Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Tabledit viewer basics

A few members have asked, “What is Tabledit?” or “How do I get it?” I figured we could start a thread on where you get it and what it can do for you.

Tabledit is tab (or tablature) software. It allows one to view, edit, transpose, print and playback tabbed music. Why not just use the PDF version of the tabs? With the PDFs, one cannot edit or playback tabs. However, I think the biggest feature of Tabledit for trying to learn a new song is that one can play back the tab and alter the tempo. So let’s say you have some tab with a really syncopated section where the timing is difficult to get down… just slow it down and play that section repeatedly, letting you hear it and play along with it until it becomes familiar. It’s a very powerful tool just by allowing one to playback a song back with varying speeds.

Tabledit has two major flavors available, the full version (costs money) and the viewer (free). The only difference I see between them is that the paid version allows one to edit and save unlimited measures of tab where the free version limits one to saving like 16 measures of each song. However, the viewer (free version) will still allow one to playback tabs of any length.

“What is a TEF file?” A TEF file is simply a file that contains a tabbed song in a format usable by the Tabledit program. Unless you have Tabledit installed on your system, one cannot do anything useful with it.

“Where can I get the Tabledit viewer?” The Tabledit viewer can be downloaded here:
Go to the above link. If you have a Windows machine click on “tefv.exe” This will download the installation program onto your machine. Then double click on the downloaded file and it will start the installation process. If you have a mac or other apple device, the above link has downloads and links for those systems as well. I have installed and briefly tried the iPhone app, but it was too small for me to get much use from it. Others may find it to be wonderful.

The full version of Tabledit is also available for download. It costs about $60.

That’s a start. If there are any questions on it, post them here!

Good idea, Mike. We needed a thread like this.

Thanks Mike, that explains why I can’t download tef files. I’ll install tabledit & then have another valuable learning tool.

I have a CD Trainer where you can punch in & out & replay a certain part of a song you’re trying to learn. It also slows down the tempo without changing the pitch. I like it because it gives good ear training, no tab, no video, nothing visual. You have to listen for every note & work harder to learn a song, but It’s very rewarding when you nail that solo you’ve been working so hard to get. I love tablature & training videos as well & I use it alot but nothing replaces simply learning a song by ear. I wore out a few record player needles in the late seventies & early eighties.

We have a wealth of information today to learn to play music & with great teachers like Ben & people seeming to want to help each other, it just drives the desire to learn even more. At least with me anyway.

Thanks again for explaining tef files & tabledit. I think I’ll give it a try.


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I have a CD Trainer where you can punch in & out & replay a certain part of a song you’re trying to learn.

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I use a software equivalent of CD Trainer called Transcribe and I agree with you, J.W. It’s a great tool. I use it nearly as much as Tabledit. In addition to using it to figure out guitar, fiddle, mandolin, and dobro parts, I use it to transpose songs to different keys so I can practice vocals in a comfortable range for me.

As you were saying, once you learn a part this way, you have it. With Tabledit, I have to go through a transition from written tab to memory, and that can take a while.

I am getting where I can learn from tab and can play some of the new ones as soon as I turn it on . many licks but they are universal and once you learn one it stands out . Of course getting it to memory is always harder .

I don’t know if any one knows this but you can capo the tabs just like the guitar click on score and then instrument click on tuning and a new window has about center to the right a tad, has capo and click until you get it capoed where you want . if you have back up you will have to do that with all the parts or it will sound terrible . but if you just want to capo the lead you do that and high light a section to play back it will only play back that part (lead etc).

That’s a handy trick to know, welder.

Good deal!