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Guitar Pro 6: Software Review

Updated on July 21, 2013

What is Guitar Pro 6?

Guitar Pro 6, or GP6, in short, is computer software that allows you to read tab. So you might be wondering why you would need a $60 program to open tablature, After all, tab is all over the internet for free. Reading tab online versus through the Guitar Pro software is a world of difference.

Read on for the features that make Guitar Pro 6 so great.

The Best Features

I'll admit, I'm not too strong on theory and couldn't construct an original song to save my life (well, maybe some day). However, that doesn't matter. Guitar Pro is very user-friendly. Even if the only thing you can do is read tab, you'll be ready to use this product right away! If you can read sheet music, you'll have that option as well.

My favorite feature of Guitar Pro is that every song you want to learn will have a backing track to it. Most Guitar Pro files are almost perfect with all the tracks including drums, vocals, bass, and other instruments. It's like you have a band behind you every step of the way that you don't need to feed or hear complaints from during long practice sessions. Your practice sessions will be completely honest as well. You can perfect your rhythm naturally by using the actual drum and bass tracks as you play.

Another good feature is the speed trainer and loop. If you don't already know, repetition, starting out slow is the best way to learn new musical pieces. With this feature, you can select a section by dragging out your mouse to select the notes and click the loop button at the bottom. This allows you to play that section over and over until you master it. The speed trainer is a function that is part of the loop where you can increase the speed by percentage according to the beats per minute.

Some tabs can be harder to read. Sometimes you need to visualize the fretboard and see exactly how you need to finger the notes. Well Guitar Pro has a fretboard view feature whereas the software plays the notes it shows the notes and their letters as they're being played.

Using Guitar Pro to practice scales

While this isn't a particular function of GP6, I find learning scales better and easier using GP6 files. There are files for any scale you would want to learn. I think this is the best way to learn them because not only does having the backing track make them a little more exciting, you'll know that your timing is correct and you aren't just slacking off.

If there isn't a drum track you can use the metronome feature to help you out as well as the speed trainer feature I mentioned before. This way, you won't be all over the place and will gradually speed up.

Learning any track

The problem with learning from YouTube can be that many bands have two guitar players or sometimes you can't find the lead or sometimes you can't get the rhythm down because you need to listen to the drums or the bass at the same time.

There are some songs I like where the guitar piece doesn't match the vocal piece. In a lot of pop songs I like the guitar just plays chords but I really like the melody of the vocals. Well because many guitar pro tracks include the vocals, I like to play the vocal part with my guitar. Even though that's not the way the song was supposed to be played, it's often more fun and easier since usually I can hear those notes better than the guitar playing in the background. They're also more recognizable when played in front of other people. Even though it's called Guitar Pro, this software really does give attention to group of instruments playing.

Soundbanks and Creating Scores

Soundbanks in Guitar Pro are basically the different instruments and effects you can use to get the sounds you want including customizable tunings. There are so many options already in the software and more you can get for extra.

Soundbanks are most useful for people creating music. This is the new way for putting music onto paper very accurately. This software has nearly any chord you can come up with in any position. The possibilities are endless. Creating music is easy for any player. Whether it sounds good is really up to you however by finding your way around placing notes down I'm sure you could learn a lot about how music works.

Good selection of Guitar Pro files

When I was deciding on buying Guitar Pro 6, I figured there couldn't be much of a selection of Guitar Pro files. Of course, I was wrong. You can find a Guitar Pro file on pretty much any song you want if you do a little searching. The more popular the song, the more likely you'll find it and a more detailed version of it. Or, if you have a good ear, you might be able to tab it yourself and share it with the community :). Guitar Pro 6 can read files from previous versions as well so I would recommend getting the most current version.

More recently, I've found this website affiliated with Guitar Pro called mySongBook. While you do have to pay, all the tabs are completely filled out, for every track, in every genre. You should check it out though since they have a Free Score of the Day, which I take advantage of every day.

Ability to Print Files

Sometimes you want to get away from your computer when you play. Sometimes you can't take your computer but you might have your guitar. Whatever the reason may be, there's a lot of benefit to printing out sheet music.

Printing the music out might be helpful if you're in a band and need to learn a song. This way, if your bandmates don't have GP6 you can print out their part of a song, whether it be a cover or original song, and remember it can be read through the tab or the sheet music. There are options to cut either of those when printing or viewing on the computer.

Demo

Is the App more for you?

$60 is a lot of money. In my option it is totally worth it. However if you don't think you would get your money's worth, or if you think you'd use it on your tablet more, you should buy the mobile app for Apple and Android for only a couple of dollars. You can still use most of the popular features in the desktop versions.

How do you learn new music?

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