tab vs. HyperTab

HyperTab shows you where to put your fingers, just like regular tab does.

But it's easier then tab because you don't have to read numbers and translate symbols. If a string should be bent, you see and hear the bend. If a finger should slide, you see and hear the slide.

HyperTab shows almost everything tab does; and many things tab doesn't (like shapes). Most of all, you can see and hear what you're trying to play.

HyperTab compared to tab

tab HyperTab


(away from you)

(towards you)

Pick hand area shows direction to pick. String also moves (animates) briefly in appropriate direction, as if struck.


1. first note is picked

2. next note is not

Pick hand area shows hammered-on notes are not picked. They sound different too, especially at slow playback speeds.*

* HyperTab uses MIDI pitch bend.


1. first note is picked

2. next note is not

Pull-offs are displayed the same way as hammer-ons. Both also show "supporting" fingers. For example 1. (at left) shows how both fingers are placed on neck at the same time.


1. first note is picked

2. next note is not
(finger slides into it)

After first note is picked, finger moves (animates) along neck until destination note is reached.


higher strings

lower strings

String and finger move (animate) back and forth, at appropriate speed and in appropriate direction (usually towards you for higher strings, away from you for lower).


before bend


Bends are displayed the same way as vibrato. The string and finger move at the appropriate speed and in the appropriate direction.


bent string


Releasing a bend is shown the same simple way.


Turn on pitch display to see how far to bend. Strings are now colored individually based on note pitch. Use the lights in HyperTab to map string color to note pitch.

BEND (whole)

starting pitch

ending pitch

String is being bent from D (green -- see lights above) to E (blue). In musical terms, this is a "whole step".

BEND (half)

starting pitch

ending pitch

Starting pitch is again D, but this time the ending pitch after bending is Eb (turquoise, in between D and E). In musical terms, this is a "half step".


starting pitch

ending pitch

Pick hand area shows tremolo ("whammy") bar. In this example the bar is being bent down approximately a whole step, from D to C.


normal picking

palm muting

Pick hand area shows palm mute graphic, and string being picked appears muted (darker).


example 1.
all strings muted

example 2.
single string muted

Pick hand area shows string being picked but string is not colored, indicating no pitch. String decay is shorter then normal. When audio is set to MIDI, no sound is heard when string is struck.


Notes on fret hand muting

Fret hand muting is difficult to show because it's so prevalent. For example when playing a 5th string power chord most players will instinctively mute the 6th string with either the fret hand thumb or the tip of the first finger while it's fretting the 5th string.

However there are a few situations where I've made an effort to actually show fret hand muting. The first, as shown in example 1. above, is when all the strings are being muted (usually by one or more fret hand fingers lightly resting on top of the strings), and no notes are sounding (a.k.a. "muffled strings") -- the strings are being struck simply for a percussive effect (think intro to "Voodoo Chile"). The second situation is when a string is muted but both of its neighbors above and below it are not. Example 2. above shows a common way of playing an open G power chord: both the 6th and 4th strings are sounding but the in-between string (the 5th string) is not: the middle finger (which is fretting the 6th string) is lightly resting against the 5th string, preventing it from sounding.