Guitar pro

Guitar Pro 5 is one of several highly regarded software packages for music composition and transcription. You should know about it because it"s packed with features aimed directly at the developing guitar player. This article does not compare it khổng lồ other products, but will arm you with enough information to decide if it is a contender for your shopping dollar.

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Note: This nhận xét was written in February 2009. As with most software, features and capabilities may have changed since this Review.

Mac Disclaimer

This reviews is based on my personal experience with Guitar Pro 5 for Mac (version 5.2). The Windows version may perkhung differently.

What is Guitar Pro 5?

The Guitar Pro 5 documentation describes the program as "the ultimate workbench" for the guitarist, "aimed at helping the user progress, compose, or simply accompany himself on guitar..."

I describe it as musical notation software built with a guitarist mind.

If you"re comfortable with TAB, use it as a TAB editor. If you know how to enter musical score, use it as a score editor.

You can easily switch between TAB & score, or display both at once, so you can learn score from TAB, or TAB from score. If you don"t know either, you can enter notes into lớn Guitar Pro using a virtual fretboard or a virtual keyboard.

But entering musical notation or TAB doesn"t even scratch the surface of all that Guitar Pro 5 can vì chưng for you. You can:

Learn scales Lookup or build custom chord forms Playbaông xã the music you"ve entered Enter lyrics và align them with the melody Control the speed or playbaông chồng, or loop sections for additional practice Print out nicely formatted music Export to a variety of formats, including WAV sound files.

You can even tune your guitar if you want to! Add all this together và Guitar Pro puts a complete music toolbox at your fingertips that can both assist and consume you!


You can purchase the boxed version of Guitar Pro 5 from a number of sources, but the fasthử nghiệm way to get a copy (either the full version or a trial version) is by downloading it directly from the Arobas Music site.

If you buy the full version, you begin by downloading the main program, also known as by Engine. The Engine is all you really need. The optional components are what the company calls the "Realistic Sound Engine," or RSE. The RSE is downloaded in three parts: Guitars sounds, Bass Guitar sounds, và Drum sounds. More on the RSE later. The User Manual, also available via download, comes in four languages (English, French, German, or Japanese).

When you launch Guitar Pro 5 you"ll be asked for your User ID & Key. Annoyingly, you can"t Copy this information from the e-mail sent by the company và Paste it into the fields, you must carefully type each character. Once complete, you should register your copy khổng lồ ensure support và access khổng lồ future bug fixes & reduced cost upgrades.

You can also sign in lớn the Customer"s Area of the web-site after registration. Here, you request priority tư vấn, tải về the lademo version of the software and/or documentation, trachồng orders, ask for your license information again, and mix up your customer protệp tin (name, address, operating system, sound card, etc.).

First Use

Guitar Pro launches the first time with a Demo for Guitar Pro 5 already open for use. In addition, the Tools window & playbaông xã control toolbar are open. Of course, if you haven"t read the user manual, the Tools Window may not mean much lớn you, but at least you can start playbaông xã of the Demo file.

Sadly, Guitar Pro 5 does not come with any type of tutorial và the manual is written feature by feature. A better format, I think, would be lớn write a "how lớn accomplish a task" type of document. For example, suppose you want lớn know how the software created the crescenvì in the sample tuy vậy. The documentation does not tell you. Looking at the tuy nhiên doesn"t tell you either. You need lớn figure it out yourself (here"s how: right cliông chồng in the measure you want the crescenbởi vì to lớn begin, & use the Volume Fader in the Mix Table).

The folks at Arobas apparently expect that they can ignore the trover to improve sầu user interfaces to the point where documentation is optional. You"ll almost certainly need lớn open the User"s Guide & read through it before you try to lớn tackle Guitar Pro 5.

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What about playback quality?

Sounds without the RSE installed are a bit electronic. Some of the guitar sounds (such as lead riffs và bends) sound very much lượt thích an electronic keyboard.

I installed the Guitars RSE, restarted Guitar Pro, và activated the RSE Engine. (Note: If you don"t activate the RSE, installation does you no good. To activate the RSE select Sound>Use RSE.)

I played the file again. To my ear, the rhythm guitar sounds are still very electronic in nature, but the lead guitar was a decent rendition. Unfortunately, the volume of the lead guitar suddenly dropped significantly, making it hard to hear. Installing my not be worth the extra disk space. You"ll have khổng lồ try it both ways và decide for yourself. Luckily, you can easily turn the RSE on or off with the Sound>Use RSE comm&, or a simple press of F2.

However, even with the electronic sounds the melody và backing accompaniment do a very nice job of letting you hear what the song should sound lượt thích. All of the music directives, such as repeats, diminuendo"s, crescendo"s, và first and second endings work. Very nice!


Guitar Pro 5 clearly packs a punch with the number of features included. I"ve highlighted some of there here:

Multi-traông chồng input/edit/playbachồng (staông chồng drums, bass, guitar, và more) There is a large user community that posts files in GP5 format. You might find the tuy nhiên you want already written up! GP5 provides built-in search engines khổng lồ look for previously coded songs. GP5 is reasonably priced. You can import TAB... possibly saving loads of time on score entry. It"s very easy to lớn add tracks, & relatively easy khổng lồ keep lyrics in sync with the melody. There is a chord lookup & custom shapes tool. Very handy for learning và documenting infrequently used chord forms. A scales tool is available to lớn look up the scale for any key you select. You can even select multiple versions of scales, such as pentatonic"s. This is a great learning tool. You can display và đầu vào notes using either a keyboard or a guitar fretboard. You can cut/copy/paste measures for quiông chồng reproduction of passages. The program insists on needlessly asking you lớn verify the number of bars, so you can"t vày a quichồng Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V. Looping passages, including the ability to slow them down, is wonderful for learning difficult passages of a song. The program"s Speed Trainer even allows you to slow a passage down, then progressively increase tốc độ as it repeats. You could, for instance, play a loop repeatedly, beginning at half-speed, and increase it by 10% each time through the passage (until you reach normal tempo). There are loads of score notations available (such as repeats, alternate endings, time signature) & guitar-related notations (bover, hammer on, fingering instructions, let-ring). Mute any traông chồng. Beautiful printouts of your score.


I like Guitar Pro 5, but I don"t love it. Here are a few reasons why.

The learning curve is very steep và the User"s Guide is difficult to lớn understand. I think the difficultly is partly because Arobas is a French company, and partly because my version (Mac) was adapted (perhaps hurriedly) from the Windows version. Worse, some of the keystrokes they use don"t work properly on Powerbooks or Macbook Pro"s (unless you use the Function-Key variation of the keystroke). Internet tìm kiếm through GP5 does not find some GP5 songs on the Internet, even in the databases they point khổng lồ. It should not be harder lớn find GP5 songs when you"re actually using the GP5 software. There are some maddening limitations for typing in lyrics. You can"t, for instance, paste lyrics in, you must type them. You can"t see updates in real-time (to lớn check if they"re lining up with the melody, for instance). You must exit the lyrics panel, then kiểm tra the lyrics in the score, then jump bachồng into the lyrics editor (which is within the Properties panel). You can enter text, such as notes, above the measure, but you can"t control formatting or placement.

One More Word On GP5 File Sharing

Yes, Virginia, there is a Guitar Pro Santa... but he seems lớn be a temperamental old cout. The sites you"re pointed to vị indeed have song lists & artist lists, but most of the results are TAB, not Guitar Pro files, & on some you"re bombarded by sexually explicit ads. I"ve sầu learned lớn avoid all but those built directly into lớn the software.

As you might expect, most of the GP5 sites concentrate on Roông chồng, Metal, và Classic Roông xã. You"ll find some Blues, Folk, and Celtic music, but very little for the Christian artist. For example, I searched several of the sites for "Chris Tomlin," a very popular Christian artist, và received exactly zero hits. I searched one of the larger sites for "Lord" and was rewarded with four hits, they were: Metalica"s "Phantom Lord", George Harrison"s "My Sweet Lord" (which is not about the Lord God at all), và two others by Aerosmith và Eric Clapton. It"s a secular Guitar Pro World.

One more note, since Arobas is a French company, several of these web-sites are in French, & you"ll need to find the "English" button, if it"s available.

Try Before You Buy

The bottom line is: Guitar Pro 5 might be the right solution for you, but I"d recommend you tải về the trial version trial (cliông chồng the Guitar Pro 5 button below). The trial version does not include the RSE, but you can listen to samples on the GP5 website site.

The program is reasonably priced, & does vì chưng a good job... once you overcome the learning curve.

As for me, I use it when I need lớn, but keep looking forward to version 6 and a genuine easy-to-use Mac version.