I've noticed alot of really REALLY bad formatting in many guitar pro tabs on this site.

I guess I should say first that I am a guitar player for fun, but my true instruments are piano and mandolin. I started using guitar pro for the sole reason that you could find piano, drum, and mandolin/violin tracks to certain songs that probably would be damn near impossible for an amateur musician to write on his own without any theory training (it would certainly be much harder then pressing a download button on UG lol).

Now, with that being said, I go to download some piano music (lets say just for arguments sake, that its Journey's Faithfully, not because I particularly enjoy that song, but because it would probably be one of the most actively downloaded by those wishing to lean a pop piano song)


now, I'm not going to critique alot about this tab, but, it shows that the sound is right, it sounds like the record. But if you play it the way it is written, the sound is actually one octave lower then written. As a rule, guitar pro tabs are seen as being written one octave higher then they are. This is because guitar staff music would have to be in bass clef if the correct octaves were used and bass tabs would be so low, they would be barely readable.

So, how to solve this and make for a better, more readable tab? set all capos for pianos (and mandolins/violins for that matter) to 12.

Now, another thing I would hope tabbers stay away from is the inclusion of all piano parts into one score, too many times I've opened tabs to find the piano part an unreadable mess of notes and rhythms. An example would be the combined piano track in the above-mentioned journey tab.

Now, onto the mandolin/violin parts. Now, guitar pro can be quite useful here because mandolin and violin (to a lesser extent) music can be read in tab form (unlike piano which must be read in standard notation). Once again, all of these instruments should be tabbed with capos on 12. Also, I think its important to note that GUITAR PRO HAS A MANDOLIN STANDARD TUNING!!!!! (under 4 string tunings) that, when combined with a capo on 12, create both a readable tab and a readable standard notation (for classical violinists who wanna read in standard). Please note that while you can use the "Mandolin or Violin tuning" with no capo, the standard notation will appear in the wrong octave.

For an example of very bad form used while tabbing violins, check the tab for Mark Knopfler's "What it is," (http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/tabs/m/mark_knopfler/what_it_is_guitar_pro.htm) Note that despite this style, the tab has 5 stars (not to say that the rest of the tab is bad, the rest is nearly if not completely flawless)

In my opinion, Guitar pro is for tabbing instruments that are not readily accessible through normal text tabbing (such as drums, keyboards, brass and winds, vocal lines, etc) as well as the more common use of hearing the various instruments line up and to single out certain instruments for individual practice. I feel that the first-described use of Guitar Pro is seeing serious neglect on this site and I think better tabbing style should be encouraged, especially when commenting/critiquing a tab (where you can actually let the author know constructively how to improve).

So, when your tabbing a song in guitar pro that uses special instruments (as I've explained above) please consider the following tips when writing the music.

-always remember that guitar pro standard notation is actually one octave higher then it sounds, resolve this with a capo on 12 for C instruments (pianos, violins, flutes, etc.)

-Please split piano parts into two tracks, one in bass clef (6-string bass tuning works nicely) for the left hand, and one in treble (normal guitar tuning will work) for the right.

-if you are tabbing out an individual brass or wind instrument, try (if you can) to think about what key the instrument is in. IE, a standard trumpet is in Bb, meaning that a C on a trumpet would be a Bb on a piano. In guitar pro, you can remedy this by slapping a capo on 10. You can look up what keys various instruments are online, as well as the range to distinguish what the tuning of the lowest string should be. (I realize Guitar Pro is a little limited in this aspect, I know that at least in my version of guitar pro, you cannot place a capo higher then the 12th fret, making it impossible to write perfect standard notation for instruments who's notes sound higher then written, but it'll be rare that you ever run into that situation)

while this will be very tedious when tabbing, if you really take the effort to produce a good quality guitar pro tab, you should take the time to think about who will be playing it and how to make the tab accessible to them. With these tips in mind I think you can really improve your guitar pro tabbing.