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Working with tablature

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When you create an instrument in Soundslice, you can specify that it has tablature. Tab instruments get some extra magic in our system:

Soundslice’s approach to tab instruments

Some other notation programs treat staff and tab staves as two separate things — even though they represent the same instrument. In those programs, you need to manually copy notes between the staff and the tab, and there’s always a risk of the two staves getting out of sync.

In Soundslice, the staff notation and tab notation are always unified. In a tab instrument, if you enter a note via the staff, you’ll see the note appear in the tab. And if you enter a note via the tab, you’ll see the note appear in the staff. Everything is always linked.

This means you don’t need to worry about the staff notation and tab getting out of sync. It also means you cannot have a note in the staff without a corresponding note in the tab — which is a good thing, because otherwise your music would be ambiguous for somebody reading it.

Can I “upgrade” a non-tab instrument to a tab instrument?

Yes, here’s how:

  1. Add a new instrument, making sure to enable tab in it.
  2. Select all the notation in your existing (non-tab) instrument by dragging over it. Then copy the notation.
  3. Select the first rest in the first bar of your new (tab) instrument, and paste.
  4. (Optional) Delete the original instrument.

When the notes are pasted into your new instrument, Soundslice will automatically assign an optimal string/fret to each note. You can then manually tweak the tab to your liking.

Can I “downgrade” a tab instrument to a non-tab instrument?

Yes. There are two possible approaches, depending on what you want to accomplish.

Approach 1: Hide the tab

The fastest and easiest thing to do is hide the tablature. Do this by editing the instrument and clicking the tab icon in the “Visibility” section until the tab icon is fully grayed out.

Technically, this means your instrument will still be a tab instrument — but the tab merely won’t be visible. Anybody viewing your slice will still be able to show the tab via the instrument appearance menu.

Approach 2: Delete the tab data

Alternatively, you can delete the tab data entirely. Here’s how:

  1. Add a new instrument, making sure tab is not enabled.
  2. Select all the notation in your existing (tab) instrument by dragging over it. Then copy the notation.
  3. Select the first rest in the first bar of your new (non-tab) instrument, and paste.
  4. (Optional) Delete the original instrument.

When the notes are pasted into your new instrument, Soundslice will automatically remove the associated tab data.

Note: You might need to change your new instrument’s transposition to match your old instrument’s transposition. Guitar music, for example, is customarily transposed by an octave.