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Recstar24
12-28-2014, 04:03 AM
For my students, I've been hand writing a lot of my music and my handwriting is pretty awful. I would love to start transcribing some stuff for my kids using an actual program so it's neat and clean.

I want to be able to write something out in both standard and tab notation with lyrics, but also do just lyric sheets with chord charts above.

Thanks for your help!

Lori
12-28-2014, 06:57 AM
I like Guitar Pro. That is a program that is not free, but has a lot of features. It will do all you need, and you can set it for ukulele - under add instrument– exotic guitar.

–Lori

vonbiber
12-28-2014, 07:10 AM
lilypond is free (open source):
http://lilypond.org/

Camsuke
12-28-2014, 09:13 AM
I'm with Lori, Guitar Pro 6 is really great.

Recstar24
12-28-2014, 11:13 AM
Guitar pro looks cool, and they offer a free version to schools! Woot woot!

Lily pond seems like a cool concept, apparently you create music through a coded text file and the program converts it to music automatically. Very different from a traditional music notation software like finale or Sibelius. But I am going to play with it because a program like that maybe easier for students to use.

Lori
12-29-2014, 05:56 AM
IMHO, If your students are used to writing regular music notation or tablature, I think Guitar Pro has less of a learning curve. No coding (or text creation) required. Just select the place you want to enter a note on the staff, and select the duration, and move on to the next notes. If your students are all computer programmers, then the text thing is not a big deal. Check out the instructional videos for Guitar Pro. I haven't tried Lilypond, but I don't really like spending time looking at text based tabs during the creation phase. Can Lilypond play back what you have written? That is a very helpful feature that GP has for double checking your work.
-Lori

SailingUke
12-29-2014, 08:24 AM
Lori introduced me to GP 4, I have done all the upgrades ever since, great program.

Recstar24
12-29-2014, 08:20 PM
IMHO, If your students are used to writing regular music notation or tablature, I think Guitar Pro has less of a learning curve. No coding (or text creation) required. Just select the place you want to enter a note on the staff, and select the duration, and move on to the next notes. If your students are all computer programmers, then the text thing is not a big deal. Check out the instructional videos for Guitar Pro. I haven't tried Lilypond, but I don't really like spending time looking at text based tabs during the creation phase. Can Lilypond play back what you have written? That is a very helpful feature that GP has for double checking your work.
-Lori

Will definitely check out guitar pro. Just filled out to receive their free educational license! Will allow me to install on computers in computer lab and kids can work on creating lead sheets and such. I agree something with a graphical interface is more user friendly, I simply have been frustrated more often than not with most programs such as finale and Sibelius. Guitar pro probably has been successful because it's focused primarily on fretted instruments, yes?

Lilypond is easier than you think - I am not a coder at all but I've already transcribed 3 pieces for my kids with tab and fretboard chord charts above, lyrics, all done with beautiful spacing and perfect alignment, I've never made music look this good, very professional. I'm taking a few of the James hill UITC lessons and adding tab and other visuals and in my opinion it looks as good as the published book if not better.

I am using a web editor version of lilypond that allows me to preview and see actual music as I write in the text based code. Literally if you want to write a major scale it is as simply as typing c d e f g a b c and there you go. It does do midi playback as well. I am finding the text based nature effective because if there are parts of the music that repeat,I simply copy into a different line and it's there. Writing lyrics is a breeze, you literally type the words and the program aligns it perfectly with the notes down to the syllable. Don't get me started on the quality of the built in ukulele chord diagrams :)

Recstar24
12-29-2014, 08:21 PM
For simple lead sheets (lyrics with chords), anyone use chordette or similar programs?

OregonJim
12-29-2014, 08:31 PM
Lilypond is easier than you think - I am not a coder at all but I've already transcribed 3 pieces for my kids with tab and fretboard chord charts above, lyrics, all done with beautiful spacing and perfect alignment, I've never made music look this good, very professional.

Lilypond is great; howerver, I was also a programmer in a former life, so I hesitate to recommend it to non-techie types. If you have ever worked with a markup language (like HTML or XML), it should be fairly straightforward for you. Lilypond is based on the TeX typesetting language, so the output is about as pretty as you can get.

Guitar Pro is a nice idea, but if you have a recent Mac, forget it. It doesn't work at all on the latest version of OS X (Yosemite), and Arobas support is non-existant. There is a large Mac community that are irate because it has been many months with no word on progress. The Windows and Mac versions crash far too often for my taste, but they are fairly easy to understand (when they work). Just don't expect any help from the company.

Recstar24
12-29-2014, 08:41 PM
Lilypond is great, but I was also a programmer in a former life, so I hesitate to recommend it to non-techie types. Lilypond is based on the TeX typesetting language, so the output is about as pretty as you can get.

Guitar Pro is a nice idea, but if you have a recent Mac, forget it. It doesn't work at all on the latest version of OS X (Yosemite), and Arobas support is non-existant. There is a large Mac community that are irate because it has been many months with no word on progress. The Windows and Mac versions crash far too often for my taste, but they are fairly easy to understand (when they work). Just don't expect any help from the company.

Ouch, my school is all OS X Yosemite :( being a school, the support for troubleshooting is very important, we will see how this goes...

I have never programmed or coded anything in my life, and I'm impressed at how much I can do in lilypond. The output is just gorgeous, it literally matches my books if not even better.

OregonJim
12-29-2014, 09:09 PM
Ouch, my school is all OS X Yosemite :( being a school, the support for troubleshooting is very important, we will see how this goes...

Well, we've been waiting since May for an update. Here is their official statement:

https://support.guitar-pro.com/hc/en-us/articles/202116891-GP6-Issue-for-Mac-users-under-Yosemite

Does your school have iPads? I hear the iPad version of Guitar Pro is pretty good, though it lacks some features from the desktop version. I haven't tried it myself - I just keep an older Mac with Snow Leopard on it for when I need to fire up Guitar Pro.

vonbiber
12-29-2014, 09:12 PM
IMHO, Can Lilypond play back what you have written?
-Lori
lilypond can generate a midi file of what you have written

mikelz777
12-30-2014, 02:17 AM
Is there anything out there that generates ukulele chord diagrams? There used to be a site where you could enter the chord names (ex. C|D|F|G, etc.) and it would translate the string of chord names into a string of chord diagrams. I used it a lot but the site disappeared. For my song book I put the lyrics on a Word document and then I place the chord names in brackets (ex. [C], [D], [F], etc.) where the chord changes occur. At the bottom of the page I place chord diagrams for each chord that appears in the song.

Lori
12-30-2014, 05:46 AM
I have been using Guitar Pro on a newish iMac running Mavericks. I normally don't upgrade unless I have to for a really good reason. Guitar Pro does chord diagrams too. They can appear at the beginning of the score, or within the score over the music/ lyrics/ or strum info. Diagram size can be changed with a slider bar in the information window. You can create your own custom chord shapes. GP sometimes crashes, but that is nothing new. I just get used to saving often (it's a good idea with any program). Size of everything can be adjusted, so that can be very handy for those of us with vision issues. There are a few things I wish it did differently, but it is a pretty good app for the money.

Lori

phrunk
12-31-2014, 12:54 AM
Maybe I am a little late for the party, but you - as a mac user - should really try MuseScore. Free. Comfortable. Every export option you can think of. From Beta 2.0 (running 90% stable on my Yosemite System) it has the option to create tabs WITHOUT the paper wasting standard notation. Also has chord symbols, but I never tested that because I do not really need it. And: permanently updated. Check it out, its worth it.

And, from my personal point of view, The Guitar Pro tabs I find on the net everywhere are plain ugly.

Recstar24
12-31-2014, 03:23 AM
Maybe I am a little late for the party, but you - as a mac user - should really try MuseScore. Free. Comfortable. Every export option you can think of. From Beta 2.0 (running 90% stable on my Yosemite System) it has the option to create tabs WITHOUT the paper wasting standard notation. Also has chord symbols, but I never tested that because I do not really need it. And: permanently updated. Check it out, its worth it.

And, from my personal point of view, The Guitar Pro tabs I find on the net everywhere are plain ugly.

Thank you! Will check it out! With lilypond the tabs look beautiful. For me the visual is important as it gives it a more professional polished look, I want the students to really be able to read clearly but also respect the music :)

I like to use standard notation with tab so at least the kids get some exposure to realt notation. In lilypond it tabs it automatically, or you can just write it out in tab only. MuseScore seems to be of a similar vein, and will definitely
Check out.

ichadwick
12-31-2014, 05:02 AM
Does the iPad GP6 offer a ukulele fretboard too?

Lori
12-31-2014, 07:53 AM
Yes, you can tap on the virtual ukulele fretboard to enter a note or tab. You can even choose a keyboard if you are better at reading notation for piano. Very handy.

I also use a function that checks your measures to make sure the beats add up properly. I am constantly checking my work that way.

Lori

itsme
12-31-2014, 08:04 AM
Recstar, while I agree that Lilypond makes a beautiful engraving, I personally think the input is convoluted and not real intuitive.

Haven't seen TuxGuitar mentioned here yet. It is free, and available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Its PDFs come out butt-ugly. However, it also will export to the Lilypond file format. I'm not sure what, if any, other programs do that but it would be worth looking into.

So if you don't mind an extra step, you could do your input with another program like Tux and then just use Lilypond for printing/PDF creation.

PeteyHoudini
12-31-2014, 10:39 AM
I've been using Sibelius (now at 7.5) for years now and it works great. Though, that's high-end notation software. Here's some typical output I get.

http://www.ukulelenorth.ca/katiusha_UKE.pdf

Though, the cheaper version of Sibelius doesn't support ukulele fretboards.

Petey

Recstar24
12-31-2014, 01:24 PM
Recstar, while I agree that Lilypond makes a beautiful engraving, I personally think the input is convoluted and not real intuitive.

Haven't seen TuxGuitar mentioned here yet. It is free, and available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Its PDFs come out butt-ugly. However, it also will export to the Lilypond file format. I'm not sure what, if any, other programs do that but it would be worth looking into.

So if you don't mind an extra step, you could do your input with another program like Tux and then just use Lilypond for printing/PDF creation.

I can see that, some of the commands I just don't understand how they came up with their verbage, and the manual while comprehensive leaves a lot to be desired. I found a lily pond for dummies manual that has been super helpful, and their online community is very supportive.

So far I've made a few transcriptions, songs, exercises, and handouts, and it's only been a few days, so it appears I've figured it out enough.

Any one have ideas to create easy lyric sheets with chord diagrams above?

vonbiber
12-31-2014, 10:19 PM
Any one have ideas to create easy lyric sheets with chord diagrams above?
I typeset my own song sheets with (plain) TeX. I have the name of the chords above the lyrics and the chords diagrams shown in the page.
I devised some macros and I basically type this

\chord{C}I'm gonna wrap my\chord{G}self in paper
and get something like this


C G
I'm gonna wrap myself in paper

As for the diagrams, I type something like
\Cchord to produce a C chord diagram.
I can show anyone interested the pdf output.

OregonJim
12-31-2014, 10:57 PM
while I agree that Lilypond makes a beautiful engraving, I personally think the input is convoluted and not real intuitive.

If you're familiar with markup languages in general, it's very intuitive. The big advantage is that it's far quicker to create a score this way than with any graphical interface. There are a number of text editors out there with Lilypond (and TeX/LaTeX) syntax highlighting which makes it a breeze. I use Emacs and BBEdit myself.


Haven't seen TuxGuitar mentioned here yet. It is free, and available for Windows, Mac and Linux. Its PDFs come out butt-ugly.

Yes, much uglier than Lilipond, but no worse than Guitar Pro (at least on a Mac - haven't tried the Win or Linux versions). Here's a quick sample:

74562

Feature wise, it's very similar to Guitar Pro - but it doesn't import or export gp files, which could be a problem if one has a library built up already.

ichadwick
01-01-2015, 05:52 AM
Yes, you can tap on the virtual ukulele fretboard to enter a note or tab. You can even choose a keyboard if you are better at reading notation for piano. Very handy.

I also use a function that checks your measures to make sure the beats add up properly. I am constantly checking my work that way.

Lori

Thanks, Lori. You're a fount of knowledge.

Lori
01-01-2015, 11:46 AM
Thanks, Lori. You're a fount of knowledge.
Thanks Ian. I find your website very informative, so I am glad to return the favor.
As far as appearance in Guitar Pro, if you don't like the default settings, you can change the font size and font style on almost every element. You can control details like how often the key signature shows up, and whether to hide or show notation/ tablature/ slash. You can also adjust the spacing of the measures line by line. That is handy if you have chord diagrams that are starting to overlap.
–Lori

Recstar24
01-01-2015, 02:02 PM
If you're familiar with markup languages in general, it's very intuitive. The big advantage is that it's far quicker to create a score this way than with any graphical interface. There are a number of text editors out there with Lilypond (and TeX/LaTeX) syntax highlighting which makes it a breeze. I use Emacs and BBEdit myself

I concur. I have never been able to create so much music in such a short amount of time. I grew up on graphical interfaces like finale and Sibelius but I'll never go back.

Do you have recs for programs that can do lyric lead sheets with chord diagrams, something that might be easier to use say for kids?

bunnyf
01-01-2015, 06:06 PM
Is there anything out there that generates ukulele chord diagrams? There used to be a site where you could enter the chord names (ex. C|D|F|G, etc.) and it would translate the string of chord names into a string of chord diagrams. I used it a lot but the site disappeared. For my song book I put the lyrics on a Word document and then I place the chord names in brackets (ex. [C], [D], [F], etc.) where the chord changes occur. At the bottom of the page I place chord diagrams for each chord that appears in the song.
If you are just looking to make simple chord/lyric sheets (not tab), then onsong for iPad is quite nice. I like that you can pull from various sources, edit extensively, instantly transpose, and scroll. You can also easily change from no chord diagrams, chord diagrams at the top/bottom of the page, or for absolute beginner you can opt for chord diagrams placed at EVERY chord change.

OregonJim
01-01-2015, 08:31 PM
Do you have recs for programs that can do lyric lead sheets with chord diagrams, something that might be easier to use say for kids?

There are a ton of scripts for Lilypond to do this. LaTex as well. Here is an ukulele specific one:

http://lsr.di.unimi.it/LSR/Item?id=649

You can search the Lilypond Snippet Repository (here (http://lsr.di.unimi.it/LSR/)) for just about anything you can think of.

Recstar24
01-01-2015, 08:43 PM
http://www.chordsongs.net/index.html

What do you all think? I am basically looking for something that is free, online/web based, and easy to use. I want to do a project with my students where I take them to the computer lab, and basically can create their own lead sheets with chords, and we can play them in class. Is there anything else like this, or is chord songs my best bet?

OregonJim
01-01-2015, 09:02 PM
http://www.chordsongs.net/index.html

What do you all think? I am basically looking for something that is free, online/web based, and easy to use. I want to do a project with my students where I take them to the computer lab, and basically can create their own lead sheets with chords, and we can play them in class. Is there anything else like this, or is chord songs my best bet?

Personally, a web-based app is a big drawback for me. I wouldn't want to invest the time to create a bunch of charts only to discover that the website has gone poof one day. All that work would disappear. Not to mention that you're dead in the water whenever your Internet connection goes down.

This particular web app has a few other issues that I see: you can't create your own chord diagrams - you can only choose from a limited, canned set of chords, you can't choose an alternate voicing or inversion for a standard chord, you can't transpose a chord chart, and you can't place the chords above the lyrics for each line. The developer mentions on the FAQ page that none of these essential features are likely to be added.

I think you'd be much better off with something like TuxGuitar (free) for quick and easy classroom use.

Recstar24
01-01-2015, 09:32 PM
My issue is that the school is very finicky about installing outside apps. There is a whole process that you have to go through involving paperwork and approval before software or apps can be installed. It's typical public education red tape, hence the need for a web based app for the short term.

Also, I should mention these are junior high kids - which means the thing we use has to be idiot proof :)

greenie44
01-02-2015, 01:21 AM
If you are just looking to make simple chord/lyric sheets (not tab), then onsong for iPad is quite nice. I like that you can pull from various sources, edit extensively, instantly transpose, and scroll. You can also easily change from no chord diagrams, chord diagrams at the top/bottom of the page, or for absolute beginner you can opt for chord diagrams placed at EVERY chord change.

This is a very helpful thread, as I just bought an Android tablet for the express purpose of using it to display and scroll through lyric/tab sheets while playing.

It sounds like OnSong is right, except for the tab parts. I also saw Songbook in the Amazon store with some tab looking stuff in the examples, but no info on how to do that part.

Can I get to where I want to go? Thanks in advance.

vonbiber
01-02-2015, 04:29 AM
I don't know if that would answer your question. This is an online chord generator for various instruments,
including the ukulele:

http://chordgen.rattree.co.uk/

It's open source (you can download the code, it's in javascript and php).

OregonJim
01-02-2015, 08:51 AM
I would have mentioned Songsheet Generator earlier, but I thought it was guitar-only. Just realized it has an ukulele mode for chords, and it's free:

http://tenbyten.com/software/songsgen/index.php

It can also be used to create songbooks. Recstar24, it's not an online app, but should meet all your other criteria.

Recstar24
01-02-2015, 09:21 AM
Thanks Jim! Looks great.

toothpicktower
01-05-2015, 06:55 AM
I've got to put in a word for Tabular from Chromatic Labs. I'm using the iOS version, and it works much nicer than GP on the iPad. It can do tablature, staff notation, chord diagrams. There is a Mac OS X version as well but I haven't used it so can't comment.

Recstar24
01-05-2015, 08:33 AM
I've got to put in a word for Tabular from Chromatic Labs. I'm using the iOS version, and it works much nicer than GP on the iPad. It can do tablature, staff notation, chord diagrams. There is a Mac OS X version as well but I haven't used it so can't comment.

AWESOME. Our school is close to being 100% ipad 1:1 and we are all on the mac os x system with our desktop computers and laptops.

LOVE that the ipad version is free, should be able to get away without having to get the paid version.

The mac os x app is 29.99 - I am wondering if that would include an install on every computer in our student lab.

Recstar24
01-11-2015, 08:51 AM
Update: we had the kids in the lab and we used chordsongs. It did not go well lol. The program was pretty buggy. A lot of kids after saving their lyrics, the program reformatted their lyrics into gibberish. A few kids saved but it would not allow them to access the pdf. I would say 75% of the kids there were no issues. Back to the drawing board :(

I will compile all the recs on this thread and go from there. I did email guitar pro about an educational license and they have yet to contact me :(

Recstar24
01-11-2015, 08:58 AM
I've got to put in a word for Tabular from Chromatic Labs. I'm using the iOS version, and it works much nicer than GP on the iPad. It can do tablature, staff notation, chord diagrams. There is a Mac OS X version as well but I haven't used it so can't comment.

I downloaded it free but it seems to only support guitar. Do you need to pay for it for the other instruments?

itsme
01-11-2015, 10:14 AM
I downloaded it free but it seems to only support guitar. Do you need to pay for it for the other instruments?
I haven't even used a Mac in over ten years, but even I was able to find this quickly on their site. :p

https://chromaticlabs.tenderapp.com/kb/tabular-using-the-app/does-tabular-support-custom-tunings-can-i-use-tabular-with-my-instrument

Recstar24
01-11-2015, 11:32 AM
I've got to put in a word for Tabular from Chromatic Labs. I'm using the iOS version, and it works much nicer than GP on the iPad. It can do tablature, staff notation, chord diagrams. There is a Mac OS X version as well but I haven't used it so can't comment.


I haven't even used a Mac in over ten years, but even I was able to find this quickly on their site. :p

https://chromaticlabs.tenderapp.com/kb/tabular-using-the-app/does-tabular-support-custom-tunings-can-i-use-tabular-with-my-instrument

I figured it out. You have to edit the track from the default guitar preset to ukulele preset. It has one tuning only for ukulele.

This will work great for me to create simple exercises for the kids, and should be intuitive enough for the kids to make some simply arrangements! The way you notate music is also kind of cool - you have to find the note on the uke fingerboard on the bottom of the screen and the note will appear.