Hey fellow Fretlighter’s, Spencer Stock here, Music Creation Manager for Fretlight, and today I’m going to share with you 5 cool tips that you can use in Guitar Pro 6 Fretlight Ready. Using this industry standard software for viewing and creating tabs with our Fretlight learning system is by far the most advanced and powerful method for learning the guitar ever. From the most advanced player to the absolute beginner, this system offers an array of tools that will let your practice sessions reach their full potential. Whether you are just starting to learn your basic chords or finally getting around memorizing those complicated scales and riffs, GP6FR has what you need.
Tip 1: Chord Step-thru for Awesome Practice
The first tip I want to talk about is how to make your own chord diagram charts that you can easily step-thru with the Fretlight Dual Footswitch. Open up Guitar Pro 6 Fretlight Ready and hit “Control N” to make a new blank tab. Title it “Chord Diagram Chart” and click the “C 7” icon on the left of the screen to begin inputting chords in your tab. Click the small “plus icon” to open up the chord diagram dialog box. From this menu you can input any chord you want to learn or practice into your tab. Once you have selected the chord you want, it will light up on your Fretlight. Hit “ok” and then the “plus icon” again to pick another chord. I find it’s easier to pick all the chords you want first and then input them into the tab. After you have picked your desired chords, click into the blank first measure of the tab and then the chord that you want. Hit the “right arrow” key on your keyboard and then click on the next chord you want. Repeat this until you have used all of your chords. Make sure the “Loop” button is turned on (located next to the “play” button). Finally, click the “Fretlight Preferences” tab on the left side of the screen and go to the footswitch section to choose “Manual Chord Step-Thru”. This allows you to use the footswitch to step-thru the chords at your own pace making far easier to learn chords than traditional means. Another way this footswitch function could be useful is when showing a fellow band mate chords to a new song.
Tip 2: Find Scales From Selected Music, an amazing improvisation tool!
A somewhat hidden feature in GP6FR is the “Find Scales from Selection” feature. This awesome tool lets you make a selection of notes, be it from a melody or chord progression, and have it automatically tell you what scales contain those notes. To get this function, go to the “Tools” drop down menu at the top bar and choose “Scales”. At the bottom of the Scales dialog window is the “Find Scales from Selection” button. Once you have made a selection of notes or chords (I should note that you can even select the whole song although you may get less accurate results) click “Find Scales from Selection” button and in that window it will show you all the related scales and how accurate they are (shown as a percentage). This makes finding the perfect scale to improvise with over a given song extremely easy and fun to experiment with. Although this may be more realistic for an intermediate guitar player’s skill range, improvising is no easy feat to master, I’d recommend beginners give it a try and just use a few notes to start out. Similar to this scale feature, if you open up the chord dialog window (go to the “Note” drop down menu at the top bar and select “Chord”) and you hit the “Clear” button to remove the “recently viewed” chord and you can enter your own chords in the diagram and the software will tell you what chords contain those notes. Of course this will light on your Fretlight making it very easy to figure out what chords you are playing for a given tune.
Tip 3: Visualize Your Compositions, Live On Your Fretlight!
The ability to see the notes on your Fretlight Guitar as you’re entering them in a tab makes this an extremely useful tool for composition. No longer will you have to look at your guitar and count the frets to make sure you’re entering the right notes in your song, just look at your Fretlight as you enter notes and you will see if it is correct or not. Remember that you can light up all the other instruments parts on your Fretlight as well, so if you wanted to double the vocal melody on your guitar for say, a solo section, it is easier than ever to figure out. Or say you’re a keyboard player who is trying to learn the guitar. Simply open up the “Keyboard” view from the “View” drop down menu at the top bar and select the “Fretboard/Keyboard/Drums” view. On the tab that’s labeled “Guitar” click it and select “Keyboard”. Now anything you want to light up on your Fretlight, be it a chord, scale or full song, the software will also show you what notes you would be using on a keyboard!
Tip 4: Find Almost Any Song You Can Imagine!
Finding Guitar Pro tab files on the internet can be a little confusing at first. Although you can Google the name of almost any song that exists, followed by “Guitar Pro Tab”, many tabs will be inaccurate and unusable. This is why I use guitar tab sites that provide a rating system for the songs allowing you to see how many people found this tab accurate. The site I will be showing you today is called Ultimate-guitar.com. It is one of the largest user-created, free tab sites out there. We can start by seeing what the top 100 tabs people have been using by clicking the “Top 100 Tabs” link under the search button. Next, click the “Guitar Pro” link in blue to display only Guitar Pro files (although you can open more than just those to light your Fretlight). This page displays the most viewed tabs and ratings. Let’s pick the song “Canon Rock” (high on the list today). Now we can see how many stars it got and how many people voted. This one has 157 votes and an average vote of 5 stars. That’s a pretty good indicator of the quality of the tab. Just remember the higher number of stars and votes means it its most likely a great tab. Then click the download “Canon Rock” Guitar Pro Tab button at the bottom of this page. Save it to your desktop, close your browser and open Guitar Pro 6 Fretlight Ready software. From the file menu choose “Open”; locate the song on your desktop and start rocking!
Tip 5: Hear Just The Guitar Part You Want During Tab Playback!
Okay, so let’s assume that you have found a good quality tab and are ready to start learning it. One issue I have found in many tabs is the use of Automation. Guitar Pro 6 Fretlight Ready software provides the user with a mixing tool called “Automation”. It is used to change parameters in a song like volume, tempo and panning. We all know that most songs do not stay at one tempo for the duration of the song or that the instrument’s volume will stay the same for the whole song. Automation allows you to change those parameters precisely when they occur in the original song. This makes it so the tab sounds as close the original song as possible. The problem comes along when you want to focus on a specific instrument or guitar part but the volume has been automated and now it can’t be heard over the other instruments in the mix. You can tell if an instrument has volume automation if the volume slider to the right of the track name is highlighted with a blue color and you are not able to adjust it. To clear the automation so you can turn up the track, simply double click the blue highlighted “Volume Slider” to open the automation editor window. Here you can see all of the volume automation in your tab. Find the name of the instrument you want to adjust and click the green box to the left of the name. Then hit the “Apply” button and “OK” button to close this window. Now you have full control over the volume slider of that instrument to make it easier for you to hear and learn that part. If you want to turn the automation back on for that track, go to the “Edit” drop down menu, scroll down to Automations and choose “Edit Automations”. Then click the now white box next to the instruments name to turn it back on. If the box is green it means that automation is on and if it is white it means it is off.
The combination of our Fretlight Guitar and the Guitar Pro 6 software has unlimited potential for learning and mastering the guitar. There are tons more features that I will cover in future blog posts but these are the ones I find particularly helpful as I am sure you will. I guarantee that if you spend some time with this software you will see dramatic improvements in your playing. But remember to have fun! Thanks for tuning in and I will see you next time.