How to Convert Guitar Tabs to MIDI

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Guitar tabs are a common method for writing down guitar parts for songs. The term is sometimes more broadly used to refer to the files saved by Guitar Pro 5. This program is predominately designed to write and save guitar tabs, but can be used to write parts for other instruments. An additional function of this program is the ability to convert guitar tabs into MIDI files. The opened guitar tab will be converted to a MIDI file that will contain all of the instruments included in the guitar tab.

Things You'll Need

  • Guitar Pro 5
  • Guitar tab file (Guitar Pro 5 or a compatible format)
  • Select “Open” from the File menu and choose the guitar tab file you wish to convert into a MIDI file. Alternatively, you can import a compatible guitar tab file format.

  • Make sure none of the instruments are marked as Solo or Muted unless you only want the Solo tracks to be converted to the MIDI file or do not want the Muted tracks to be included. Solo tracks are indicated by a blue “S” next to the instrument name. Muted tracks are indicated by a red “M” next to the name.

  • Highlight the “Export” selection in the File menu. This will open the Export side menu.

  • Select “MIDI…” from the Export side menu.

  • Name the converted MIDI file in the save window and press “Enter” or click the "OK" button. By default, the name will be identical to the guitar tab file. Guitar Pro 5 will immediately convert the guitar tab into the indicated MIDI file.

Tips & Warnings

  • Guitar Pro 5 can import ASCII, MusicXML, PowerTab, and TablEdit files, in addition to loading Guitar Pro 5 files. Any guitar tab written as one of these files can be converted into a MIDI file. Select “Import” from the File menu and choose the type of file to open.
  • MIDI files store less information about tracks than Guitar Pro 5 guitar tab files. Some more subtle options will not translate into the MIDI version of the guitar tab. This is most common with elements like mixer changes to tracks, volume variation, and harmonics.

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