LeWalt Publishing - Guitar, 5-String Banjo and Mandolin Instruction - Harold Streeter

E-Tabs (TablEdit Tabs)

for Guitar, 5-String Banjo,
Mandolin, and Dobro - by Harold Streeter

    All of our banjo, guitar, mandolin, and dobro tablatures described on our web site are now available in TablEdit format...

   How it works:

Just purchase any of our tabs through PayPal at www.paypal.com, describe your selections in an email to us, lewalt@icehouse.net and we'll email them to you as TablEdit files (sent as attachments) the same day we receive confirmation of payment for your order from PayPal.

Because tabs are emailed, there are no shipping and handling charges.


TablEdit's FREE tab viewer is necessary for opening TablEdit
(if you've already downloaded the viewer to your computer, just skip the following sections).

   TablEdit's free tab viewer is necessary for opening tabs emailed to you as attachments.
The viewer requires very little room on your hard drive, and download time is minimal. Once it's downloaded, you can open tabs and hear them played back in MIDI just by pressing the space bar on your keyboard, at any tempo you wish. You may also display your tabs on your computer screen with or without standard notation, and you can print your tabs the same way. More info about how to do that, plus other features the viewer has to offer follows below.

      Actually, the only thing you can't do with the free viewer is modify (edit) tabs or create your own. If you’ve ever arranged tunes yourself, however, or plan to in the future, you’ll find TablEdit to be an invaluable tool in that regard. To purchase TablEdit's full program, go to their web site at www.tabledit.com

       In the meantime, here's the info on how to download the viewer, followed by a few printing and playback tips I've cobbled together about how to use it.

   Downloading the viewer:

TablEdit runs on any Windows (Windows 95, 98 and beyond) or Mac operating system. To download the FREE TablEdit viewer:

The viewer is called "TEFview" and it is available at www.tabledit.com. On TablEdit’s home page, you'll see two boxes at the top of the page. Click on the TEFview box at right that includes the word “FREE”. Don't click the box on the left - that box is for downloading a demo of the program. Clicking on the demo box downloads the demo, which will interfere visually on printed tab copies (it prints the words; "TablEdit demo" right across the music).

TablEdit Tips

Standard Notation and Tab Display:

1)      Displaying tab only: Unless you’ve already specified that you wish to view or print tab only, TablEdit displays both standard notation and tab on your computer screen by default. If you prefer not to display standard notation, click on the Options tab on your tool bar (the one with an "X" just under "Score"). When the Options menu appears, the General tab should open by default. If this isn’t the case, click on it. With the General tab menu open, notice the term Screen Mode in the upper left corner, with the Standard Notation and Tablature boxes checked. Click the Standard Notation box to remove the standard notation display, and then click OK.

2)      Displaying standard notation: On the other hand, if you prefer to display standard notation (with or without tab), then of course check the "Standard Notation" box. There’s a little caveat here, however, having to do with how note values are displayed. In any given measure, you may notice that the number of beats appears to exceed the number allowed. For example, you may find three or more half notes in a measure which typically allows for only two (4/4 time). What it amounts to is a method of showing sustain (how long notes are to be held) which is favored by many who arrange music for classical guitar, and for other instruments. Displaying note values in this fashion helps players determine not only how long clusters of notes are to be held (chord forms for example) but how transitory notes are added to, or deleted from, the clusters. The bottom line is; don’t bother to add up note values, because they’ll usually total up to more than a measure can hold. Incidentally, another added benefit to displaying note values in this manner has to do with MIDI play backs of TablEdit files. They sound much fuller and smoother when notes are allowed to sustain properly.

Before Printing (Options menu):

1)      Printing tablature without standard notation: If you wish to print a copy of the tab but not the standard notation, be sure to first click the standard notation box on the "General" menu before printing (to click it off), or it will be printed along with the tab.

2)      Printing standard notation without tablature: If you wish to print a copy of the standard notation but not the tab, be sure to first click the tablature box on the "General" menu before printing (to click it off), or it will be printed along with the standard notation.

3)      Changing Font Size and Style in the Tablature: Click on the Fonts tab at the top of the "General" menu. When the Fonts menu opens, double-click on the Tablature font (top line of the menu), and change to any size or style you wish.

        Having experimented with the various font settings, the ones that work best for me are: Tablature - Arial 12 Bold, Song title - Arial 14 Bold, Small Font - Arial 10, Text 1 - Arial 12 Bold, and Text 2 - Times New Roman 9.

4)      Page Headers: Another printing consideration has to do with page headers - the amount of space at the top of the pages, particularly the first page, before the tablature begins. To set the header to allow plenty of room for the song title and other descriptive information, click on the Page Layout tab on the Options menu. Here you will see boxes for top, bottom, left and right margins. Set the values to 10, if they are not 10 already. Next, increase the height of the header of the first page to 37. Finally, set the header of the following pages to 20. These are the settings that work best for me.

5)      Changing the amount of space between systems: it’s important to check the space between tablature staves and/or tablature and standard notation staves before printing because the default setting may not allow enough room to display all of the symbols in the tab. Also on the "General" menu from "Options" is the term; Vertical Spacings halfway down the menu. To the right are boxes for increasing or decreasing space, expressed in millimeters. A suggested setting for adequate space between tablature staves is 35 mm. If you will also be printing standard notation, 20 mm is adequate for this box. If you choose to print standard notation only, reduce the millimeters in the between systems box to zero.

6)      Changing the number of measures per line: The default display of TablEdit is four measures-per-line. Depending on note density, however, you may wish to display only two measures per line, if a tab includes such things as sixteenth notes and sixteenth note triplets. Two measures per line allows more space between notes so that they may be more clearly viewed. To change your measure-per-line setting, again go to the "Options" menu, and click on the "Printing" tab. This opens a box which displays various printing choices. At the top, you’ll see the term Print Scale Adjustment and under that a check box next to the term Fixed Width Measures. When the box is checked, you’ll see another box to the right with the term Measures/line, and with the number 4 displayed in the box (TablEdit’s default setting). Using the arrows, decrease the number from 4 to 2 to specify your choice of printing two measures per line. Incidentally, I suggest clicking on the Print Tuning and Print Bar Numbers boxes if these boxes are not already checked . It’s a good idea for all tabs to display this information, not only for your convenience, but for the convenience of others.

7)      Printing tabs with two or more pages: As most tabs require more than one page, it's a good idea to check Print Preview to see how many pages will be printed. Often, you'll see a last page containing only a few measures. A typical example is a 3-page tab with 2 or 3 measures on the last page. Three pages don't fit well on a music stand, but TablEdit has a solution for that. If you click on "Options" on your tool bar and then on the Printing tab at top, you'll see the term "Adjust to" - the 4th option from the top on the left. If you click on it, you'll see a box light up at right in which you can use arrows to increase or decrease the number of pages to be printed. Set the number at "2" and click "OK". Go to Print Preview again and you'll see your 3-page tab miraculously converted to just 2 pages.

8)       What you’ll see and won’t see on your printed tabs: Notes in parentheses are tied notes. These appear on your computer screen but not in your printed copies. An exception is ghost notes; these are optional notes which may either be played lightly or not at all. Ghost notes appear on your screen and in your printed copies.

Important note about printing tabs with more than one module:

      With the exception of solo fingerstyle guitar arrangements, most of our tabs include more than one module (see section on modules toward the bottom of this page). The extra modules usually consist of guitar and bass accompaniment for playing along. When it comes to printing tabs, however, most of us wish to print only the lead instrument. If this is the case, whether you have only TablEdit's free viewer or the full program, first click on Options, then on Multitrack. Here, you will see a row of boxes for tablature and another row for standard notation, with a box for every module. The top box (first module) is always the lead instrument. To print only the lead instrument, click off the check marks in the other boxes. If you're printing a banjo tab for example, the top box needs to be checked and the others don't. If you prefer not to print standard notation, be sure that all the boxes in that row are cleared as well. You may of course print the tab for other modules if you wish. If you're in a group for example, guitar accompaniment modules might come in handy for rhythm guitarists. Print those just by clicking on the appropriate box, and clicking off the other boxes. As a final check before printing, always go to Print Preview (magnifying glass), to determine that only the module(s) you wish to see are printed.


To play along with the tab, it may be first necessary to tune up. Go to your tool bar at the top, and click on Score. Next, click on Instrument at the top of the menu. The default tab is Module. Next to that is the Tuning tab. Click on that and you’ll see the names of the strings displayed at left. Toward the bottom, more or less in the middle, is the Tune tab. Click on that and tune your instrument to the strings you’ll hear played.

Playing TablEdit Files:

Hearing a tab played requires only hitting your space bar on your keyboard. However, here’s a few additional points and tips regarding tab playbacks.


Hearing a metronome clicking away behind tabs is a big help (at least for me) when it comes to discerning timing, particularly if a lot of notes occur on the off or up beat, such as in a swing tune. To turn your metronome on, just click Play on your tool bar. This opens the Play menu, which includes the metronome. Clicking on Metronome will reveal a drop-down menu of patches (metronome sounds) to choose from. Because I’m a bit challenged in the hearing department, what works for me is the kick drum patch called 35 Kick Drum 2. This is a very solid feeling metronome which works well with a good speaker system for capturing the bass. Also included here is a volume control slider. While it’s nice to hear a solid metronome, it’s also nice to not drown out the tab.

Adjusting Tempo:

If you’d like to slow down the tempo at which the tab is played, either for listening or playing along while practicing, go to your tool bar again and click on Play. Halfway down the menu, you’ll see the term Midi Options. Click on that and a box will open in which you can adjust the tempo. At left in the box is a slider bar with a default speed of 100% or 120 bpm. Click on the slider bar and drag it to the left to decrease the tempo to any speed you wish, or drag it to the right to increase the tempo.

Note: Many tabs include "embedded tempos". These are suggested "normal" tempo indications found at the beginning of tabs (and sometimes scattered throughout tabs when tempo variations are called for) expressed in beats-per- minute. For example, T:170 means that normal tempo for a piece is 170 beats per minute. If you just have the free viewer on your computer and not the full program, you may find you can't alter the tempo. Most folks who purchase tabs from us have no problem in that regard, but occasionally, some do. If this is the case on your computer (has to do with individual computer configurations), just email us and ask to have the embedded tempo removed on tabs you've purchased from us. We'll gladly remove the embedded tempo and email your tabs back to you.

Hear measures repeated:

Also for practice purposes, you can hear a measure repeated over and over. To repeat a measure, first move your cursor to the measure in the tab you wish to hear played repeatedly, then click on Play on the tool bar at top. The fourth term on the Play Menu is Repeat. Click on it. Next, move your cursor to "Play" (the top item on the menu), and click on This Measure Only. The measure will begin playing instantly in repetition.

To hear a portion of the tab from any point to the end of the tab also involves the "Play" menu. For example: if you wish to hear the tab played from measure 12 to the end, move your cursor to measure 12. Then click on "Play" again and click "Repeat". Hit your space bar and the tab will begin playing from measure 12 to the end.

Tabs containing more than one module:

To play back a tab which includes additional accompaniment modules (these usually consist of guitar and bass), you may wish to adjust the playback balances or volumes of the modules. For example, if you wish to hear only the lead instrument (always the first module), here’s how to turn off the other modules: in the upper right corner of the tab screen, you’ll find two or more boxes labeled “1", “2", and so on. Resting on top of the boxes are small horizontal green bars. Clicking on a green bar turns the bar red, which turns off the volume of that module. If you wish to hear only the accompaniment modules for playing along with, then just turn off the lead instrument module.

Perhaps you’d like to hear all of the modules but would like to adjust the volume on some or all of them. To do so, first click on the module box you’d like to adjust. Then click on Score on your tool bar. Next, click on Instrument at the top of the next menu. This opens up a dialog box which includes a couple of slider bars for MIDI volume and panning. To adjust the volume, move the slider bar left for less volume, or to the right for more volume.

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