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Software for creating notation to play along with?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by kirkdickinson, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. kirkdickinson

    kirkdickinson Supporting Member

    I have just picked up a 5 string fretless bass and had an idea to help with my practice. I wanted to create scales and modes that I could play along with, then I could hear how close I was to proper intonation.

    My idea was to set up a series of scales like D Major on the B string and play every note available in that position, then E Dorian, then F# Phrygian, etc...

    I could play along, and learn where exactly to put my fingers by listening.

    Other exercises could be playing 2 octave arpeggios in each mode and of course doing it in multiple keys.

    I already do exercises like this on my fretted instrument.

    I have a free program called MuseScore that lets me put notes in the bass clef, then play them. It is not an easy program to use.

    Can someone recommend a program that could do this and be easy to use?


  2. Alembic7


    Mar 13, 2012
    Atlanta and all northern Areas
    Author The Groove Monster Method Bass Guidebook
    Good Luck!
  3. kirkdickinson

    kirkdickinson Supporting Member

    One of the purposes of practicing along with the computer is to practice my time as well as my pitch. Only perfect practice makes perfect and if I record my fretted bass, that won't be perfect, so I will be practicing to an imperfect recording. :)

    Maybe that is more reason to do it though?? Still hoping for a good notation program. There are other uses for it.

  4. Timmah

    Timmah Supporting Member

    May 19, 2011
  5. maybe try guitar pro?

    It has tab and standard notation, but you can change it to only view one or the other.
  6. phmike


    Oct 25, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Pencil, staff paper and metronome (online or other) would work fine. It does for me.
    And a +1 for Tux Guitar.
  7. kirkdickinson

    kirkdickinson Supporting Member

    Thanks for all the recomendations. PHmike, I am wanting to play along with exact tones to hone my intonation skills. That is why I wanted a computer program that was easy to program the notes into.
  8. phmike


    Oct 25, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    Sounds good in theory but when I tried it the effort of programming was way more trouble than it was worth.
  9. kirkdickinson

    kirkdickinson Supporting Member

    That is why I was wanting an easier program. :)
  10. Bainbridge


    Oct 28, 2012
    Another free one: http://musescore.org/

    Edit: Oops, re-read the OP and realized that you're already using MuseScore.

    Finale is what I use, and I'm satisfied with it. Once you know a few hotkeys and get familiar with the menus, you can really enter notes quite fast. I can turn out an average length song scored out for a full band in a few hours, so I know that it is possible to get fluent with the program without a ridiculous learning curve. This is Finale Notepad, the free entry level software: http://www.finalemusic.com/notepad/default.aspx Haven't used that version myself, but it looks like it has the same basic features.

    Double edit: If you're going to use Finale, the default MIDI settings are awful. In every document I create, I go into the AUI (Audio Unit Instruments) options and crank the dry gain all the way up so that I can actually hear what's going on without having to dime my speakers.
  11. hgiles


    Nov 8, 2012
    Whats wrong with Band In a Box?
  12. kirkdickinson

    kirkdickinson Supporting Member

    I have band in the box, I bought it a while back, but haven't become proficient in it. I didn't realize you could add individual notes. I have just been using the chords and included progressions as a playalong.

    I know there is a lot more that can be done with it.

    Seems like a decent program, I just can't seem to get the hang of entering a lot of notes quickly like would be required for what I need.

    I know that Garageband can edit a midi file, but I have never tried to create one using only the computer. Might be easiest to get a keyboard and hook it up to the computer and record the scales that way.

    I will look into the free version of Finale