Powertab Tutorial

Powertab is a free music software that is used a lot on this site. Powertab lets me write tab versions of every piece of music on the site and allows students learning the piece to “play back” the music using the software and see the piece progress as they read the music. Every piece of music in the “Piece” section of the site has several study tools made using Powertab. Go to the opening page of this site and click on the “Powertab” link on the “Guitarist’s Tools” section to download this free software.

Sheet Music

Using Powertab, I write sheet music for every piece. On these documents, you will see regular music staff with the music written out, and below a tab version. I do not take any liberties when I write out these documents; they are exactly the same as the sheet music I got them from, except that I simply added a tab of the music below. On these documents I include right-hand fingerings and bars. I DO NOT talk about right-hand fingerings on the lesson videos, so these documents will help fill some gaps left off from the videos. I also write whether certain parts of a song should be played in freestroke or reststroke. Bars are also included in these documents, and are written out in roman numerals above the tab. Look in the “Editorial” section of this site for the article “Reading my tabs/sheet music” for a more in-depth explanation of many of the markings that appear on these documents.

“Powertab files”

Every piece of music will have a Powertab file you can download. I have personally written out these files, and thus correspond with the video lessons and the sheet music/tabs I write out for each piece. Clicking on these links will produce a pop-up asking to download the powertab file, which are very small in size. Once you download the file, assuming you already have the Powertab software installed, you will be able to open the file immediately.

Using Powertab

Once you download a powertab file from this site, click “Open” and the software will open up. You will see a normal music staff with notes, and below a tab version of what is written. Click on the green “Play from beginning” button on the top left and the music will begin to play. As it plays, notes on the tab will light up in red, signifying that those are the notes you are currently hearing being played. Click on a specific measure and click the green “Play” button and the music will begin to play from that measure. Pull-offs and hammer-ons appear on the tab, as well as harmonics. Repeat sighs and other musical directions appear, and as you hear the music being played the program will follow these directions, so pay close attention and keep up.

WARNING! The powertab files are sometimes written a little differently than the sheet music/tab documents of the same piece of music. Why? Simply put, there are things on the sheet music that the program has difficulty understanding, and thus I must find a compromise somehow. However, the differences are very small, and the music as a whole does not suffer much. Remember, the powertab files are a STUDY TOOL ONLY! It is not a %100 official exact recreaton of the music.

Powertab as a study tool

Although you will most likely get the most direction from my video lessons, using the powertab files will help you a lot as well. Following along with the music as it’s being played on the Powertab program will show you how a piece of music is suppossed to flow. Also, if you are having a hard time following the tempo of a piece, hearing it out on Powertab can be a big help. The more you use Powertab and become familiar with the program, the more you will be able to benefit from my Powertab files. Enjoy!

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