Tux Guitar

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Subject New features, or why you don't use TG

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Post: Aug 22nd 2011 at 2:14 AM


I am trying to figure out what would be an acceptable level of functionality for the next release. I have a list of things I would like to see, but I am wondering what you think are reasons you would rather use something other than TG. The things that bother me are below, but I welcome input at this point. I may just put together a release with what we have already, but I want to know if you use something else if only TG supported something specific.

Flats in a sharp key, or sharps in a flat key
Lyrics get overwritten (beat spacing)
Print size / print quality
Better importing/exporting/saving for supported file formats
More than 4 voice editing (needed for some files, like GP 6)

I have limited time to devote to this, so please don't post "me too" replies. I have not used TG extensively, so if there is something absolutely essential that makes TG un-usable, please reply. Also consider, if you need better print quality, an export to something like Lilypond or other free program might be a good short term workaround so that you can edit in TG and print using something else.

The TG score is not intended to be a WYSIWYG editor, but a representation of the music. Programs like Guitar Pro and Finale and so on are supposed to be "Score Editors", and TG was intended to be a "Tablature Editor". I have higher expectations, of course.

Bottom line: If you tried TuxGuitar, and like the idea, but stopped using it for some reason (and it has not been listed) please let me know. Eventually I hope to fix most things, but everything can't be first ;)

I'm trying to figure out where to draw the line for my version 1.3 release. My "fork" is available at sourceforge for advanced users, but I want to be able to release a package for general users, with the various enhancements TsVaH, Lobo, Valentin, and the original TG developers have contributed to. In general, I want to be able to say "this is resolved" to several outstanding problems. If yours is relatively simple, I'd like to include it.

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Post: Aug 23rd 2011 at 9:40 PM

As I see nobody wants to write here some suggestions. Though I use TuxGuitar every day for years and don't want to use something else, I will try to describe my own understanding of features it must have. With pictures as usual.

First of all, some small things that should be easy to implement.

1) Default font for Windows. I have installed TG several times on different computers with different versions of Windows. In each case the default font is ugly. It is "Small fonts". But sometimes it is written that the font is "Sans" but appearance is the same (I suspect TG try to set this font but it is absent in Windows by default in distinction from Linux, so that "Small fonts" is used instead). I think it is needed to change defaults for Windows version of TG, because the font is the important part of interface which makes user impression about application.
You can see what settings I use and comparison of tabs' appearance:
Such settings also improve print quality.

The following features I tried to draw:
2) Track names in mixer window. It is difficult to distinguish where is each track in mixer window in the case if there are more than 5-7 tracks. It would be better to name each track in that window.
3) Solo and mute checkboxes/buttons directly on track list. They must be useful. And many GuitarPro users want it in TG.
4) Remember print/print preview settings. I often use print preview to show tabs when I play guitar, because I use netbook with small screen and in preview mode more measures are shown. And as a result I need every time to check those checkboxes ('Show tabs', 'Show score' etc.). It should be better to use each time previous settings (the dialog should appear with unchecked options I select previous time).
5) Transposition. Currently transposition dialog has options to transpose only current measure or whole song. I think it is needed to replace that radio buttons with two lists to select measures range (like in 'Delete measure' dialog). Also it would be wonderful to provide option to transpose each voice separately (this option should be disabled if 'All tracks' checkbox is selected).
In some apps (like 'Harmony Assistant') I have seen that transposition also has option to change key signature simultaneously with semitone shift or not. (It is made in accordance with rule of circle of fifths: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circle_of_fifths). But this is not very critical feature and can be difficult to implement if you don't know musical theory.

And also features that should be one day but can be very difficult to implement (some of them need to change the logic of TG):
- more than 2 voices (one of the most important things),
Notation improvements:
- flats/sharps (maybe also double flats/sharps),
- triplet sign as in standard music notation instead of 3 under each note,
- drum notation like in GP6,
- piano staff support (for both hands),
- fingering for both hands in a guitar score.

I hope these features will appear in future releases.

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Post: Aug 24th 2011 at 4:18 PM

Some are easy, some are hard, some are already in progress. I hope to have a list finalized soon, of things I can get done in a month or so.

That's my plan.

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Post: Aug 24th 2011 at 11:04 PM

One of the main features that I would like to see included in the next version are better visuals for the buttons (i.e. Add track, add marker, etc.) When they all look the same, it can be a challenge to find the button that you need. One thing that I would NOT like to see is the drum notation changing, like in GP6. It gets too confusing trying to differentiate between different sounds based on the notation that you see for the percussion track.

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Post: Sep 3rd 2011 at 2:07 PM

I've used Guitar Pro since around 2003/04. It's a great tool but being interested in free/open programs, I'd like tuxguitar to get better.

Is this the right place to coordinate a fork like this?

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Post: Sep 9th 2011 at 12:04 AM

sagaci: no, this isn't the right place. And to make it more complicated, the original TG source code is being updated now as well. So I have the added work of either staying in sync, hoping my changes get picked up, or completely separating (a true fork). Staying in sync takes time I'd otherwise use to do new things.

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Post: Sep 14th 2011 at 8:24 AM

There is just one thing i would like to change at the moment:
The drumscores
They are just unreadable at the moment and with some little changes Tuxguitar would be the perfect tool for drummers too.
I think it´s not so much work just to show the drumscore(not the matrix) in a different way.
The way you can write the scores with the numbers of the midi numbers isn´t a big problem just the way the scores get showen in the notation.
If there are any Questions about it,just post it!!

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Post: Sep 14th 2011 at 12:23 PM

there was a drum helper app made by someone on this forum
it'd be excellent to add that app to tuxguitar's core and add
the percussion cleff (that "||" symbol), this would be a nice place to start implementing drum scores

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Post: Sep 19th 2011 at 11:50 PM

There are two missing features that make TG unsuitable for classical guitar music:
- The ability to set how long a note will ring even if it is played at the same time as other notes.
- The ability to play a note while another one is already ringing.

Once these features land, I'll be able to drop tabledit.

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Darek Kay
Post: Sep 20th 2011 at 7:28 AM

The first thing already is implemented. Try out the "l"-Key. Let's say, you want to play a 0-2-2 chord, each note different ring length. Just add one L on the next note to all of the notes, and one L only to you desired note on the note after that. I hope you get, what I mean ;)

The second thing is harder to achieve. It isn't possible to play in real (let a string ring AND play a note on the same string at the same time?), so why should it be able on the computer? Two workarounds: use all of your strings (so instead 6 on the A string, take the 11 on the E string, etc). And if you still need more string, just make another track or just use the second voice, so you see both in one track (i think, that was already implemented, wasnt it? if it was, that would be the best solution for you, i guess).

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Post: Sep 20th 2011 at 9:07 PM

Hi Marco,

Darek Kay is correct. The "L" key is a short cut for the tied note feature (menu path /Beat/Tied Note). (I wasn't aware of the "L" key short cut until' Darek Kay pointed it out).

The tied note feature should give you what you want but it shows a bit unconventionally in the music notation staff. For example, put a quarter note at the beginning of a bar and the same quarter note at the end (so there is a half note rest between them), then point at the last quarter note and click the tied note feature and you will see what I mean. Although, it looks a bit uncoventional in the music staff it does give you all the functionality that you were looking for.

Btw: I used TablEdit but found TuxGuitar much easier to use!

Kind regards,


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Post: Sep 20th 2011 at 10:46 PM

tuxguitar have 2 voice support, see at edit menu.
e.g, you can add 4 quarter notes at voice 1, then select voice 2 and add 1 whole note.

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Post: Sep 21st 2011 at 7:18 PM

Hi Anonymous,

Many thanks for pointing out the voice feature. I have been using TuxGuitar since 2009 and had not noticed this. It seems so obvious now!

I guess Marco can now drop TablEdit and stick with TuxGuitar!

Kind regards,


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Post: Sep 22nd 2011 at 1:15 AM

Hi Anonymous, you mean to use a separate track to achieve the desired effect? Seems more work than should be needed.

@Ignatz: the L-trick is a poor workaround.

Both methods described are not a proper solution. You can't comfortably get the first part of even a very simple classical guitar music, like "Romance de Amor", with them. But, there maybe some good news. I've just seen the CHANGES file in the svn[1], and it says "Let Ring". I'm not sure, but I think this is what I've been waiting for. Will have to wait for a new release to know or compile it from source.

I'm really happy to see Tuxguitar resurface from its two year hiatus.


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Post: Sep 22nd 2011 at 1:38 AM

Hi Marco,

Tied notes are okay by me; a work around may be but I wouldn't describe as poor. However, putting that to one side it seems to me that Anonymous is addressing your concern. There is no need for another track. The feature is in the Edit drop down list where you can opt to select either Voice 1 or Voice 2. For example, with Voice 1 you add a quarter note and with Voice 2 you add a whole note both at the same position (in time) in the bar. And it appears in the music staff exactly like you would see in conventional notation. It seems to me that it's exactly what you are looking for! Try it and see!

Kind regards,


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Post: Sep 22nd 2011 at 4:06 PM


sorry, I forgot you're not using the svn-version. This one indeed has the "let ring"-function implemented ;)

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Post: Sep 23rd 2011 at 11:46 PM

if i got some time and if i finish soon the countdown feature(i've improved the function) i'll try to make the solo/mute buttons it seems not to be too difficult(now... later i'll be probably saying f***k its hard as hell)

by the way this forum needs a 2nd captcha(an easy-arithmetic captcha for example) bots are filling all the forum with shit

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Post: Sep 24th 2011 at 1:16 PM

No, this feature really isn't hard to implement.

What this forum needs (except anticaptcha) is some way of communication.
I try to contact the admin and b4ckdoor for like 2 weeks, without any response. In fact I undestand that - why should they check here everyday. But that's the problem, isn't it? The admin started to commit to svn again, backdoor opened his own fork and there are some more developers - each one doing his thing.

What is needed is some way of communication. Bugzilla, Mantis or one of the 100 other ways to post the bugs/feature wishes and assign them to a developer (so there aren't 5 people working on the same problem or worse: no person at all). A wiki or mailing list to talk about what's needed to be done. One main repository to prevent unnecessary merges (the main repository already exists, but are there any actice members except the admin who are still commiting there?). And ofc: REGULAR releases.

I REALLY would like this project to move on, since I like this software and I want to participate in an open source java project.
But at this moment it would be just a waste of time :(

DarekKay (spike0@freenet.de)

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Post: Sep 27th 2011 at 11:22 PM

@Ignatz: I just tested the 2-voice trick (tuxguitar from svn) and it does what I need. I'm proud to say that tabledit can finally be dropped now.

There were some issues:
- Pressing ctrl+[1,2] didn't work.
- There are only two voices.
- Voice selection isn't automatic.

Is this feature only available in the SVN version?

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Post: Sep 28th 2011 at 11:25 AM

two voice support is available since version 1.1.

if ctrl+[1,2] don´t work you can try configure the shortcuts from tools menu. it can be that your keyboard have different key codes.

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Post: Oct 12th 2011 at 8:10 PM

It would be very helpful if I could have control of how many measures are on each line.
e.g. 4 bars on line 1
then 6 bars on lines 2 and 3 etc.

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Post: Oct 19th 2011 at 5:17 PM

Would love to see piano score - grand staff

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Post: Dec 18th 2011 at 2:38 PM

Articles like this are an eaxmlpe of quick, helpful answers.

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