TablEdit Users Say:
"The program appears to be ideal for writing guitar arrangements w/o having to do it by hand."
- James J. Braddock, Utah, USA
The First TAB Editor to Support Mountain Dulcimer, and Still the BEST!
On August 1st, 1998, Carolyn A. Scheppner e-mailed me with a problem. She was a Mountain Dulcimer player and couldn't create tablature for her music using any of the mainstream notation programs, including TablEdit!
After a few e-mails back and forth, Carolyn had provided us with the basics of mountain dulcimer tablature and notation.
In her own words; "I did badger several companies trying to get support for dulcimer tab and explained to them how it differed from what they already supported. And worked with TablEdit via email as they added support and beta tested it later."
From the viewpoint of a guitarist, it all seemed somewhat otherworldly. Imangine a three stringed fretted instrument with no accidentals and seemingly arbitrary half frets to boot!
Matthieu found this most intrigueing and implemented support for mountain dulcimer right away.
A couple months later, we discovered that there was a program called DulciTab in development.
Matthieu did such a good job implementing support for mountain dulcimer that Quintin Stephens of Dragon Music Publishing, the publisher of the only other TAB program for Mountain Dulcimer at the time, pulled DulciTab from the market and referred all inquiries to TablEdit posting the following notice on the Dragon Music website:
"DulciTab is no longer available. We have found that the makers of TablEdit Tablature Editor were able to do the job better, stronger, and faster than we could, so we now HIGHLY recommend the following software for the best DULCIMER Tablature around. We are in no way connected to or affiliated with this company, nor are we paid by them, but we are ecstatically happy users of the program."
(NOTE; not to be confused with Martin Whitehead's DulciTAB site, which is an archive of tablatures for dulcimer in TablEdit format.)
Since I mentioned it, Martin uses TablEdit to create the tablatures on his DulciTABs dulcimer tablature page. As he put it; "Just a quick note to tell you how much I enjoy using TablEdit. What a great program. Everyone I share tab with thinks I'm a genius!"
TablEdit is easy and intuitive so you'll spend less time learning the program. This means you can get right down to using TablEdit. Which leaves you more time to play your dulcimer!
Half Frets ANYWHERE!
Almost all mountain dulcimers have a six and a half fret. Many others also have a one and a half, eight and half, a thirteen and a half, or any combination of these half frets.
With TablEdit you can notate for a half fret anywhere on the fretboard. This makes TablEdit PERFECT for dulcimer players who use the FlexiFret(r) system of movable frets on their dulcimer as well as for those with more esoteric fret arrangments.
TablEdit supports instruments from 3 to 12 courses of strings.
Most dulcimer players that we hear from have a 3 stringed instrument. Some have a four or five stringed instrument. TablEdit has built in support for up to 12 strings, so, if you have a custom duclmer with more strings, TablEdit supports you.
Of course, three, four, and five stringed dulcimers are supported with ease.
TablEdit supports dulcimers with up to 24 frets (plus half frets.) Again, this may be overkill for the dulcimer. However, regardless of how many frets your duclimer has, TablEdit supports you.TablEdit supports a wide and ever growing range of input formats.
Aside from entering in tunes yourself, and using arrangments that are available in TablEdit's TEF format on the internet (such as those from Martin Whitehead's DulciTABs site) TablEdit can make dulcimer notation from a number of popular formats.
For example, let's say you find a TAB in the form of text, numbers placed on TAB lines that are made up of dashes (----0---1---2--- etc.) This is called ASCII TAB and you can import it directly into TablEdit using the Import option on the File menu.
You can also import MIDI files and instantly convert them to tablature and notation. This goes for MIDI files that you have created yourself (such as with a MIDI instrument) as well as for the hundreds of thousands of MIDI files that can be found on the Internet.
There is a form of notation that is popular in folk circles known as ABC notation. You guessed it! You can import ABC notation directly into TablEdit as well, adding thousands more tunes to the list that are available free from the the Internet!
In addition to this, TablEdit supports importing of Bucket O'TAB files, Tabestry files, and tablature in the format created by Wayne Cripps.
OK, just one minute, those last three have NOTHING to do with mountain dulcimer, do they?!?
Well, no, they don't.
With TablEdit you can take music intended for OTHER INTRUMENTS and convert them to mountain dulcimer tablature! This expands your potential resources even further!
Sounds great! How do I get started?
What about my own arrangments?
Once you have TablEdit installed, all you need to do to start notating your own music is
- Open TablEdit
- Click on the tuning to the left of the TAB staff
- Select a pre-defined
dulcimer tuning from the pull-down list.
- To add strings, click on the “Module” tab and change the string number
- Then return to the Tuning tab to set the tuning of the strings
- Click on the Apply button, then the Close button.
- Now you are ready to
tab out your own tunes!
There is a ruler across the screen that is broken up in to measures, each measure is broken up into smaller pieces, each one, a chunk of time. If this is the first time you have opened TablEdit, then each mark on the ruler is 1/16th of a measure.
You'll notice the first mark and every fourth mark after that on the ruler is longer than the rest, this the beat, where your quarter notes go.
TablEdit opens with a blue box (cursor) on the first beat of the measure and on the first string.
Type a fret number, say, 6.
That's it, you have just entered a note!
But since this is mountain dulcimer, let's spice things up a bit... let's make that a six and a half fret, just because we can!
With the cursor still over the 6 that you just entered, press the plus key on your keyboard.
Bingo, you just notated a six and a half fret on the first string!
As I mentioned before, the 6+ fret is the most common, followed by the 1+, 8+, and 13+ frets. You'll also recall that I said you can add a half fret to any fret on the fretboard.
Well, that was a half truth!
If going up a “half fret” would take you to the next actual fret on the fretboard, then that's what TablEdit will show.
So, if you enter a 2 for the fret number and press the plus key to move it up a half fret then you get a 3.
Entering music as standard notation...Click on the standard notation staff where you want to place a note and hit the enter key.
What a breeze!
After you have entered a few notes, press the spacebar to hear what you have notated.
Of course, TablEdit does a lot more, there are special effects, multiple instruments (up to 16 separate and distinct instruments can be notated in one arrangement) and a host of other features for the more advanced players. Check out the TablEdit help file for more details on that. This shows you how easy it is to get started.
Now, the TablEdit Demo does have a couple limitations, and it would be unfair of me to not inform you of this right up front.
First, the TablEdit Demo will only save the first 64 beats of a tablature file. This works out to 16 measures for a single instrument in 4/4 time. Any arrangments saved with the Demo version of TablEdit will be cut off at this point.
Second, anything printed with the Demo version of TablEdit will contain a statement that it was created/saved with the TablEdit Demo Version.
Third, tablature files created with the TablEdit Demo can not be opened with TEFview, the free TablEdit file viewer.
Oh? Didn't I tell you about TEFview?
TEFview is a free reader/viewer/printer/player for TablEdit files that have been created with the registered version of TablEdit.
TEFview allows registered TablEdit users to share their arrangments with anybody who has a Windows or Macintosh computer.
Did you notice that something is missing from the limitations on the TablEdit Demo? There is no limit on how long, or how many times you can use the demo. You may use the TablEdit Demo for as long as you need to in order to see that TablEdit really is the right notation program for mountain dulcimer.
You may use the TablEdit Demo as many times as you need to in order to see that TablEdit meets YOUR needs.
Once you have seen for yourself that TablEdit is right for you, register your copy of TablEdit and unlock the full potential.