By Tom Johnson, Finale Product Specialist

TomJohnsonHave you heard this one?

Q. How do you get a guitar player to turn down the volume?

A. Put sheet music in front of them.

While I know some guitar players who are great readers, one way to get better results from any guitar player is to put great sheet music in front of them, and today we’ll see some of the ways in which Finale makes that easy.

Let’s start with a chord chart. Whether you prefer writing a C major seven chord as CM7, CMaj7, Cmaj7, or something else using a triangle, Finale’s got you covered. Finale allows each user to select, or even create, any chord name they wish.


Similarly, guitar fretboards can be added automatically by simply choosing Show Fretboards from Finale’s Chord Menu. And, if the resulting fretboard isn’t exactly what you want, you can choose from a large pre-existing library or create anything you wish using Finale’s Fretboard Editor.

finale2Creating guitar tablature is as easy as creating standard notation. In fact, the methods used are almost identical. Use Document Setup Wizard to add a tablature staff (in your choice of tunings) and an accompanying staff in standard notation, if desired.

In Finale, you can freely copy music between standard notation and tablature staves, and when you do, Finale translates automatically. Start with this example:finale3

Select the music in the standard notation staff and drag it onto the TAB staff, choosing a desired lowest fret. In an instant you see this:


Use the Simple Entry Tool to enter into a TAB staff directly. Choose a duration, click the string and type the number. That’s all there is to it.

You can even play on a MIDI guitar and the music will notate correctly as one performs.

As you can see, Finale offers much for the guitarist from chord charts to real-time entry and everything in-between. So pick up your guitar, start notating, and turn that volume back up!

For over 25 years, Finale has remained the world standard, in part because of its exclusive flexibility to create any anything you can imagine. While Finale 2014 is easier than ever to use, if you ever have a question, help is close at hand. Only Finale offers interactive tutorials, videos, searchable solutions to commonly asked questions, and FREE on-line support. To learn more, visit