The secret to this method lies in the fact that the Lesson Creator allows us to use two sequences per lesson page. Normally, we'd want both of those sequences playing (say, for some Skynyrd leads
), but here we can use this to make one sequence that will show us what the tab would look
like in the altered tuning, and another sequence that will play for us what the tab would sound
like if it were played in standard tuning (which is, for the purposes of the Composer, exactly what it does
sound like in the altered tuning as well)...
The tablature that looks
right is not played (because it doesn't sound right) and the tablature that sounds
right is not seen (because it doesn't look right).
It's not that hard. It's a somewhat foreign concept, as the point of altered tunings is to facillitate fingerings or open string combinations which wouldn't be possible in standard tuning, but keep in mind that the Composer neither understands the timbral differences of using open strings nor worries about the physical playability of any passages. The sequence in standard tuning is there strictly for sound reference.
Unfortunately, this leaves you, the lesson author, with two parts to sequence. I think the easiest way to do is is tackle the Looks part first, and then add the necessary number of frets to get the Sound part (you can even change strings, as the player never need see this second sequence, but I think it's less confusing not to).
"Adding frets" may seem confusing, but it's pretty straightforward. Take the Open A (EAEAC#E) tuning. It's the same as standard, except that it "adds" two frets' worth of pitch to strings B, G, and D. It's tuned to an open A (well, open A/E) chord:
Open E (EBEG#BE) is similar. "Add" two frets to strings A and D, and one fret to string G. The shape?
That oughta look familiar...
You can see now how drop-D is impossible, but "drop-E" (i.e., drop-D capoed up two frets) isn't:
Take a look at the quick noodlings I made to understand this better (both the Main and the 2nd Sequences). There's really not that much to the technique...
It can be a pain in the butt to have to do this with a long (or intricate) sequence, especially since WholeNote doesn't allow actual copying of sequencesit has to be done manually, preferably with two Composer windows open at once (open one window regularly and then move the mouse cursor over the Composer link in the black WholeNote toolbar, right click, and select "Open in New Window" or "Open Link in New Window" or something like that) or a printed version in front of you, but it's not rocket science. It's more like building a house of cards. Consider it a challenge...
Well, that's it. I hope I did a decent job of explaining this and that you guys an' gals are findin' it useful. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. I'd really love to see this method gain some acceptance, and I'd be happy to do whatever I can to help anyone towards that goal. Good luck!
A Riff in Open E
NOTE: Turn of the Main Sequence for playback!