Convert Sheet Music To Tab With Guitar Pro 8

Convert Sheet Music To Tab – Guitar Pro 8 Tutorial

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Convert Sheet Music To Tab With Guitar Pro 8

Are you looking to convert sheet music to guitar tab?

One of my guitar students recently presented me with a piece of music in standard music notation and he asked me if I could write this out for him as guitar tab. I devised a solution so he could do this himself using Guitar Pro 8.

As many guitarists are unable to read music, I figured a YouTube video explaining how to convert standard music notation into guitar tab would be extremely helpful.

Video Transcript

If you prefer to read rather than watch, I have included a video transcript below with screenshots to help you with entering sheet music of your own into Guitar Pro and converting it to guitar tab.
Here is a short example of a piece in standard music notation that I will convert into guitar tab.
If I create a new file in Guitar Pro by hitting command N on a mac, this is the default template:
Guitar Pro 8 New Window
The first thing I will do is set the page view to screen horizontal. This allows me to work with one continual line of music. If working in page grid view, for example, the music jumps to a new line every few bars which can be difficult to navigate when editing.
Set Screen To Horizontal

Next, I will set the key signature by selecting this icon or hitting command K. I will select the key of D major as you can see there are two sharps to match the music I am converting.

Setting Key Signature

I can set the time signature by clicking this icon here or hitting command T. I will select 6/8 time.

Setting The Time Signature

The tempo is not given on the music I am converting, so I will adjust this later when I play the track.

As the piece of music I am converting is a classical piece, I need to change the sound from overdriven guitar to classical guitar by selecting the track window and navigating to a classical guitar sound. I will also delete the text from the score in the information box.

Setting Guitar Pro Classical Guitar Sound

There are two separate voices that I need to notate – one for the bass notes and one for the melody notes. You can see in the music that some stems go up and some stems go down.

I will enter the higher notes first by clicking the voice 1 button or hitting command 1.

Selecting Voice 1

I need to enter a quaver as the first note, so I will select the quaver from the note values in the left panel. If you don’t know what a quaver looks like, you can see this from the picture. Alternatively, the plus and minus keys will scroll through the note values.

Selecting A Quaver

I will now enter a D note on the staff. If you do not read music, use the arrow keys to move up and down until the box lands in the same place as on the music you are converting.

I can now use the number keys to determine on which string this note is to be played. The strings are numbered from highest to lowest, so the high E string is number 1. There is a red warning and fret -2 appears if you try to dd a D note on the high E string. This D note cannot be played on the high E string, so I will select the B string by hitting number 2.


The string number can be changed by highlighting the note and hitting the up and down arrows whilst holding the option key on a mac. I will leave this note as the 3rd fret on the B string, then change this later if I need to adjust the fingering.

The next note is an E note, or the top space if you do not read music. I can either click on the note or use the arrow keys to move around the staff. If I hit number 1, the open high E string appears.

Adding An E Note

If I move right a couple of spaces by using the arrow keys, a red warning appears in bar 1. This is a warning of an incomplete bar, as there are not enough notes to fill up that bar. I only want two notes in this bar, so I need to click on bar in the menu and select pickup bar.


I will now add the rest of the notes on the top line using the arrow keys and the number keys to select a suitable string. The high E string gives me a playable fingering for all the top notes.

The final note is a dotted crotchet, so I will use the minus key to change the note value and hit the full stop key to add the dot. I can add the final rest by hitting the R key.

All Notes Added

The stems are all facing downwards, so I need to change this by selecting all notes via command A and right clicking. I will select note, design and stems direction up.


Switch to voice 2 by clicking on voice 2 or hitting command 2. You can see that all voice 1 notes are now greyed out.


I will select the D note, or just under the staff if you do not read music and hit key 4. This adds the note on the D string in the guitar tab which gives a playable fingering when including the notes from voice 1. If I choose other strings via option up or option down, the strings are either in a position that is two high relative to the notes in voice 1, or the red warning appears telling me that the notes are unplayable on those strings

The B string is a good choice for the next note, so I will hit the number 2 key. There are two notes in the final bar, so I will add these to the B string by hitting number 2 and the D string by hitting number 4. I can leave the final rest as it is already entered in voice 1.

All Notes Added To Voice 2

If I select multivoice by hitting the button in the left panel or by hitting command M, all notes are now visible and I have created playable guitar tab.

Completed Musical Notation

I can check how the music sounds by hitting shift and the space bar to play from the beginning. I can adjust the tempo if needed by clicking on the tempo marking and once happy, I can hide this if I want by clicking hide automation.

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