SmartASCII Notation

(Say it out loud for maximum impact!)

This is a set of notations I came up with for using ASCII text to indicate which finger on which hand is playing which fret when doing two-handed tapping on a stringed instrument. The diagrams are just regular fretboard grids and tablature with symbols somtimes added to indicate which finger is being used:

      L3 L2                   R2 R3 
   L4  _ _ _ L1            R1 _ _ _  R4
     _| | | |                | | | |_
    | | | | |                | | | | |
    | | | | |    LT    RT    | | | | |
    | | | | | /\          /\ | | | | |
    |       |/ /          \ \|       |
     \        /            \        /
      \      /              \      / 
       |    |                |    |
       |    |                |    |
        Left                  Right

Plain ASCII text is used for fast loading, easy transmission of diagrams over email and newsgroups, fast scripts for dynamic web pages, and accessibility for visually impaired users.

Grids

For fretboard grids I just replace the dots with finger symbols. Fret numbers are shown below the diagram. String labels are shown to the right. Here is a fretboard grid of a minor 7th chord on the melody half of the Chapman Stick in straight fourths tuning:

+----+----+----+----+----+----+
+----+----+----+----+----+----+
+----+-R2-+----+----+----+----+  3rd
+----+-R1-+----+----+----+----+  7th
+----+----+----+-R4-+----+----+  5th
+----+-RT-+----+----+----+----+  Root
6    7    8    9    10   11   12
  

This means play a chord in which:

Tablature

For tablature, if I include a finger symbol, it is in parentheses after the fret number. Beats and sub-beats are indicated above the staff. Here is the above chord played as 2 quarter notes and 4 eighth notes in tablature format:

   1       .       2       .       3       .       4       .         1       .
+-----------------------------------------------------------------+-----------
+-----------------------------------------------------------------+-----------
+--8(R2)-----------8(R2)-----------8(R2)---8(R2)---8(R2)---8(R2)--+-----------
+--8(R1)-----------8(R1)-----------8(R1)---8(R1)---8(R1)---8(R1)--+-----------
+--10(R4)----------10(R4)----------10(R4)--10(R4)--10(R4)--10(R4)-+-----------
+--8(RT)-----------8(RT)-----------8(RT)---8(RT)---8(RT)---8(RT)--+-----------
  

I hope that makes sense. I have used this notation to describe my jazz stuff on the Chapman Stick




SmartASCII is not a Russian wiseguy.