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Tony in GR
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   Posted 2/4/2009 10:55 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I will admit that I am a newbie to Finale (have 2009 on a Vista Machine), but I am a little stumped at times by the awesome depth of this program.

My main problem is generating chord diagrams in TAB or standard notation (same problem). Sometimes, I will take something from a fakebook and scan or type it in; sometimes, I will mess around with my own compositions-whatever. I especially like taking classical pieces, transposing them for guitar, and jazzing them up a bit. So far, no problem with Finale 2009. I will do both the standard notation and a staff in TAB to help me figure out the fingerings. Again, no problems.

It's when I start to put in the chord diagrams that the problems start, for me at least.

Let me give you an example with Dma7 in the barred 5th position. The notes would be starting on the A or 5th string, D, A, C#,F#, A, and the TAB fingerings would be: X, 5,7,6,7,5. This is only one of the possible fingerings in this position, but makes it easy to go to the next chord which is Eb0 in the piece that I am playing with. High A can only be played starting on the 1st (E), 5th position, 2nd-10, 3rd-14, etc., regardless of the guitar type: classical, cutaway, or e guitar. There is no way that high A can appear anywhere in the first 4 positions on any standard guitar.

Yet, when I ask Finale to generate a chord diagram, all it returns is the first position Dma7 chord in the TAB diagram. The program seems to have no problem in guessing correctly when going from standard notation to TAB-most of the time at least.

There are some +85 Million chords on the guitar, but it would be nice if one could pick a chord from a chart that were generated in a window- after having specified a position. Even here, one could be faced with dozens of choices, and we have not even thrown in inversions. There are plenty of free web sites and low cost (less than $20) programs that can generate chord charts ad infinitum.

It is not that difficult, I admit, to go in and edit chord definitions in TAB diagrams, but it is somewhat of a pain. I have not even bothered to build my own chord libraries, but will do it from piece to piece since it would be a nightmare trying to manage all of the files.

It would be great if Finale would call up a window when inserting chord diagrams.

Again, am I missing something in using this feature correctly or is there a plug in available? The algorithms for chord generation are there.

Any help would be appreciated!

Tony
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Adam_Roberts
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   Posted 2/4/2009 1:52 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I have 2008. If 2009 is waay different than 2008 please forgive me...

If I understand you correctly, when you use the chord tool, click on the note, and type in "Dma7", you get something that looks like this:



and you want it to look like this:



What I do is:

1) Right click on the chord and select edit chord definition



2) In the Chord Definition window, hit the select next to chord ID:



3) In the Fretboard Selection window, if you don't see the fretboard diagram you want, click on create:



4) Create your new fretboard diagram:



5) Click OK and select the new diagram (it will be ID #2):



6) Click Ok again in the Chord Definition window and you'll have your new fretboard diagram.

I have a Finale template set up with my custom chord diagrams. Finale is very flexible and it allows you to create custom suffixes (you might think about creating different suffixes for different voicings) and custom chord diagrams ID 1, ID 2, ect...

If you click on the "Select Suffix" in the Fretboard Selection window, you'll get a list of the suffixes in Finale:




Contributor to www.finaleguitar.com.

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Tony in GR
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   Posted 2/4/2009 4:44 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Adam,

Thanks, you went to a lot more trouble than I did in explaining the problem and a workaround, but it is still a kludge in such a powerful program.

I was able to figure it out up to step six, but it still means editing every single chord diagram in a piece of music to get the fingering that one wants.

In standard notation, it would be easy enough to understand why a computer program would be hard pressed to guess the most desirable fingerings. Especially when transcribing from another instrument to guitar, Finale does offer some powerful options in figuring out the best fingerings. I really like the ability to create a duplicate staff in TAB, copy over the standard notation, and see at a glance what position I want to play the notes. It saves me the nerve wracking experience of sitting there with a pencil in my mouth, trying to make changes on a shaky music stand, then trying to read what I penciled in after. My guitars have gotten more dings editing music by hitting music stands, foot rests, and other obstacles over the years than any other stupid thing that I have done to them.

The baffling thing to me is that even if I put in the correct and desired TAB fingerings, Finale still generates the wrong chord diagram, even though it finds the right chord name; it comes up with a diagram that is in the wrong position, although the chord itself is not wrong.

I don't think that chord entry is that different in '08 vs '09. Storing the new diagrams in templates, though, is a good idea.

There are some nifty and very inexpensive chord generating programs out there with a pretty slick interface. Just name your chord and inversion (if any), push a slider over the fretboard area you want, and bingo you have a bunch of chord diagrams.

In a perfect world, it would be nice if you could select the one you want and paste it back into Finale.

Thanks anyway,

Tony
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Adam_Roberts
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   Posted 2/6/2009 1:30 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Tony in GR said...
Just name your chord and inversion (if any), push a slider over the fretboard area you want, and bingo you have a bunch of chord diagrams


Inversions and chord suffixes are ambiguous.

For example:

Dm7/G = Gsus9
Am/F = Fmaj7 = FMA7 = F (triangle)7
Dm7 = D-7
Cm7bb5 = C°7

A composer can display chord qualities in any number of ways. Having to create fretboard libraries for all the variations seems very hard.

Look at these three examples:



To everyone but a guitar player, these are just G chords. A piano player would look at the treble clef and know exactly where to play those notes. A guitar player would look at the treble clef and realize that there are 4 different ways of playing the first chord in standard tuning (if they can read music, that is...) . The second chord is really handy when playing G, Cadd9=C(add9), and D. The third chord is what most guitar players and anyone else who cares about fretboards would be looking for in a G chord.

The tab staff isn't ambiguous and I know when you mean when you say you put the correct TAB and Finale doesn't generate a chord based off your TAB... But a composer who notates a G chord above a piano choral accompaniment might or might not be a guitar player.... trying to develop a system that works for a broad audience of users is harder than it seems. Just thinking about it makes me very tired.

Maybe a software engineer will work out a way of generating fretboard diagrams solely off of TAB staff parameters before I wake up in the morning....


Contributor to www.finaleguitar.com.

Post Edited (Adam_Roberts) : 2/5/2009 11:35:54 PM (GMT-6)

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Tony in GR
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   Posted 2/6/2009 11:07 AM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Don't really want to start a debate on this, but generating the wrong chord diagram from the intended and correct TAB fingerings is a serious design flaw as far as I am concerned-especially in such an expensive program.

TAB and Chord Diagrams are a convenience in transcription for me in figuring out the fingerings and chord placements as well as an aid to the other members of my little jazz group who have difficulty handling standard notation, which I have to produce anyway for the other instruments.

As far as the chord diagram generation is concerned, there are some nifty programs out there that will generate chord diagrams for any fretted instrument from banjo to uke, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12 string. Finale generally has no problems in generating TAB from standard notation for most of them. Of course, it cannot read my mind regarding easy fingerings, so I have to go back and edit the note positions in TAB for playability.

I accept that. What Finale SCREWS UP ROYALLY is taking my TAB and transferring it to a chord diagram that DOES NOT correspond to the TAB note positions, forcing me to do a re-edit of the chord diagrams for several instruments. THERE IS NO AMBIGUITY IN THE TAB NOTES PER SE, other than some of the things that TAB leaves out.

EVEN IN THE EXAMPLES YOU SO GRACIOUSLY GENERATED, YOU WENT BACK AND EDITED THE CHORD DIAGRAMS.


I am not trying to be pedantic about this, but it is my whole point anyway. Even the Finale Technical Support guys admitted that chord diagram generation is not the greatest, because I contacted them for help on this. No program can guess the musician's intent in chord diagram generation; it would be asking too much to expect it from standard notation. Not doing it from TAB is a BUG.

In composition, as you pointed out, it is a different story. However, it would be a great convenience to a composer to be able to click on a measure, and have a window pop up enabling him/her to define and select the chord that is desired. There are literally dozens of chord generation programs out there. Some cost nothing, most less than $20. Many allow reverse look up. In today's world, this is far from rocket science since the mathematical algorithms are well known.

Finale, I think, is probably written in C++ or something similar. Forgetting the programming jargon, that means that one builds libraries of applications that bolt onto the program. One can add features without changing the program. Bolting on a good chord generation program is doable.

Chord generation charts with all of the infinite variations would be a nice feature, but not a necessity.

Finale's chord chart generation from TAB is abysmal. It really needs to get fixed.

Tony
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Zuill
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   Posted 2/6/2009 12:27 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Actually, Finale does not have a feature to generate chord charts from TAB or from standard notation, unless 2006-2009 has added this feature. All that I know Finale does is to analyze the chord, and apply the chord symbol plus the chord grid for the already established symbol. It does not analyze the voicing and create a grid for that. That is, unless this is a new feature in a newer version.

And yes, standard notation to TAB is very buggy.

Zuill


"When all is said and done, more is said than done."
 
Finale 2002b, 2003a, 2004b, 2005b, Win 2000 or XP
 
Favorite Forum quote: "Please, everybody, IGNORE THE TROLL!"

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Adam_Roberts
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   Posted 2/6/2009 12:29 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I agree with you, Tony.

Your arguments are spot on.

I personally think MakeMusic should implement your idea in Finale Songwriter. Songwriter is in the price range of most of the guitar tablature softwares on the market. If they included some guitar-friendly templates to make TAB easier, I think they would be more competitive vs. GuitarPro, TablEdit, and PowerTab.


Contributor to www.finaleguitar.com.

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Tony in GR
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   Posted 2/6/2009 1:13 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Zuill,

Finale, at least 2009 and 2008 can generate TAB and chord charts from standard notation. The TAB won't necessarily be playable unless one has very, very, very long fingers. Finale does allow you to drag and drop standard notation measures onto staff to obtain TAB notes, and it will ask which fret to start on.

That is a partial help. Depending on the piece and passage, it will give you a fair guess; but if the position changes within a measure, Finale will start the TAB on the fret that is specified. Again, depending on the music, I may only be able to do partial drags and drops; and then edit each measure.

I have found that when editing in TAB that you can move notes to different strings without having to specify the beat of each note again. Just click on the note in the layer, keep the left mouse button depressed and drop it on another string. Finale will automatically change the number on the fret to the correct note, which is a cool feature. Can get a bit messy if there is a note already on that string, so what I do is move the note to a string that is not played. Finale will come up with some sort of negative fret position which will remind me to move it. Sometimes, it is easier to erase the chord and redo the tab the way I want it. I have the standard notation as my reference on top of the TAB staff.

Just remember, that when you create a TAB staff in conjunction with standard notation, you must define the same key, time signature and string tuning.

Tony
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Zuill
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   Posted 2/6/2009 1:29 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I understand the bugginess of Finale and TAB. You can enter the G chord, as in the standard chord grid, and drag it to the TAB staff, and it toatlly misses. Tech support has acknowledged this is a bug, and it has been around since the introduction of the TAB staff in, I believe, Finale 2003. If you enter the TAB first and then drag to standard notation, it of course works.

What I meant about the chord grids is that, as far as I know, Finale has never been able to customize the grid from notation, Is this now a feature in Finale? In 2005, it only figures out the chord (sometimes correctly) and chooses the symbol and the predifined grid. it will not create a new grid for each voicing.

Zuill


"When all is said and done, more is said than done."
 
Finale 2002b, 2003a, 2004b, 2005b, Win 2000 or XP
 
Favorite Forum quote: "Please, everybody, IGNORE THE TROLL!"

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Adam_Roberts
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   Posted 2/6/2009 1:40 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
As far as I know, it's not a new feature, but it should be.


Contributor to www.finaleguitar.com.

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Adam_Roberts
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   Posted 2/6/2009 3:46 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
There is a Chord Analysis plug-in that generates chord symbols and fretboard diagrams... but it doesn't do what we are describing here. Modifying that plug in might be a good place to start....

... and that sounds like a job for the plug-in development forum!


Contributor to www.finaleguitar.com.

Finale 2008b

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Zuill
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   Posted 2/6/2009 4:03 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Are you refering to the built in Chord Tool Chord Analysis, or a third party plugin. I am not aware of the plugin. What is it called?

Zuill


"When all is said and done, more is said than done."
 
Finale 2002b, 2003a, 2004b, 2005b, Win 2000 or XP
 
Favorite Forum quote: "Please, everybody, IGNORE THE TROLL!"

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Adam_Roberts
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   Posted 2/6/2009 4:05 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Does this look right to you, Tony?



I'll post down in the plug in forum.


Contributor to www.finaleguitar.com.

Finale 2008b

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Adam_Roberts
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   Posted 2/6/2009 4:08 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Zuill said...
Are you refering to the built in Chord Tool Chord Analysis, or a third party plugin. I am not aware of the plugin. What is it called?

Zuill


In Finale 2008, you find it by clicking on Plug-Ins -> Scoring and Arranging -> Chord Analysis.

Looks like this:


Contributor to www.finaleguitar.com.

Finale 2008b

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Zuill
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   Posted 2/6/2009 4:15 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Aha. Something new. I agree with you that if this plugin is available, it should be able to customize the grid. It looks like this plugin just took the built in Chord Tool feature and expanded its application without much else. I think that most comercially available sheet music doesn't go that far, and just puts the simplest grid because they are probably catering to a beginner level guitarist. However, having the grid match the TAB would be a fine, and maybe not too difficult task for a plugin developer. Did you post this on the plugin forum?

Zuill


"When all is said and done, more is said than done."
 
Finale 2002b, 2003a, 2004b, 2005b, Win 2000 or XP
 
Favorite Forum quote: "Please, everybody, IGNORE THE TROLL!"

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Adam_Roberts
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   Posted 2/6/2009 4:20 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
yup...

it's here: forum.makemusic.com/default.aspx?f=11&m=249121


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Finale 2008b

Post Edited (Adam_Roberts) : 2/6/2009 2:25:22 PM (GMT-6)

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Tony in GR
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   Posted 2/6/2009 5:56 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
Adam,

Good job of inserting the graphics, which explain my point exactly. Perhaps I should read the instructions on how to do that, but I am an engineer. We don't read instructions. In fact, it is a wonder that we read at all.

Your two examples show the bug perfectly. There is no way that 6th string high A can be played in the chord diagram as generated by Finale. Your TAB is obviously correct, but Finale has completely ignored it and done its own thing.

I guess MakeMusic will want to soak us for another upgrade to fix a mistake that has been around a long time.

By the way, have you tried the Garitan guitar? The other instruments are fairly good, but the guitar sounds like a cross between a tin drum and a moose with constipation. It's an embarrassment when I put something together to entice my group to play it, and the guitar sounds so bloody terrible.

Tony
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Adam_Roberts
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   Posted 2/6/2009 9:32 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
I try to stay away from most sampled guitar sounds... I mean acoustic sounds good but distorted guitar is... well... ya like you said... kinda sounds like a moose.

When I do a musical example... I just keep it piano, bass, and drums with maybe a lead sheet.


Contributor to www.finaleguitar.com.

Finale 2008b

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Ammo
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   Posted 9/30/2009 2:27 PM (GMT -5)    Quote This PostAlert An Admin About This Post.
OK, I did encounter this problem, and dug around a bit. One solution: duplicate the chord suffix, especially if I'm going to be using it a lot. In this case, it's Maj7. If there were 64 chords in the Chord Suffix dialog box, this one becomes number 65. (I do this so that I don't destroy the ones already there).

You can get there (using "Manual Input" from the Chord menu) by double-clicking the incorrectly diagrammed chordto open the Chord Definition dialog. If it says DMaj7, but it's shown in the (incorrect) open position, click Fretboard Select (or type Alt-S) to open the "Fretboard Selection" dialog: select the offending diagram and click Delete (the correct fretboard diagram was the second one in that list - I didn't have to create it - and it remained after the open position fretboard was deleted). Click OK. Now if you use the "One-Staff Analysis" mode or "Type Into Score" in the chord menu, it will give you the only diagram in that list.

Here's a better solution, without having to duplicate the Chord Suffix:
In the "Fretboard Selection" dialog box, click the offending diagram (which is the first one in the list) and click "Move Down". Click OK or even Cancel, it stays in the second position. Now the correct one is the first in the list, and should appear whenever you the Chord menu's "Type Into Score" mode, "DMaj7", or use the "Analyze" function.

Better still, in "Type Into Score" mode, you can type "D:0 and Spacebar" to make the Chord Suffix Selection dialog appear, and select the type of chord you want If you know the number of that chord in the Chord Suffix dialog, say it's number 65, type instead "D:65 Spacebar" and it will appear.
In my case, Maj7 (which I had already shuffled the chord diagrams in) was in slot number 13, so I typed D:13 and (since "Show Fretboards" was selected, I immediately saw the right fretboard displayed. (It sure would be nice to be able to print that dialog box instead of having to have Post-It notes all over the place).

If I knew that the right chord diagram was in, say, slot 4 of the Fretboard Selection, I would type "D:0 Spacebar", tab to the Fretboard ID number, type 4 and OK.

It would be cool if we could drag a fretboard onto a staff!

I have spent a lot of time defining my own chords, saving libraries, etc., and gotten pretty good at navigating the dialog boxes. You will too. Be patient, take frequent breaks, read the manual. I just bought Finale 2010 upgrade and understand the Chord tool is much improved. We'll see.

Here's an early bebop line called "Little Benny" featuring a guitar solo by Chuck Wayne. Note the fingering is below the Tab staff.
http://www3.telus.net/sametz/charts/Little%20Benny%20GTR.MUS
--
AMMO
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