Guitar Pro is a guitar tablature reading and creation software aimed towards all musicians, guitarists in particular.
Guitar Pro 6 has been totally revamped and has a completely new look and feel compared to Guitar Pro 5.
If you are ready to try it, check it out on Amazon:
You will instantly notice a smoother modern look to the GUI. It is also much darker than guitar pro 5 which I rather like because it does not strain the eyes as much.
The first major improvement I noticed is that everything is accessible via the mouse on the main screen.
You no longer have to go into menus to change things like tempo or instrument, which is a huge plus and speeds up the workflow considerably.
If you have never used Guitar Pro before, you may be wondering why you would need such software.
In this review I will explain the programs, uses and features as well as compare it to the previous version, Guitar Pro 5.
What is Guitar Pro?
Guitar Pro is a multi-track editor of guitar and bass tablature and musical scores. It has a built-in MIDI-editor, a plotter of chords, a player, a metronome and other tools for guitarists and musicians.
It has versions for Windows, Mac OS X (Intel processors only), and Linux and is written by the French company Arobas Music. (Source: Wiki)
Why Should I use Guitar Pro?
Guitar Pro has many different uses for all musicians. The first thing I ever used Guitar Pro for was downloading TABS from the web in order to learn songs and techniques.
If you are in a band, you can use Guitar Pro to transpose your songs into TABS and musical notation so that it is easier for new members to learn.
You can also use Guitar Pro as a songwriting tool and learn to perform your songs after they are written.
It even allows you to export tabs into MIDI for use in any digital audio workstation.
Having your songs in Guitar Pro is useful for trying new arrangements without needing the whole band present.
Guitar Pro 6 uses the upgraded Realistic Sound Engine 2 to deliver a really good sound that is in most cases comparable to a real instrument.
Here’s a video review that shows you how it works:
When you first open a new project in Guitar Pro, you will be presented with a menu on the left filled with editing options, tuning options, sound options and others.
On the bottom of the screen is the tracklist. This will show you how many instruments are being used in the project. Each instrument has its own track and this panel also serves as a mixer.
To the bottom right is the song displayed in beats and bars. If you have a full song with many instruments, this will help you keep track of everything in a visual way.
In the middle of the screen is your score. This will be where you either read your notes or enter them in the TAB area using your keyboard. The notes in the TAB section will also be displayed in standard music notation above.
I am not going to go too in depth with the TAB creation process because it is a skill that should be learned through using the program.
If you have never used Guitar Pro before, start by using it to learn techniques, scales and songs. Then, while in the program, play around with the functions and options and learn what everything is about.
You could also read some tutorials online but I find the best way to learn a new program is to try creating a new project once you have gotten to grips with the basics. Then go to Google when you get stuck as you go along.
Opening an Existing Project and Learning Tabs
Guitar Pro tabs can be downloaded from many places online, but over the years, thanks to a growing contributing user base, ultimate-guitar has become the number one guitar tab resource.
One of the best new features in Guitar Pro 6 is the speed trainer. With it you can open any song or exercise and select a section. Loop it and have the speed of the section increase progressively over time.
This allows you to practice a technical piece over and over again. Find your speed limit and then train to get through it.
As a trainer, Guitar Pro is unmatched. I tried for a long time to learn TABS just by reading them but this process was tedious and very frustrating.
With Guitar Pro, I was able to fast track my learning and I think this is the most valuable thing about it.
Makes learning guitar easier
Powerful tool for composers
Great sounding RSE 2
Making your own tabs is still sometimes unintuitive
RSE 2 doesn’t sound great with heavily distorted guitars
60 bucks for software that gives you the power and freedom to learn and create songs from scratch without having to be a recording artist is totally worth it.
The best thing about Guitar Pro is that it can help you save time in many different ways throughout your musical career.
Time is what all musicians have too little of. Without this useful little piece of software that I started using when it was still Guitar Pro 4, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I have in music to date.
The improvements that have been made to the new iteration of this software make it well worth upgrading if you have Guitar Pro 5. A special upgrade rate is also offered.
Feel free to let me know in the comments what you think about Guitar Pro 6. Also tell me if you have used other software and how tablature software has helped you in your music career.
Oh, and check it out on Amazon: