way which doesn't only look good but which eventually will also play the right things?
I would like to propose some new feature which allows guitar players to enter guitar tabs simply and which doesn't sound wrong in the end.
One way of doing this could be
* increasing the voice count to (at least) six,
* adding a function which assigns each note to a voice corresponding to the string it is played on, and
* adding a function which simply prolongs every note in a TAB to fill the time until the same string is plucked again.
Then we could use the simple TAB notation which hides all the (not helpful) uglinesses like ties and note lengths.
Any other new feature solving this problem would be welcome as well :-)