How To Use Google Docs to Write Music Notation and Guitar Tabs

If you are not a professional musician, you probably don’t need to invest a lot of money on a professional software that does music notation, drum notation, or guitar tabs professionally. But still, from time to time, you need to write music notes on the music sheet and you prefer using computer to do so.

Here comes a handy Google Docs add-on, called VexTab Music Notation that render standard music notation, drum notation, and guitar tablature in your documents using the VexTab notation language. Don’t be scared by the words “using notation language”. If you have basic knowledge about music theory, you will find it’s pretty easy to follow the tutorial.

Let’s see how it works.

First of all, go to VexTab Music Notation Google Docs Add-on page, click the blue + Free button to add it to your Google Docs. It will show up under Add-ons menu once added.

To insert a music notation, go to Add-ons, then VexTab Music Notation, then Insert VexTab.

Google Docs - insert VexTab

Then start typing in the VexTab codes to the green text box to generate the music notes or tab notes.

Google Docs - VexTab sheet

Let’s say I type in the following notes code:

tabstave notation=true tablature=false
notes:8 G-E/4 :4 E/4 |
notes:8 F-D/4 :4 D/4 |
notes:8 C-D-E-F/4 |
notes:2 G-G/4 :4 G/4 ||
tabstave notation=true tablature=false
notes:8 G-E/4 :4 E/4 |
notes:8 F-D/4 :4 D/4 |
notes:8 C-E-G-G/4 |
notes:2 E/4

Google Docs - VexTab sheet

Click Insert Notation button, 2 line of notes will nicely appear on the document.

If you need a Tabulate for guitar play, either remove tablature=false or change false to true, the write the notes for tab positions. For example,

tabstave notation=true
notes 4-5-6/3 ## | 5-4-2/3 2/2

Inserts the following into the document with both music notation and guitar tab.

VexTab Tutorial - 2015-11-03 23_29_22

Heck, you can even add lyrics or other text into the sheet. The following code adds a few lyrics into the same sheet we created above.

tabstave notation=true
notes 4/3 $ha$ 5-6/3 $ha$ ## | 5-4-2/3 $.top.$ $wow$ 2/2

Untitled document - Google Docs - 2015-11-03 23_37_10

Don’t you want to give it a nice try?

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