Composing with tabs

Flat allows you to write tablatures (aka tabs) for any instruments: you can create any tabs from 3 to 14 strings with the tuning and capo that you want.

Enabling Tabs

Tabs can be either enabled when you create a new score, if you choose a Plucked Instrument (e.g. Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Mandolin), by default a Tab will be added to your score. Optionally, this one can be disabled when you create the document.

Enabling tabs when creating a score

They can also be enabled any time in the editor, in the instrument settings. You can enable a tab for a part and choose the tuning and capo of the part.

Tuning and Capo

Once your score is created, the tuning and capo of a tab can be configured in the instrument settings. Changing the tuning or capo configuration on an existing score will update the tab to reflect the update. Learn more on the dedicated tuning help page.

Tuning

Inputting notes on a part with a Tab

On Flat, the Tab content is always synced with the music notation, so you can either input your music by inserting the notes on the notation, or the tab. To learn how to insert notes on the music notation, check out the previous tutorial page. We will focus here on adding notes using the tablatures.

Your tab can be edited using your computer keyboard, by pressing the digits to input the frets. Click at the position and on the string where you want to input the first fret, then press the digit corresponding to the fret you want to add. If you want to input frets above 9, quickly type the two digits of the fret you want to insert.

Input frets on your tab

Here is a list of the shortcuts that you can use to input tabs (the complete shortcuts list is available on this page):

Go to next string
Go to previous string
Go to the previous note
Go to the next note
Inputting frets 0 to 9
Whole Duration + 1
Half Duration + 2
Quarter Duration + 3
Eighth Duration + 4
Sixteenth Duration + 5
Thirtysecond Duration + 6
Sixtyfourth Duration + 7
Move note to the next string Ctrl +
Move note to the previous string Ctrl +

Generating a tab on an existing score

Since the tab is always synced with the notation, you can quickly generate a tablature from an existing score. Simply enable it in the instrument settings, and the staff will be updated to add the tab.

Generate Tab

Only print tabs

If you want to only print or export the tabs, you can enable the option while printing/exporting:

Export options

Contact us
Can’t find your answer? Get in touch with our team — we're here to help. Contact us →