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This page contains links to web sites and free software that may be interesting and useful to music students.

Powertab Software Download - Power Tab is the best free tablature editor available, and it's used by all of the guitar and bass instructors.  It produces professional quality guitar/bass scores, and is very easy to use.  All music printouts in the free text lesson section of this site were produced with powertab (printed straight to pdf format with ).  It automatically writes out the standard musical notation for any tab you input.  It can import standard MIDI files and convert to guitar tab.  It will play back any music you input (via your MIDI output), and it can output standard ascii tab (the type used on sites like the one below).  If you want to write out any music for guitar, or any other stringed instrument, get it - it's free! - The largest and most current database of free powertab scores are available at here.  There are hundreds of thousands of free powertab scores listed, which compete in quality with any published book or magazine available.  Even recently released songs by pop artists are quickly added to the site.  If you can hear it on the radio, you can most likely find it on .  Search by artist or by song/composition title - the rating system in place ensures that you don't get junky, incorrect transcriptions (typical of many other online sources).  Virtually every tab on this site is as good as the commercially published editions.  If it's been played on a stringed instrument, you'll most likely find music for it.  It's absolutely the best and most useful resource that a beginning guitar/bass student will find - but be warned, there are a ton of pop up advertisements and inappropriate photos. - A fantastic site containing high quality powertab scores for virtually every acoustic guitar piece in existence. - music for other instruments written in powertab format. - This is the place to go to find free ascii tablature for your favorite music. Tab robot searches the biggest free ascii tab web sites for the title or artist you're looking for. These sites are constantly updated, so you can likely find transcriptions of even the newest music. There are over a million tablatures and chord charts floating around the web, representing the work of tens of thousands of dedicated musicians. The music is transcribed by players of all levels and abilities, so the quality varies in comparison to professional publications.  Despite the quality and readability, ascii tab is a great resource to get started learning music that is otherwise not available in print (or prohibitively expensive). Type in the name of your favorite song, and start learning!  (Try the powertab sites first - their printouts are usually much nicer and more correct).

Guitar Pro - Another tab editor with a huge user base, and many thousands of free files to download.  GuitarPro is a great learning tool, but it's not freeware.  The shareware version will let you look at the tabs, but printing is disabled.  There are tens of thousands of tablatures available at .

AP Guitar Tuner - A great free software tuner!  This one works better than most hardware tuners that you buy at a music store.  It's shareware, but it's not disabled in any way.

Simple Metronome (327k) and even Simpler Metronome (22k) - both programs keep time for you, include built in sounds, and allow you to use your own waves files to keep the beat.  The first program includes a tap-tempo feature - it figures MM speed markings from beats you tap into your mouse.

BestPractice - A great little practice tool that lets you slow down, loop, and change the pitch of any wave file or CD recording.  It's perfect for trying to figure out parts to songs that simply are too quick to hear at normal speed - especially fast instrumental solos and licks.  It's also great for practicing parts that you're learning - playing along with original recordings at slow speeds to get parts learned can really help the learning process.  It's also useful when the original recording is not at correct pitch - especially in tunes where the guitar is tuned down a half step.  With best practice, you don't have to retune your instrument to play along!  It also removes vocals from recordings so that you can hear the instrumental parts better.  It's completely free :)

Audacity - Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds.  It does multi track recording, and it's great for putting parts together because you can edit the sounds visually.  You can also use it to slow down and change the pitch of recordings, so that they're easier to learn.  It's one of the best learning tools available, and it's powerful enough to create commercial recordings - even full length albums.  It's a very small download, and it runs on virtually any computer platform.

Scaletool and Easychord - Software dictionary tools that let you visualize scales and chord pattern on most common fretboard and keyboard instruments.  Great for learning alternate fingerings for every possible scale and chord on your instrument.

CamStudio - Records screen and audio activity, and is perfect for recording your online lesson. It's free.  (Other commercial 3rd party software is available here).

PowerArchiver - Most tablatures, and other files on the Internet are distributed in "zip" format.  Powerachiver is completely free software that lets you work with zip files, and with virtually all other common compression formats (it's similar to Winzip, but completely free).

Foxit PDF Reader - Some of the Free Online Text Lessons on this site are provided in PDF format.  Foxit is a lightweight alternative to the bulky Adobe Acrobat Reader for reading PDF files.  It runs in every version of Windows, and is small, reliable, and easy to use. - Share original audio recordings and other files.  Be sure not to violate any copyright laws ,, and - Nick's favorite programming language.

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