Guitar Pro 5 Tutorial

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Guitar Pro is a fantastic bit of software, that allows you to edit and playback tabs as MIDI files. It offers lots of tools that make learning songs faster, and is also good for tabbing out your own songs. You can obtain a free 15 day trial from Here, or if you want to purchase it, click on the box that appears when you hold your mouse over the words Guitar Pro, anywhere on the forum.

This is a basic, beginners tutorial on using Guitar Pro.

This is the main view you will find when you start Guitar Pro.


There are 4 main features here, from top to bottom

  1. Top Toolbar
  2. Tab Editor
  3. Track/Mix Table
  4. Bottom Toolbar

One of the most important features is the help.jpg button.

You'll find it on most of the windows listed below. Clicking on this will open up the Help File for the open window.

Use the links below to jump to whichever section you want to look at....




Editing Tab

Chord Window

Play Looped/Speed Trainer Window

Bend Window

Instruments Window

Track Properties Window

Track/Mix Table

If anyone has any questions, comments, death-threats, or hate mail for me, theres a discussion thread here.

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*Note* These read from left to right in the image, and top to bottom in the text *

1. New Document – Opens a new, blank GP file

2. Open – Opens an existing GP file

3. Save – Save current file

4. Score Properties (General Info, song name, artist etc)

5. Page Setup

6. Print

7. Undo/Redo, last actions

8. Add a bar At the cursor

9. Cut

10. Copy

11. Paste

12. Track properties – Tuning Etc

13. Add track

14. Delete track

15. Instrument Window

16. General Preferences

17. Multitrack View – Views all tracks at once,

18. Page Mode – Breaks pages up as if it were a Word Document

19. Parchment Mode – Continuous page

20. Vertical Screen Mode – Pages align vertically

21. Horizontal Screen Mode – Pages align horizontally

22. Zoom

23. Percussion window – Opens the drum tab dialog

24. Fretboard View

25. Keyboard View

26. Next/Prev Track view


1. Key Signature – Modify the key signature of the track

2. Time Signature – Modify the time signature of the track.

3. Triplet Feel

4. Repeat Open

5. Alternate Endings

6. Repeat Close – Will open a dialog box asking number of repeats. Use this to repeat a section of a song.

7. Double Bar

8. Musical Directions – Coda’s etc

9. Force Break Line

10. Prevent Break Line

11. Insert Marker – Insert a text note in the tab “verse” for eg

12. Marker List

13. Previous Marker

14. Go to marker

15. Next Marker

16. RSE – Toggle the Realistic Sound Engine on or off

17. Play/Stop, First/Last Bar

18. Step Forward/backwards – Play though the tab note by note

19. Play Looped/Speed Trainer – Use this dialog to slow the track down, or loop the selected portion of the tab.

20. Metronome

21. Countdown timer

22. Tempo/Tempo Co-efficient

23. Transpose (Up and Down) – Modify note


Note Durations – Specify the duration of the selected notes. From whole to 64th

Dotted Note

Triplets etc

Rest – Will place a rest. Duration is set by the Note Duration

Tie Note/Sound Duration

8va 8vb/15ma 15mb - I Think this means its played an octave higher/lower than its written.

Edit Voices (Lead/Bass)

Automatic Beams/Force Beams/Break Beams/Break Secondary Beams

Automatic Beam Direction/Invert Beam Direction

Ppp, pp, p etc – Essentially the volume. How hard you pick the string (as best as I can figure out anyway)


Dead Note

Grace Note

Ghost Note

Accentuated Note

Heavy Accentuated Note

Let Ring

Natural Harmonic

Artificial Harmonic

Hammer on/Pull off

Bend – Opens the bend dialog,


Legato Slide

Shift Slide

Slide Options (in from below, in from above etc)


Wide Vibrato


Trem Picking

Palm Mute





Volume Swell


Open the Chord Window

Insert Text

Open the Mix table

Left and Right hand fingering

Up and down strum

Up and down picking

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This is all pretty much self explanatory. But heres a brief run down..

Select the root note, chord flavor (Major, Min, Sus, etc) etc

Guitar pro will show you a chord diagram for the chord on the RHS, as well as a list of alternate ways of playing and alternate names for the chord.....

You can also click the frets on the Chord Diagram, and build your own chords (clicking above the "nut line" will change the string from open to muted if there are no fretted notes on that string)

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This window lets you loop a selected portion of a song, or slow it down.

Simple Loop - will repeat the select portion of the track indefinitely.

Speed Trainer - will slow down the selected portion to the percentage set by the LHS Tempo. And will increase it up to the RHS tempo, each repetition, by the percentage set below.

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Again this is pretty self explanatory.

Select the type of bend from the command buttons (Bend, Bend/Release etc)

Select the number of semi-tones to bend (Full = 1 tone)

The graph shows the note duration. Click Play to hear what it will sound like

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This window lets you select the MIDI instrument for the current track.

Theres a ton of different ones there. Im not going to go into detail about what is what.

But use the list to select a MIDI instrument.

IF its available you can select between using the default MIDI sounds, or use the RSE (Realistic Sound Engine) sounds.

You can preview the voice by clicking "Listen"

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This lets you edit the properties for the current track

You can set the number of strings and tuning.

You can select from a preset list of common guitar tunings. Or retune each string if your tuning isnt listed

You can set the total Frets and Capo Position.

The rest of the options are all self explanatory.

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The main tab window shows the current track tab. And allows you to edit it.

Use your mouse and arrow keys to move the "cursor" (the yellow box).

Use your numbers to edit the notes.

Std Windows keyboard shortcuts work the same.

Crtl + Z - Undo

Ctrl + X - Cut

Ctrl + C - Copy

Ctrl + V - Paste



Left click and drag to select notes/bars, the selected bars will be highlighted blue. As shown below


Theres a numbe of keyboard shortcuts in GP, the simplest way to find these is to hold your mouse over the toolbar button you want, and wait for the "tooltip" to show up, this will generally show the associated shortcut.

But a few to get you started:

A - Chord Window

B - Bend Window

H - Hammer on/Pull off

V - Vibrato

+ and - Increase/Decrease note duration

P - Palm Mute

I - Let ring

S - Slide

Ctrl + U - Upstrum

Ctrl + D - Downstrum

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This lists all the tracks for the current score.

To open the Track Properties window click on the Name of the track.

To open the Instrument Properies window, click on the Instrument column.

The "S" stands for solo, clicking on this will make only the selected track play during playback.

The "M" stands for mute, to mute the selected track during playback.

The volume and pan sliders adjust the volume and left to right panning of the selected track

Discuss this tutorial here

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