Free Transcribing Tools For Guitarists
Under: Guitar Lessons
Transcribing is the art of being able to hear a song and then write the song/lick/idea it down in a form that any musician can read and playback.
That’s really all it is.
I’m not going to go into the “how to”, but instead give you some free transcribing tools for guitarists to enable you to make progress today.
These are tools I use all the time. Of course, I’m in no way rewarded for recommending the following products!
Firstly, some blatant self-promotion!
There’s a ton of free stuff on this website in the Resources section. You can find sheets of blank chord boxes, blank notation, and blank notation with TAB, as well as more!
Power Tab Editor
I’ve used Power Tab Editor for over 10 years (yes, that long!) and it’s one of the best free transcribing tools for guitarists available.
While it can be a bit buggy (remember to save the file before you start working – it has a habit of closing as you’re looking for the right folder to save it!), it’s really useful for writing songs out.
Power Tab Editor is also great for trying out rhythms, especially if you’re stuck while transcribing.
I use it to write songs/licks/parts for teaching, for writing up personal transcriptions, and other such things.
It’s also great for figuring out chord names, especially when the guitar is in an open tuning as it displays the notes in notation and therefore makes it easy to name the chord.
The best part is it’s easy to use and FREE – check it out: Power Tab Editor
TuxGuitar, does pretty the same as Power Tab, just it’s newer (last released in 2009 v.s. 2006 for power tab).
Again it’s just an easy way to write your ideas out and be able to play them back to check if you’re right or not. You can get TuxGuitar
So that’s writing ideas out. How do we get the song slow enough to work it out?
Over time you’ll get good at hearing the chord changes. However, single notes could still be a problem – especially if they’re super fast.
This is a nice bit of software. You can use it slow the song down (without pitch change), select and loop bars (even at a slower tempo).
In addition, you can record into it (although it has time issue for those who want to track more than one part on top of each other).
It’s easy to use and could be the simplest way for you to get transcribing today! You can download it: Audacity®
PreSonus Studio One Free
This is a complete recording studio in one easy to use software package. If you’ve used Cubase, Garage Band or pro-tools, then you’ll probably be able to get to work with this straight away.
If you’ve not used one of these studio packages, then it could take you some time to work on how to use this software – it might well be confusing at the start.
However, once you’ve got the hang, you will be recording ideas and guitar solos down in next to no time!
Like Audacity®, PreSonus Studio One can be used amongst other things, to slow music down, find the tempo and then select and loop bars in order that you can work them out.
The beauty of PreSonus Studio One is you can start with the Free version which is actually amazing for what it is.
A professional version is available and costs around $250. I’ll do a proper review sometime soon.
You can find all the details: PreSonus Studio One
Sibelius is a fantastic bit of kit if you want to write out scores or arrangements. It’s also great for writing TAB and notation.
If you haven’t tried it for yourself, then you can download a free version. Sibelius First will enable you to compose simple scores with up to 4 instrument parts.
You can find all of the details: Sibelius First
So there you have it, a range of free transcribing tools to enable you to start today. What’s your favourite free transcribing tools for guitarists to use?