I'm trying to use TuxGuitar with a Chapman Stick, which, for those who don't know, is a 10-string instrument played with two-handed tapping and with a quite unusual tuning (see here: http://stick.com/instruments/tunings/10/classic/).

So I can setup the tuning without problem, even for the bass part which has inverted strings compared to a "normal" bass. Now the problems start when I try to actually use this tuning with a song.

As far as I can tell, there's no way to "import" a tuning from one song to another, so if I have a song, say, in a MIDI file, there's no way to apply the Stick tuning(s) in it, I have to redo everything each time, which is quite tedious. There seems to be a way to do the opposite, i.e have a "template" song with Stick tunings, then copy the measures from another song and paste them in the template. But it doesn't do at all what I want, since it looks like it's pasting the fingerings in the tab instead of the actual notes. Of course, with such a different tuning, this ends up with a song that doesn't make any sense.

In the latest TuxGuitar version, there are also preset tunings, but it seems these are hardcoded, and I didn't find a way to add my own.

Did I miss something? Is there any way to do what I want easily?

  • 1
    I’m amused that you explained what a Chapman Stick is (which I already knew) and didn’t explain what Tux Guitar is (which I’ve never heard of). Probably most people know the latter better than the former so I’m not criticizing. May 7, 2021 at 15:39
  • @toddwilcox I was the opposite so I enjoyed this part! Hope the OP will be given or find a way!
    – Tom
    May 7, 2021 at 20:56
  • @ToddWilcox Ha, ha! You're right, silly me. I guess it was mostly because I had seen quite a few questions about TuxGuitar here and hardly any about the Chapman Stick, so I assumed the former was more "popular" than the latter. But yeah, in case some people don't know, TuxGuitar's homepage is here: tuxguitar.com.ar
    – eb303
    May 8, 2021 at 4:06

1 Answer 1


Answering my own question, even if I guess it's not something anybody could do: I actually managed to add some presets by patching the source code for TuxGuitar - which is open-source, so you can do that - and recompiling the application. I followed the instructions given here: https://sourceforge.net/p/tuxguitar/patches/41/ but changed the added tunings to {62, 57, 52, 47, 42} & {24, 31, 38, 45, 52}, which are the MIDI notes for the Chapman Stick strings (first one is the high part, second one the low part). And after rebuilding TuxGuitar, I can use the custom tunings I added.

For those who would like to attempt the adventure, be aware that the TuxGuitar docs are not up to date with the current state of the application, notably regarding the building instructions. TuxGuitar now uses Maven as its build tool (https://maven.apache.org/download.cgi). Once you've got it installed, the building process should be quite straightforward:

In everything goes well, it should create sub-folder named target/tuxguitar-<version>-<platform> containing the built application. You can run it from here.

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