The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #82782   Message #1529692
Posted By: PoppaGator
27-Jul-05 - 06:29 PM
Thread Name: RandyTab: Tab/MIDI Software
Subject: RE: Tablature / MIDI software

I've also been in touch with Frank Delaney, who introduced me to the Randytab program, too, along with several of his transcriptions of Mississippi John Hurt pieces.

I couldn't help but notice that a couple of Frank's efforts, while "written" or transcribed correctly in terms of standard musical notation (quarter notes and eighth notes, etc.), did not always play back in the correct timing through the Randytab MIDI function.

After a bit of experimentation, I realized that the program does not always recognize the time-value of notes correctly, but it DOES seem to play back in time according to how widely spaced your notes are placed on the tablature "staff." I'm pretty sure that it's possible to create Randytabs that will play back correctly, even though it might be necessary to violate standard musical "grammar" to make things come out as intended. (It's also probably necessary to avoid some of Randytab's "special features" that don't work as they should, notably hammer-ons. When the MIDI is played, hammered notes play back entirely too quickly and throw off the tempo completely.)

Seems to me that tablature that can be read for finger-placement information, and that can also be audibly played to indicate how the piece should sound, would be the best learning tool yet for fingerpickers. I am slowly working on tabbing one of the few MJH songs that Frank and Ken haven't already transcribed (grin), making every effort to write with correct MIDI playback in mind, even at the expense, when necessary, of violating standard notation conventions.

It shjould also be noted that you are NOT restricted to standard guitar tuning. You can tune any string to any pitch and the MIDI funciton will adjust accordingly, thus allowing you to work in any open or alternate tuning. I'm not absolutely sure, but I think you can also vary the number of strings, which opens up all kinds of possibilities for tabbing other instruments.

And, hey, it's free! Click the link that Khandu provides above, and you can not only download the software, you can also find plenty of completed tabs, sorted by artist name. (You need to download and install the program first, of course, before you can open the tablature files.) You'll find quite a few Frank Delaney contributions under "M" for Mississippi John Hurt.