GuutarPro as a writing aid

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Piggy8692, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. Piggy8692


    Oct 2, 2010
    Northern Utah
    Have any if you used something like GuitarPro to help writing songs in a band setting?

    My band has conflicting schedules during the week so we only have one day together as a while band. We're trying to write/teach our songs as time efficiently as we can. I know this approach is probably second to recording, but it could still work. Face time would obviously be preferred.

    This way we could see exactly what we are doing.

  2. I don't really have an tips, but I use guitarpro extensively to write.

    On the plus side, it means you have a perfect replica of your piece to work with and work on (if you have the chops), and you have midi available for export use with VSTs if that's how you do things (it's how I do things)

    Downside is I once found myself very embarassed at a gathering of musicians realising I didn't know how to play any of my own songs, both because they tended to be very production-heavy, and because I'd gotten much more used to writing them than playing them. Additionally, if you're using with a band, the band's willingness to accept it as a writing tool and learn to use it will be the determining factor in its utility.

    The downsides are easy to overcome, as long as you're aware of them, and I've never found someone who does things the old fashioned way ie making recordings of bits and pieces and songs that I found to be a more useful way of doing things.
  3. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2008
    I think Children of Bodom actually writes their songs that way, or at least that's what a friend of mine said.

    But yes, I've used Guitar Pro quite a number of times to write songs for bands I've been in. Though I tell you what, it's going to test your actual reading abilities in regards to rhythm. Writing out a whole song with 6 or more parts can take a long time, especially if you're not computer savvy.
  4. pushbuttonfour


    Dec 20, 2012
    Sounds like a great idea. On a side note, I find having a google Drive for the band can make sharing songs, schedules, and management etc much easier.
  5. a lot of metal-core bands in my local market write this way.
  6. Piggy8692


    Oct 2, 2010
    Northern Utah
    I'm curious to see how it will play out. So far only the drummer is on board.

    I can totally relate to making songs that I can't play as good as guitar pro can. I'm hoping to avoid this by ony using it as way to 'record' ideas. If anything it will be good for the rhythm section.

    I think a major hurdle will be getting the other guys accustomed to the program.

    Thanks for the input, more is welcome.
  7. I wasn't so much meaning writing over-complex, as just using the computer not my instruments enough, but they can certainly both be an issue.

    One more thing is that I personally don't like the current version, GP6, owing mostly to the weird machine-gun sound straight 8 powerchords now sound like, and more importantly that the new midi drum lanes use a new format different to general midi, making them hard to use with Superior Drummer (Our band plays to backing tracks in small sound-restricted venues that don't like drummers). I own GP6, and tried to love it, but use GP5.2, which you can no longer get from Arobas, if you catch my drift.
  8. Piggy8692


    Oct 2, 2010
    Northern Utah
    I tried version 6 and quickly decided that I preferred 5.

    What are some ways you have implemented it with your bands? It would seem simple enough to send updated song files through email. But I can definitely see where saving, sending, loading, changing, and everything twice more could really use up a lot of playing time.

    Maybe set up a schedule to where only one person makes an adjustment at a time...

    What has worked for you? What hasn't?
  9. MarcTheRogue


    Mar 27, 2013
    I usually like writing on paper first. Sound out the notes and rhythms I like help, too. Usually when I write something strictly on Guitar Pro, it goes on a complete tangence and sounds like the parts all belong in different songs. Guitar Pro is good for learning scales and chord structure as well. It's also a useful tool for sight reading, which is something I will need to know when I go back into school band.

    All in all, I like Guitar Pro, but I don't think it's meant to be a crutch like how some people use it.
  10. Piggy8692


    Oct 2, 2010
    Northern Utah
    I'm trying to avoid using it as a crutch because I know how easy it can happen..
    Just use it enough to compensate for our mismatched schedules. We're doing some relatively technical stuff. It will take forever to get up and running with one weekly practice with what member we have now. Might be better than spending more time on individual parts during practice.
  11. Guitar pro is ok for me to practice over.

    And no, I don't read the bass part of the tab because 1-I can't read tabs (I kid you not, I can read music but not tabs) and 2-the bass part is often written quickly and set to play the root notes only (which is sad because many bass tab players trust these tabs).

    I am not sure about "writing" a song with it.