The Soundslice Blog

Stemmed tablature

Posted by Adrian Holovaty on October 30, 2015

Today we’re launching “stemmed tab” view — an optional new way of formatting tablature on any Soundslice score.

Here’s what our normal tablature looks like:

Screenshot of old tab

And here’s the same thing with our new stemmed tab view:

Screenshot of new tab

This view is a hybrid of tablature and standard notation. Each note in the tab has a note stem, possibly with beams, tuplet information and note stems, depending on the music. This approach has been used by guitar magazines, some notation programs and sites like Songsterr for many years.

The goal of stemmed tablature is to show you tabs with rhythmic information — quarter notes vs. eighth notes, etc. It’s a nice, compact way of reading music if you don’t need standard notation.

We don’t display stemmed tabs by default, but here’s how you can enable them for any Soundslice score:

First, click the track name at the left of the notation to open the track controls:

Step one

Then, click the “Toggle tab” icon to toggle between views: stemless tab, stemmed tab or hidden tab:

Step two

You’ll probably want to hide the standard notation, too, as it’s slightly redundant to have both standard notation and stemmed tab — but you can do whatever you’d like.

Here’s a short video demonstrating how to toggle the notation views. You have a lot of options!

If you embed Soundslice in your own site, and you want to display stemmed tab by default, use the new show_tab=2 URL parameter.

Finally, we made another nice improvement in tandem with this. Tablature numbers are now centered horizontally, leading to a nicer, more even look. Here’s a before-and-after comparison of the same tablature:

Screenshot of centered tab