ABC to violin tablature?

ABC to violin tablature?

I’ve found web sites that will convert ABC notation, but I’m not having much luck finding something that converts ABC to standard-tune violin tablature. Am I not looking hard enough?

Re: ABC to violin tablature?

I don’t play violin, but mandolin, which is tuned the same. Some software, such as Guitar Pro (no conflict of interest), can import MIDI files, which can be created from ABC files. Would the tablature for mandolin be adequate for violin?

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Re: ABC to violin tablature?

I have no experience with the mando, and I’m still pretty much a beginner with the fiddle. But the same tuning would certainly be a good start. On the other hand, Guitar Pro seems like a steep price to pay just do to that. I mean, I can scratch fiddle tabs for up most of the tunes I’m looking for, I was just curious if there was something commonly-known that I was missing.

Re: ABC to violin tablature?

Guitars and mandolins have frets. Violins don’t. TAB is useless for fiddling.

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Re: ABC to violin tablature?

I’ve seen and occasionally produce fiddle "TAB" by doctoring mandolin TAB but I don’t know of any program that will do it automatically.
Gobby, you are perceptive as always. Violins indeed do not have frets so instead the TAB numbers refer to fingers, though how you notate the difference between F natural and F# I never quite worked out.

Re: ABC to violin tablature?

Mandolin tabs should go a long way on fiddle, if you think of fret numbers as finger positions.
Frets 1 and 2 are for the first finger (low and high position), frets 3 and 4 for the second finger etc.

You can go to mandolin.tab.net for a free online converter.
http://www.mandolintab.net/abcconverter.php

Re: ABC to violin tablature?

I never heard of tablature for violin. Don’t you mean ordinary staff notation?

Re: ABC to violin tablature?

As long as you know where to find the actual notes on the fiddle, mandolin tablature will help to an extent but the style of playing is quite different(bowing rathing than picking etc) and even the actual fingering will vary too.

Also, when you are being taught fiddle, especially by ear, teachers/tutors will talk about fingers rather than frets and/or positions. So, this can make things a little more confusing too.

Arguably, it’s a good time to consider learning to read standard notation if you don’t wish to concentrate entirely on learning "by ear". From my experience, it’s no more difficult than tablature and probably easier in most cases. However, tablature may be useful if you wish to emulate a particular style of playing, e.g. finger picking on guitar and so on but I’ve never seen the advantage just for learning basic melodies.

Re: ABC to violin tablature?

Well, tabs actually show you where to find the notes.
But I agree, it is much better to learn where the notes are on your instrument (you’ll do that anyway, at some point) and if you want to use sheet music then use staff notation.
I only find tabs helpful for learning chords shapes on guitar/mandolin etc, for melodies they are much too cumbersome.

Re: ABC to violin tablature?

There is indeed such a thing as violin tab. With the versions I’ve seen, it’s all first position notes. Numbers refer to fingers of the left hand (assumes a right handed player). Each string is treated as a tetrachord (open sting - full step - full step - half step). Think of the colored tape you sometimes see on very young childrens’ fiddles.

E string is E=0, F#=1, G#=2, A=3
A string is A=0, B=1, C#=2, D=3
D string is D=0, E=1, F#=2, G=3
G string is G=0, A=1, B=2, C=3

Any fingering that deviates from this is indicated with L (for Low) or H (for High), so on the E string F natural = L1, G natural = L2 or H1, and A sharp is H3.

However, I’ve never run across a utility that converts from ABC.

Re: ABC to violin tablature?

I’m a bit sceptical about automatic conversion from music to tab. It works up to a point, inasmuch as it will show you where on the instrument to find the notes. However on stringed instruments (and some others) there is usually more than one choice of where to find a particular note. Which one you choose will depend on a number of considerations, for example the tone you want to achieve and how it fits in with the fingering sequence you need to play the phrase. Notes don’t exist in isolation but in relationship to other notes. I find it can sometimes take a lot of experimentation to find the best way of fingering a phrase, and even then it’s only what’s best for me - another player may do it differently.

I doubt any of the tab converters are capable of this sort of analysis of the different options. Automatic tab conversion will show you one way of playing the tune, but it may not be the best way.

Re: ABC to violin tablature?

I’ve never come across any program for converting abc into violin notation automatically. I have seen lots of abc scores with the appropriate bow direction, finger use, ornaments etc and abc notation does support them but those have all been added manually by someone with the violin knowledge and interest to do so. Guido Gonzato’s excellent manual "Making Music with Abc 2 - A practical guide to the Abc notation" will provide everything you need to know to modify an abc score.
http://abcplus.sourceforge.net/abcplus_en.pdf
Refer to "Figure 2.2 Standard decorations".

Re: ABC to violin tablature?

I found - as a life time "ear" player - that learning to read notation wasn’t that much harder than reading tab - particularly on a GDAE instrument and it tells you so much more.

Re: ABC to violin tablature?

TEF view is an app that will do the trick, it will covert abc notation to 20+ different instruments, the app version works great, but I’ve found the pc version to be quite Cumbersome…….

Re: ABC to violin tablature?

TEF is a free version of TablEdit. The full paid-for version TableEdit will read abc files and convert them to tab, but if I read the blurb correctly TEF only allows you to view files which have already been created in TablEdit format. I don’t think the free version will convert from abc (perhaps The Houmors of Steel Fixing can correct me) .

TablEdit offers a free demo so you can try it out. I’ve found it quite good, but with the caveat I mentioned above that the fingerings it suggests may not be the best options. You can of course edit the tab yourself to end up with a playable version. I don’t use tab much myself, mainly as an aide-memoire for tricky phrases which I might otherwise forget when I haven’t played a piece for a while, so I haven’t bothered with it, but it might be worth a look. I don’t know if it does actual violin tab, but mandolin should do and you can create your own tunings.

Re: ABC to violin tablature?

Maybe not what you want to hear, David, but learn abc or standard notation——it’s not that difficult. The time you save by not jumping through the all hoops it would take to create decent tabs you can put towards actually playing your instrument. You should also develop the facility to pick things up by ear (if you haven’t already) but notation is handy to have in your back pocket in order to jog your memory on tunes you don’t play regularly.

Re: ABC to violin tablature?

Poster, Joe Fidkid is talking a lot of sense. However, you can tweak his idea. What you do is write out the names of the notes (A CBG etc) then you get 4 different coloured biros, and work out which finger you need to play that note and on what string. Assign each string a different coloured biro, so you don’t need to bother with knowing if it’s high G , middle G or low open G, because the colour tells you, straight away which string it’s on and how many fingers to put down. I’m not sure if TAB would work well, due to the lack of frets on a fiddle, but in desperation you could put little bits of tape across your fiddle fingerboard, to create "fake" frets, and then get mandolin TAB. Bit naughty, but then a little bit of naughtiness might be good for all of us!

Re: ABC to violin tablature?

The free version of the app certainly converts from ABC, the computer demo does not

Re: ABC to violin tablature?

learn standard notation. In the vast majority of ITM tunes standard notation maps readily to the mandolin or violin fingerboard. Very few tunes will have you going into 2nd, 3rd, or 4th position which is where TAB can be useful. The only choice you really have to make (i.e. where tab could help) is deciding between fingering a note with your 4th finger or playing the note on the open string

Re: ABC to violin tablature?

I’ve been using TablEdit on my computer and TEFview on my iPad for years. I use it to convert abc files from various sources into TAB (gdae).
The number on the TAB line is the finger position on an imaginary fret board.
Also allows me to score a tune and then produce an abc file.
Works for me!