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  1. #1

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    I write this as, pretty much, a novice user of notation software.

    I had been using Sibelius G7. That's a discontinued subset of Sibelius with some guitar friendly features (which I never used). The interface is similar to Sibelius. I used it for lead sheets. It was my first notation software. I worked through the tutorial. I found the interface a little klunky, but it worked. It had two major weaknesses - for what I do. It wouldn't hide unused staves and it wouldn't print individual parts of a multipart arrangement.

    I couldn't justify the expense of full Sibelius so I tried Sibelius First -- the free version. Same problems.

    Then I tried Musescore, which is free.

    I've now done several lead sheets and one four-horn arrangement.

    The interface has proved easier to use. More things are intuitive. When I've needed help, I just googled the question. So far, so good with that.

    The only weakness, thus far, is that the "Palettes" sub-screen scrolls too quickly. But, that may have been fixed in the new version.

    Hiding unused staves was easy and worked fine (once I googled where to find the check-box). Splitting the parts for printing was also very easy and quick. It was intuitive enough that I didn't need to read anything.

    Overall, I haven't yet had to do anything that it won't do.

    It did crash a couple of times and there were some other glitches, but they were minor. I set it to save every minute, and I haven't yet lost anything meaningful. But, that might be an issue. I have since installed updates. Don't know yet if it's fixed.

    Great value.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 01-24-2020 at 04:45 PM.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    It's very nice.
    It has issues.
    It's free, so we shouldn't whine

  4. #3

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    I haven't noticed the crashing issues, maybe my use of it isn't as heavy as what you are doing.

    It seems to be quirky when using other software like Transcribe. If I open Transcribe software 1st I'll have no audio in MuseScore. If I open MusesScore 1st and then Transcribe it seems to work. Not really sure if MuseScore is creating that problem though, regardless that's a problem I have. Very minor problem.

  5. #4

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    Yep, I've used Musescore for years, with no problems. Mostly lead sheets, some written exercises, nothing heavy.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    I haven't noticed the crashing issues, maybe my use of it isn't as heavy as what you are doing.

    It seems to be quirky when using other software like Transcribe. If I open Transcribe software 1st I'll have no audio in MuseScore. If I open MusesScore 1st and then Transcribe it seems to work. Not really sure if MuseScore is creating that problem though, regardless that's a problem I have. Very minor problem.
    Iirc, it was when I was trying to edit a chart which went from 7/8 to 2/4. I had 4 bars of 7/8 at the top of the tune and I couldn't get them all one one line. Instead, I got three bars one the first line and one on the second. Notably, when I split the parts, that went away.

    Some issues I haven't figured out. Somehow I got a dot on every note in the tune (this is an articulation symbol to play a note short). I couldn't figure out how to get them all deleted at once. I don't know how they got in there and I had to delete them laboriously one at a time. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a global delete that would have done it, but I couldn't figure out how to do that.

    After I split the parts, I got a tab for each one. They had random numbers of bars per line. I couldn't figure out how to give a global 4 bars per line instruction. Instead, I had to click on every 4 bars on every part. I'd appreciate help with that one if anybody knows how to do it. I also couldn't figure out how to print them all with one command. I had to click print separately for each one.

    As an aside, I hate reading charts with random numbers of bars per line. I want, for most tunes, a number of bars, often 4 or 8, which reflects the harmonic rhythm of the tune. I also like it when new motifs start on new lines, when possible (sometimes, I know, it's one or the other).

    EDIT. A half minute with google: Print all parts by first exporting them to pdf. Format tab contains the command for global number of bars per line. Another thing that puzzled me for a minute was changing the length of the pickup bar or adding one. Right click on the first bar opens the menu and gives you an option for not counting it in the numbering.

    More conclusion: It has been easier than Sib First or G7. The interface seems a little more intuitive and google seems to readily answer my questions.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 01-25-2020 at 04:54 AM.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Iirc, it was when I was trying to edit a chart which went from 7/8 to 2/4. I had 4 bars of 7/8 at the top of the tune and I couldn't get them all one one line. Instead, I got three bars one the first line and one on the second. Notably, when I split the parts, that went away.

    Some issues I haven't figured out. Somehow I got a dot on every note in the tune (this is an articulation symbol to play a note short). I couldn't figure out how to get them all deleted at once. I don't know how they got in there and I had to delete them laboriously one at a time. I wouldn't be surprised if there's a global delete that would have done it, but I couldn't figure out how to do that.

    After I split the parts, I got a tab for each one. They had random numbers of bars per line. I couldn't figure out how to give a global 4 bars per line instruction. Instead, I had to click on every 4 bars on every part. I'd appreciate help with that one if anybody knows how to do it. I also couldn't figure out how to print them all with one command. I had to click print separately for each one.

    As an aside, I hate reading charts with random numbers of bars per line. I want, for most tunes, a number of bars, often 4 or 8, which reflects the harmonic rhythm of the tune. I also like it when new motifs start on new lines, when possible (sometimes, I know, it's one or the other).
    I've been using it for 18 piece big band scores and parts, and I've had problems, too. They should be ashamed of themselves for what they're charging us!
    When you can't figure it out on your own, they do have a forum, which is very helpful. Every time I've used it, the guys get back to me pretty fast, and it goes in your email, so you know about it pretty quick.
    Marc Sabatella, a jazz pianist who used to be on RMMGJ, seems to be in charge of it, and he has helped me out a few times.

    Whatever you do, DON'T use the thing that changes the enharmonic spelling of notes automatically. It winds up changing EVERY note in your score to a different enharmonic note- i.e., all E's become Fb's, all B's become Cb's, and even a D will become a C double sharp!
    Even Marc and all the other guys couldn't help me on that one, and I went through absolute HELL fixing the score up, because every time you correct it, some other instrument gets changed to its enharmonic equivalent.
    One trombone player keeps giving me a hard time about rehearsal letters, because I haven't bothered to find out the right way to put them in, and do it in pen on their parts. At least they can't say they don't know where Letter D is!

  8. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim
    I've been using it for 18 piece big band scores and parts, and I've had problems, too. They should be ashamed of themselves for what they're charging us!
    When you can't figure it out on your own, they do have a forum, which is very helpful. Every time I've used it, the guys get back to me pretty fast, and it goes in your email, so you know about it pretty quick.
    Marc Sabatella, a jazz pianist who used to be on RMMGJ, seems to be in charge of it, and he has helped me out a few times.

    Whatever you do, DON'T use the thing that changes the enharmonic spelling of notes automatically. It winds up changing EVERY note in your score to a different enharmonic note- i.e., all E's become Fb's, all B's become Cb's, and even a D will become a C double sharp!
    Even Marc and all the other guys couldn't help me on that one, and I went through absolute HELL fixing the score up, because every time you correct it, some other instrument gets changed to its enharmonic equivalent.
    One trombone player keeps giving me a hard time about rehearsal letters, because I haven't bothered to find out the right way to put them in, and do it in pen on their parts. At least they can't say they don't know where Letter D is!
    Nice rehearsal letters in boxes ... Palettes/Text/More ... what happens then is you see a sample letter-in-a-box. In my case I see a B1. When I click on it (and have a measure highlighted) it puts in the right letter. A, the first time, then the next time a B and so forth. I got lucky that I happened to be working top down.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    I haven't noticed the crashing issues, maybe my use of it isn't as heavy as what you are doing.

    It seems to be quirky when using other software like Transcribe. If I open Transcribe software 1st I'll have no audio in MuseScore. If I open MusesScore 1st and then Transcribe it seems to work. Not really sure if MuseScore is creating that problem though, regardless that's a problem I have. Very minor problem.
    I experienced similar problems with Transcribe and Dorico (far easier and more powerful than Sibelius for sure, Finale and Musecore I can't say, after a learning curve of course)


    The problem was some obscure RealTech audio driver settings, default values weren't the same between the tools, sometthing like 16bit, 44000 in Dorico and 24bit 48100 in the driver, plus some weird parameter giving applications the rights to "own" the audio driver (preventing access for the other tools) . The outstanding Dorico support, by the developpers themselves, was crucial to help me to find this.

    Of course this problem reappears after every big windows update, I don't remember the exact details, but I keep my email exchange with Dorico support to help me refix the issue after an update

    Who "owns" the problem isn't very clear in between Windows, the audio driver and the software. Most likely a lack of convenient software driven querying/setting facilities to manipulate the audio parameters !!

  10. #9

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    They had random numbers of bars per line. I couldn't figure out how to give a global 4 bars per line instruction.

    Format - Add/Remove System Breaks - Break systems every [drop down menu] bars.

  11. #10

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    @rpjazzguitar Thanks for the review. If you like to try something different to avoid the troubles you mention there is also Tuxguitar. I briefly tested Musescore (free version) and found no improvements over Tuxguitar. I find it intuitive and it will import/export/play .mid and .gp3 files and can export to .mp3 as well.

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by DerekD
    They had random numbers of bars per line. I couldn't figure out how to give a global 4 bars per line instruction.

    Format - Add/Remove System Breaks - Break systems every [drop down menu] bars.
    Thanks.

  13. #12
    I wrote another tune while watching the news tonight.

    I could never do that with G7 or Sibelius First. The user interface was too klunky.

    With Musescore, it's easy enough that I can get my ideas down fast enough that it feels like making music rather than laborious monkey work.

    I know, this sounds like hype. But, this product is free! I'm just enthused because it works better than stuff I paid for.

  14. #13

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    How is Muse score with sound reproduction? If you write say a five horn chart can it work with a sound library (or does it have one of its own) so you hear decent sound and not midi on plaback? I'm using Sibelius but it's an old one, and I think they went down the subscription road which I find ridiculous.

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Alter
    How is Muse score with sound reproduction? If you write say a five horn chart can it work with a sound library (or does it have one of its own) so you hear decent sound and not midi on plaback? I'm using Sibelius but it's an old one, and I think they went down the subscription road which I find ridiculous.
    I don't know what technology they're using, or how it would sound on headphones (I'll try that tomorrow), but I'd say it sounds electronic and it isn't good enough for me to really know what horns will sound like. I can hear the voicing. That's thru the speakers in my laptop. I spent a couple of minutes trying to figure out if there's a way to get better sounds. It looks like there may be, but I haven't figured it out yet.

    I never did horn parts with G7, because it wouldn't split them. Not sure if Sib First would, but I never tried it. If it got much better horn sounds, that would be a significant advantage.

  16. #15

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    Sibelius has gigabytes of sound samples so it sounds like real horns, IF you have the sound library of course which i don't! It can split a keyboard chart into horn parts but i prefer to just write in a score format. I guess they all can export in mp3 format so you can have the same sounds with any program, i just have never really worked with musecscore, although friends have and like it.

  17. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I wrote another tune while watching the news tonight.

    I could never do that with G7 or Sibelius First. The user interface was too klunky.

    With Musescore, it's easy enough that I can get my ideas down fast enough that it feels like making music rather than laborious monkey work.

    I know, this sounds like hype. But, this product is free! I'm just enthused because it works better than stuff I paid for.
    Yeah. Several years ago, I used to only do midi input, because out was just faster to play in and edit.

    With current MS, I basically just use the keystrokes, and it seems to be plenty fast enough for me personally. I have the shortcut keys on a list taped to the wall.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter
    How is Muse score with sound reproduction? If you write say a five horn chart can it work with a sound library (or does it have one of its own) so you hear decent sound and not midi on plaback? I'm using Sibelius but it's an old one, and I think they went down the subscription road which I find ridiculous.
    I don't know if this will be helpful, but here's somebody's transcription (or paraphrase) of 'Take the A Train' for big band, using (I think) the stock sounds in MuseScore:

    Take The A Train (Duke Ellington) - Full Big Band Arrangement sheet music for Piano, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone download free in PDF or MIDI

    Hit the "play" icon on the toolbar near the top to hear it.

    To me, horns are a bit 'synth-y' sounding, but I'm not covering my ears and running out of the room. The default piano sound is what I usually deal with for lead sheets and transcriptions, and I think it's pretty decent.

    For vocal melody lines (like I might include on a lead sheet of a standard), I actually prefer to use the accordion sample, rather than the "aaahhh" synthy-voice sound, which makes me think of an Enya recording.

  19. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by 44lombard
    I don't know if this will be helpful, but here's somebody's transcription (or paraphrase) of 'Take the A Train' for big band, using (I think) the stock sounds in MuseScore:

    Take The A Train (Duke Ellington) - Full Big Band Arrangement sheet music for Piano, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone download free in PDF or MIDI

    Hit the "play" icon on the toolbar near the top to hear it.

    To me, horns are a bit 'synth-y' sounding, but I'm not covering my ears and running out of the room. The default piano sound is what I usually deal with for lead sheets and transcriptions, and I think it's pretty decent.

    For vocal melody lines (like I might include on a lead sheet of a standard), I actually prefer to use the accordion sample, rather than the "aaahhh" synthy-voice sound, which makes me think of an Enya recording.
    '

    I think they sound great, well, in comparison to what I'm doing now. I have to figure that out.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by 44lombard
    I don't know if this will be helpful, but here's somebody's transcription (or paraphrase) of 'Take the A Train' for big band, using (I think) the stock sounds in MuseScore:

    Take The A Train (Duke Ellington) - Full Big Band Arrangement sheet music for Piano, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone download free in PDF or MIDI

    Hit the "play" icon on the toolbar near the top to hear it.

    To me, horns are a bit 'synth-y' sounding, but I'm not covering my ears and running out of the room. The default piano sound is what I usually deal with for lead sheets and transcriptions, and I think it's pretty decent.

    For vocal melody lines (like I might include on a lead sheet of a standard), I actually prefer to use the accordion sample, rather than the "aaahhh" synthy-voice sound, which makes me think of an Enya recording.
    That's cool.

    It's not meant to be recording quality imo, the playback is just to check how it's sounding, find mistakes etc. I noticed there were no dynamic markings on the score, I wonder if the playback picks up the dynamic markings.

    I use MuseScore as a notation tool and most projects don't ever listen to the playback. If I was doing something as elaborate as a Big Band chart the playback would be useful.

  21. #20

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    Musescore will follow dynamic markings in playback, and you can also use a different orchestral soundfont than the default Musescore soundfont.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    Musescore will follow dynamic markings in playback, and you can also use a different orchestral soundfont than the default Musescore soundfont.
    Yeah, the dynamics on the playback are one of the most important features of Musescore. When I conduct my big band charts in front of real musicians, Musescore's playback represents the ideal of how the dynamics should sound.
    It allows me to be able to correct the musicians who are sight reading my charts on their dynamics much easier than if I didn't use MuseScore, because the correct dynamics are already there.
    In the past, I would have to have the musicians pencil the dynamics in, if it didn't sound right.

  23. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim
    Yeah, the dynamics on the playback are one of the most important features of Musescore. When I conduct my big band charts in front of real musicians, Musescore's playback represents the ideal of how the dynamics should sound.
    It allows me to be able to correct the musicians who are sight reading my charts on their dynamics much easier than if I didn't use MuseScore, because the correct dynamics are already there.
    In the past, I would have to have the musicians pencil the dynamics in, if it didn't sound right.
    Can you recommend a soundfont and a place to get it?

    At this point, all I have is some electronic sounds and I'm not sure which soundfont (if that's even right) to get.

    thanks in advance.

  24. #23

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    Currently typing in some notes for drums.
    I've noticed some quirks before with this but now with a tad more complex things.. omg. o.m.g.
    This is such a mess. Chaos.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    Can you recommend a soundfont and a place to get it?

    At this point, all I have is some electronic sounds and I'm not sure which soundfont (if that's even right) to get.

    thanks in advance.
    Sorry, I don't even know what a soundfont is!

  26. #25

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    My honeymoon with MuseScore lasted until I had to print charts off in earnest for projects

    Lots of problems with transposition for instance. Things that don’t work that ... should. Don’t know if the issues I had were addressed in recent patches but it was maddening.

    Now Sibelius is really badly designed, but it works reliably.

    these vids are pretty funny and accurate:




  27. #26
    Musescore apparently makes everything huge on newer machines? I mean, it's basically unusable for me now.

    I did some searching and found multiple threads worth of people complaining about this over months/years, only to be blamed by the developers for using windows, or for having screens with modern higher resolutions.

    There is a lot of instruction on how to implement complicated workarounds, using command line prompts to execute musescore in a different way etc. I have been a pretty big fan and promoter of this software, but I really don't have a lot of patience for something being so difficult to use on a new computer, all while blaming the end user for not being able to do "simple workarounds" which basically equate to entry-level computer programming.

    Maybe I'm missing something?
    Last edited by matt.guitarteacher; 03-08-2020 at 04:37 PM.

  28. #27
    Interesting. Apparently they've actually hired tantacrul, who made the scathing video Christian linked above.

  29. #28

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    Ha. Imagine Sibelius doing that.

  30. #29
    After all of my whining in the previous post, I've been checking else the newest updated version, and they have really done some work with the former muse score critic at the helm. Pretty impressive. Of course, I never figured out how to actually permanently change the default size parameters. I ended up just going back to a previous file and saving it as a template.

    Anyway, I think they have made some serious strides in a pretty short time.

  31. #30

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    Finale comes with Garritan instruments, beautiful samples in classical, jazz and pop styles of playing and recording. Every upgrade adds more instruments, including Indian and Middle Eastern, Chinese and Japanese, African and Far Eastern, etc. Great for movie scoring, for sure, but very nice for hearing your big band or multi-horn arrangements as they should sound live. Used to be a steep learning curve, but now it's pretty easy to use.

  32. #31

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    Hi, all. I hope that all are well. I am trying out Musescore once, and I am beginning to see the strong side of it. However, one feature I still have not found is to add a chord by name instead of entering the voicing note by note. Is that possible? Suggestions will be appreciated.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by teeps
    Hi, all. I hope that all are well. I am trying out Musescore once, and I am beginning to see the strong side of it. However, one feature I still have not found is to add a chord by name instead of entering the voicing note by note. Is that possible? Suggestions will be appreciated.
    To hear the chord playback you have to enter the notes (the copy paste function can help for duplicated chords).

    If you aren't concerned about playback, above the note or rest that is currently active you can add a chord symbol by hitting ctrl k.

  34. #33

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    Hi fep, Thank you very much.

  35. #34

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    I'd been using Lilypond because I come from a universe that uses a text-based system called LaTeX for math. However it takes quite a bit of fiddling to get things right. This weekend I decided to try out Sibelius, but was immediately turned off the all too familiar "register/get a license/have some thing running in the background/buy this additional thing". For some reason, lots of music software uses this model, which I assume the companies were driven to by piracy. But I wonder why music software seems particularly like this - I suppose they found that they'd sell more at a lower price, but with other controls.

    Anyway, speaking of Musescore, I installed it, and actually like it better so far, for my admittedly minimal need, which is to do lead sheets. Keyboard-only entry is important for me, and that works fine. The only thing I miss is the ability to play back with chords (without having to enter each note). Even just having a totally standard voicing would be fine, and those notes can certainly be generated from the chord name.

  36. #35

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    I bought a Macintosh in 1984 because Mark of the Unicorn was promising a professional engraving program. My handwritten scores have always been impossible to read, so this was a holy grail for me. Of course, in 1984, Composer was vaporware, but it wasn't long before it was a reality, and I could actually print my scores on the Imagewriter – such a difference!

    Mark of the Unicorn's Composer became Mosaic, and then it was orphaned. Scores created in Mosaic could not (and cannot) be opened by any other program – if they weren't saved as PDFs or printed out, they might as well not exist. I must confess to having some music I composed in Mosaic currently unavailable to me. Not really consequential, but unfortunate for me.

    Then I went with the crazy expensive and complicated Finale, which when it first came out had a gigantic manual of what, 3 or 4 bible-sized books? A long slog to learn, which soon was eclipsed by Sibelius, which had a competitive upgrade. So I bought it, and had another long slog of learning to go through. Then a newer Finale update had some improvements on Sibelius, so I paid for an update.

    These days I am retired with a fixed income, and mostly just do lead sheets and charts. I discovered Musescore several years ago, and it does everything I need it to do. I gratefully deleted all those gigabytes of midi instruments crowding my hard drive, especially since I have other, better ones I use (software synths for Kontakt and virtual modeling synths like SWAM) when I need to record music with closer-to-real sounds. I don't need great sounds in Musescore, since I only need to make sure I have written what I'm hearing.

    I really enjoy the jazz font – it makes a printed lead sheet look great. I wish Musescore could play the chord names I add above the staff, but I'm grateful that the jazz shorthand for chord names is recognizable. The creative team has been working on getting the chord names to play, but they are apparently stymied by how the chords should sound – e.g., how the software chooses which inversion of a particular chord would be right. So for now, to test the chords I input without getting out my guitar, I create a new file in iReal Pro and type in the chords there, which also serves to check the names I give to the chords.

    I found the learning curve for Musescore to be easier than the others. Basic note input is fairly intuitive (for a computer program, anyway), and I just looked up answers to questions I had as I went along (DuckDuckGo, not Google, thank you very much).

    I think it is so amazing that the team hired its most public critic to redesign the program – that is true humility.

    Oh – and by the way, anyone who has used Lilypond could rightfully be said to have mastered the most difficult music software in existence. I am in awe (I gave it a try)...

  37. #36

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    Still learning.

    For guitar specfic work Tuxguitar (.:: TuxGuitar ::. Open Source Tablature Editor :: TuxGuitar) might be better equipped with tools such as hammer-on/pull-off/bend-up/prebend-release/vibrato/tremolo(whammy)/muting and alike.

    For screen and printout appearance Musescore seems ahead. But that might have improved in the newer version of Tuxguitar.

    For compatibility the MIDI in/out is a must (and both Musescore and Tuxguitar supports it) and import/export of various formats is nice, but some details always have to be edited.

  38. #37
    I'm going to update my Musescore review.

    Now that VirusTime is here, I decided to use Musescore to make full band tracks, some for octet some for quintet.

    This refers to writing out every note for every instrument, including drums, and then using Musescore's playback -- which plays back facsimiles of each instrument. So, it sort of sounds like a band. Yes, there's a mechanical quality.

    Then, you can print out parts for each player. I even found a way to print a lead sheet with extra staves where I needed to communicate something, but with the rest of the part for that instrument hidden.

    Everything has worked pretty smoothly.

    It's frozen up a time or two, but autosaved everything often enough that I don't think I lost a note.

    So, some friends and I are making recordings. I used Musescore to create a full band "reference track". Players can ask for music-minus-one if they want that. Then everybody plays along with the track while reading the chart. Musescore "exports" mp3, pdf and other formats. So, you can get an audio file and the chart of that music. Works great and it's free.

  39. #38

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    Might give it another go now Tantacrul is involved... Sibelius is massively annoying of course haha. (But it works if you know what you are doing. Musecore at the point I used it had too many weird quirks.)

  40. #39

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    What is the easiest score writing software to learn ?

    only need to write lead sheets with chords on top

    I'd like to do it all with the mouse if possible .....
    (i don't like keyboard shortcuts much , can't remember them)

    I need a very shallow learning curve if possible ....
    and export to PDFs

    cheers

  41. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    What is the easiest score writing software to learn ?

    only need to write lead sheets with chords on top

    I'd like to do it all with the mouse if possible .....
    (i don't like keyboard shortcuts much , can't remember them)

    I need a very shallow learning curve if possible ....
    and export to PDFs

    cheers
    I've used G7 (Sibelius for guitar players) and Musescore.

    I think Musescore is easier. I did appreciate the old fashioned paper manual I got with G7 back then, maybe 14 years ago.

    I think that having used G7 made Musescore much easier to learn.

    Mostly, once you grasp how it's organized (it's the palettes and styles) it's pretty easy. You can do it with mouse input, I guess, but I've found it easier to type note names. You click the icon for the note value you want, and type the note. You have to be in the right "mode", or something, for it to do what you want, which has me irritablly pounding the escape key pretty often, but, otoy, when I've needed to learn to do something it's never taken more than a few seconds. Either my guess is correct or I get the answer with Google, always quickly.

    Lead sheets are pretty simple. I've done scores for 8 pieces. Mostly pretty easy, although I've had to spend time changing the numbers of bars per line, which should be automatic, but doesn't always do what I want.

    So, I'd rate Musescore ahead of my experience with G7, even though Musescore is free.

    I can't comment about full Sibelius, Dorico, Finale or others.

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by pingu
    What is the easiest score writing software to learn ?
    only need to write lead sheets with chords on top
    As a former Finale user, I think I'd give MuseScore a go for serious use, you can tweak the program for your needs, and change the playback sounds with better sounding virtual instruments, etc....

    BUT.....if I only wanted to do lead sheets, I might want to check out good ol' Bob Keller's free Impro-Visor program. Nobody talks much about this software, but it seems like a fairly capable notation program and Band-in-a box substitute.

    <b>"Write the solo that you'd love to be able to improvise."</b>

    Impro-Visor A Free Music Accompaniment Program

    Impro-Visor - Wikipedia


  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    [snip] You have to be in the right "mode", or something, for it to do what you want, which has me irritablly pounding the escape key pretty often, but, otoy, when I've needed to learn to do something it's never taken more than a few seconds. Either my guess is correct or I get the answer with Google, always quickly. [snip]
    One can toggle note entry on and off with just the "N" key. To add notes, one must be in note entry mode; to adjust notes, move them around, copy and paste, etc. one has to exit note entry mode.

    Thanks, cg, for the heads up about Bob Keller's Impro-Visor. I didn't realize how easy it made lead sheet production.

  44. #43

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    I really struggle with people knocking musecore, it's not free, it is ABSOLUTELY FREE.

    all the sounds are generated sfs files which are basically soundfonts they come preloaded in what vers of Musecore., this is similar to midi in the sense

    you get GM general midi, my words here Proprietary midi. GS and Roland stuff which are supposed betters sample etc


    This simple means if you are unhappy with Musecore you can import or replace your entire Sounds, or say you want a specif Jazz guitar sound or bass oboe so on so forth you can do it.

    Transposition has always worked flawlessly for me, Perhaps some things not so great on Mac, and Vice versa.

    It is a small team of people from (what i know) you can talk to them directly on the forum, they are very very up and precise.

    I have no affiliation but cant believe just good Musecore is


    However i will say this i prefer the slightly old version 2.3 etc not Musecore 3 but its hard to evaluate. because i changed to Windows 64b 10 Pro on a new laptop, from Windows 64b 7 Ultimate on older laptop.

    My advice is to anyone new definitely give it a whirl, i sense that sibelius users also want their features in it, i think this is true across most software platforms.


    But again its free, it something is missing ask on the forum, they always discuss the ramifications of introducing new features or possible problem in doing so etc

  45. #44

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    I’m not having a go at it. In many ways it’s much better designed than Sibelius. But it felt like I was using an early Beta, not version 2 or 3.

    I’ll check in now a year has gone by. Sounds like improvements being made very steadily.

  46. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Ukena
    One can toggle note entry on and off with just the "N" key. To add notes, one must be in note entry mode; to adjust notes, move them around, copy and paste, etc. one has to exit note entry mode.

    Thanks, cg, for the heads up about Bob Keller's Impro-Visor. I didn't realize how easy it made lead sheet production.
    Right. I find that I'm often in the wrong mode, thinking that my intention must be obvious, and yet the software forces me to change mode. I'm confident there's a reason for it and I can certainly work with it, but it feels like the software isn't intuitive in this situation.

    The bars per line thing -- I can get the conductor's score right and then have to adjust each one of the component parts individually to get the same number of bars on every line. Is there a way around that?

  47. #46

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    I've been glued to MuseScore 3.0 for the last month. I've churned out three scores for 18 piece big bands in a few weeks, and am currently working on a fourth.
    My only trouble is that I can't hear the trumpets on the playback. I've tried everything I could with the mixer and dynamic markings, but they're barely there.

  48. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim
    I've been glued to MuseScore 3.0 for the last month. I've churned out three scores for 18 piece big bands in a few weeks, and am currently working on a fourth.
    My only trouble is that I can't hear the trumpets on the playback. I've tried everything I could with the mixer and dynamic markings, but they're barely there.
    I also had an issue getting a trumpet melody loud enough. I considered changing the instrument simulation, but I couldn't quickly figure out how to do it.

    I ended up changing the trumpet to harmonica. That worked for the tune, but I didn't figure out the problem.

    OTOH, trumpets are so loud live that maybe this was a refreshing change.

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by teeps
    Hi, all. I hope that all are well. I am trying out Musescore once, and I am beginning to see the strong side of it. However, one feature I still have not found is to add a chord by name instead of entering the voicing note by note. Is that possible? Suggestions will be appreciated.

    Hi teeps sorry if this sounds rude (its not) what do you mean by ( add a chord by name instead of entering the voicing note by note. )

    i end up edditing chords i have pulled in say from a midi file, a real pain, so do you mean you kind of press/click a button it adds say CMaj7 for example, what about the specific voicing, in relation to what precedes that chord and what follows.

  50. #49

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    this may be just me i used Musescore 2XXX for about 2 years i changed to Musecore 3 i find it gunkier, it has more bells etc things like the mixer i compose with sometimes 20+ tracks new mixer weird, tried to adjust setting, could be me

    Also in Musecore 3 the input function ( i cant describe properly il try) It has N function relating to real time or step time, so when you say enter a note on the staff, you cant enter another untill you do something, ( i never quite certain what it is ) so basically after entering each note you need to go in and press or disable something.

    Musecore 2.3 never had this, anyone else had/hasve this problem, or anyone understand what im trying to get at.

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I also had an issue getting a trumpet melody loud enough. I considered changing the instrument simulation, but I couldn't quickly figure out how to do it.

    I ended up changing the trumpet to harmonica. That worked for the tune, but I didn't figure out the problem.

    OTOH, trumpets are so loud live that maybe this was a refreshing change.
    I can't get the four trumpets to sound loud enough in harmony, but when I gave them a melody in unison, it was too loud.
    I gave up on that and finished the chart. I had to transpose the entire thing, because some of the instruments were out of their range, but I just remembered that I have to go back and put the saxes and trumpets in their written key, but it should be correct because I followed the concert ranges.