I am writing tabs from TuxGuitar and then export it to lilypond (Because I find it easier to do it in TuxGuitar). Here before exporting it to lilypond everything seems nice: enter image description here

But when I export and engrave it with lilypond it seems like this: enter image description here As it is seen note positions are not correct. How can I fix this? Is it about TuxGuitar or lilypond? Or what kind of program should I use to write tabs and export it to lilypond easier?

2 Answers 2


It looks like that TuxGuitar fails to set the proper clef.

Just find the music in the lilypond file and put \clef "G_8" in front of it. That will do the trick.

Explanation: As Tom_C correctly points out, guitar is written in treble clef but one octave higher than it actually sounds. TuxGuitar apparently just sets a treble clef (or no clef at all, which amounts to the same). The systemic way to handle that is to use a treble clef with a small 8 under it (which says that everything has in fact to be played one octave lower). That's the clef that Lilypond knows under the name of G_8 (or treble_8).

Setting the proper clef will also make sure that Lilypond will both "know internally" the correct notes and typeset them correctly, too. You could just transpose everything an octave higher; however, if you for instance played the MIDI generated by Lilypond, it would also sound an octave higher than it should.

  • 1
    Neat! I was sure that someone with good LP skills would have a nice way to do that!
    – Tom
    Jul 2, 2020 at 12:40

This is probably linked to : why is guitar music written one octave higher?

An easy fix would be to transpose everything 12 half tones higher but not sure if it easier in Tux or Lilypond...

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