Tux Guitar


Subject Lilypond guitar tab feature request

Author Message
Post: Feb 13th 2009 at 12:46 PM

Some people have noticed some missing features of tablature in Lilyond. Let's join forces and improve Lilypond for tablature (you know tuxguitar has lilypond export function).

Anyone who would like to be involved in documenting/discussing features missing from LilyPond's guitar tab support, please send me an off-list email at the following address:


When we have a list of around 10-15 specific items, we can then prioritize and start to talk about sponsorship of features and then send a proposal to -devel.



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Post: Feb 13th 2009 at 12:49 PM

the mailaddress is:

dstocker at thenotesetter.com

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Post: Feb 19th 2009 at 12:24 PM

Come on guys, join us to improve tablature for Lilypond!
See email address above

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Post: Mar 4th 2009 at 8:47 PM

Please join:


We also try to improve the Frescobaldi templates:


And maybe good to know:

[quote]Tony: throwing in some money may not help. If you offer, instead, to
help test and document the implementation, that would be much more

That being said, as always, I am willing to personally double whatever
fee can be raised.


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Post: Mar 23rd 2009 at 4:40 PM

bump topic

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Post: Mar 26th 2009 at 10:00 PM

Roz, Dave. Sorry for not reply before.. i'm very bussy this month

One thing that i think would be great on lilypond,
is some kind of GUI for end users. not for make .ly files, i mean for create the output files from an existing .ly

i know it don't make sence with the "tablature support" of the original topic. but.. how to say in english..

How many users know about lilypond, and about the excellent postcript files it can generate ?
How many users -> suggestions -> help could have the project if end users "knows" it.

A normal user don't installs command line applications.
they are not familiarized with it, they just think it's more hard exec "lilypong MyFile.ly" than fill a wizard of 20 steps.

So what i try to say is that if lilypond could have a GUI to generate the outputs, maybe if it can also "display" the postscript document. and the best if it can be connected from another application (just think, if tuxguitar, rosegarden, denemo, etc.. could open this lilypond GUI instead of only save the .ly file )
it could be a very known project, very usefull, and it will get a lot of ideas from users.

i tell you this, because i know lilypond and it's power,
but unfortunatly allmost tuxguitar users don't.
we have more posts about read/write plain text tab files than .ly files.

My english isn't good.. let me know if you understood the point of what i tried to say :)

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Post: May 20th 2009 at 3:43 PM

Hi all,

I'm very happy about the 1.1 version because of double voicing support. I've been looking forward to it for 2 years!
So great job Julian and all the other devs!

I have tried the export-to-lilypond function (plus conversion in pdf) and I was impressed by the high quality of the document. Just some errors in the tablature conversion..
So what is missing is just a complete tablature support.
I'd be glad to help lilypond with testing and documentation.
I'm going to join the mailing list of lilypond users.

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Post: May 21st 2009 at 1:40 PM

Hi brunology,

We need to split 3 things here:

* What lilypond don't supports
Maybe the only that tuxguitar needs to export a complete tablature are the effects (some are already supported by lilypond, we should write a list of missing ).

* What lilypond supports, but tuxguitar-lilypond plugin don't implements yet
Not all that isn't exported means that lilypond not supports it.
the first version of plugin, just exported the basic musical things.. later we added more complete features, but there are still some things that we could export but the current plugin don't do. ( a good example for you is the double voice, latest version of tuxguitar implements that feature, but the lilypond export plugin export them as only 1 voice.. we need a work on that feature )

* Or the features that lilypond/tuxguitar supports, but, they manage different.
This is maybe the hard part.
Sometimes, to the end users eyes, if 2 applications support same features, it's easy to export them.
but when internally these features are managed in different ways, sometimes it's very hard to export them.
Here is when you lose data exporting/importing.
it's not a lilypond or tuxguitar thing, it happens allways when you convert from one format to another.. some features are missing, or not saved exactly as you had.

So cleaning...
at first, we need to do a list of what features are lost after export to lilypong
Then, we need to see if these features were lost because lilypond don't support them, or if is because the plugin don't implements it.
at last we can have 2 lists of features to add on tuxguitar-lilypond, and features to request to lilypond team.

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Post: May 21st 2009 at 4:42 PM

Hi Julian,
thanks for your detailed reply.
I've started studying Lilypond and subscribed to the user mailing list.

I'll do some experiments and try to make the lists that you have mentioned [very useful to have a clearer idea :-)], and/or contribute to what other people in the lilypond mailing list are doing.

See you

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Post: May 22nd 2009 at 10:50 PM


Nice to see some comments here!

I'm happy to report some progress concerning tablature support in Lilypond.

1) two commands to switch between tablature notation with and without stems
2) a sans serif tab clef
3) a double stemmed half note (of course only when stems are enabled)
4) fret numbers that are 'tied to' are now (mostly) invisible.
5) commands for palm mute and dead notes are available
6) glissando lines in tablature have now the right slope when sliding from higher to lower frets.

To test it check:


(please subscribe to the Lilypond-user mailinglist)


Thanks for your interest. I don't understand your 'idea' for 100%...
But do you know Frescobaldi? It helps you generating a lilypond template, run it and display the result in a embedded pdf reader:


The author is open for adding 'quick tablature insert functions' when tablature is more mature.

Julian I suggest you to subscribe to the lilypond mailinglist to get an better compatibility with Tuxguitar and Lilypond. There are about 6- 10 people who are working on a list of missing tablature functions in Lilypond right now. If you join from the beginning, implementing it in Tuxguitar would be more easy and we could use your tablature knowledge (and maybe programming skills).

Kind regards,


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Post: May 22nd 2009 at 11:05 PM

Here is a first test example of the current state of tablature in Lilypond and some recent developments:


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Post: May 23rd 2009 at 2:48 PM

Hi roz,

>> I don't understand your 'idea' for 100%
Well, english was never my forte :)

However, i didn't know about Frescobaldi, good to know about it.. i'll install it right now

I subscribed on the list.

I also taked a look to your tablature_test.pdf, it's good to see some interesting features..

From tuxguitar-lilypond plugin side, i'll try start work
on these features that lilypond support but the plugin don't have implemened yet.

then, yes work with these new features.
but... what about compatibility ?
I'm not sure if it's a good idea release the plugin using these new features, until allmost distribution repositories included latest lilypond version.

So i think i'll make a tag of tuxguitar-lilypond to distribute with tuxguitar while we are working on the future of the plugin.


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Post: May 23rd 2009 at 3:21 PM

Frescobaldi is great. You see the quick insert tab? That could be a possibility for tablature quick inserts (bends, slide etc.) too...

About your plugin, maybe some guys on the lilypond mailinglist are willing to give some help and feedback, I'm sure they will.

dont expect tablature functionality 100% ready in Lilypond soon.. It will be a pretty long road to get it done, but Lilypond good be really great for tablature imo and it would be nice to have tuxguitar as an gui for it :)

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Post: May 23rd 2009 at 3:43 PM

Yes, i'm looking Frescobaldi right now..
very better and easier than write on a text editor, and then compile...

>> dont expect tablature functionality 100% ready in Lilypond soon.
Sure, this is maybe why i say about work with a tag of latest lilypond release for the plugin.
and don't release the new plugin until lilypond release next version.

so i'm not expecting these changes now.. i know that it take time.

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Post: May 24th 2009 at 9:35 AM

Julian, make sure you are also on the list of the people who are brainstorming and developing tablature for Lilypond.

Mail to dstocker at thenotesetter.com and ask him to be on that list.

Of course other interested people are welcome too.

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Post: May 24th 2009 at 9:35 AM

(to avoid confusion:

the mailaddress is:

dstocker at thenotesetter.com


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Post: Aug 4th 2009 at 3:29 PM

Ha, new developments here:

Bends and stuff


There is an tablature mailinglist now:


for news, discussion, testing, documentation etc

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Post: Oct 26th 2009 at 5:39 PM

My E-Mail to dstocker at thenotesetter.com


Sehr geehrte Damen und Herrn,
Ich benötige bei dem Tabulatur-Programm TuxGuitar eine gute Lilypond-Export-Funktion. Diese soll das Ergebnis in eine exzellente Noten- und Tabulatur-Ausgabe für Lilypond exportieren. Das Ergebnis möchte ich über die SVG-Export-Funktion zu einer Datei konvertieren, die ein hervorragendes Druckergebnis für die Wikibooks (Schwesterprojekt von der Wikipedia) liefern.
Für eine sinnvolle Ausgabe benötige ich jedoch eine mehrstimmige Darstellung.

Ladies and Gentleman,
I need at the tablature program TuxGuitar a good Lilypond-export-function. It should export the result to an excellent staff- and tablature-notation for LilyPond output.
I want to export the result on the SVG-format. A svg-files supplies an excellent printing results for the wikibooks (sister project of wikipedia).
For a meaningful output, however, I need a polyphonic representation.

Vergleiche / compares
Diese Zeichnungen wurden größtenteils von Hand erstellt. Aber man braucht Stunden dafür.
These drawings were created largely by hand. But you need houers.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen / Yours sincerely
Mjchael (author on http://de.wikibooks.org/wiki/gitarre )

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