If one imports say a C Major scale in Guitar Pro, it auto calculates the fret numbers/strings.

Does anyone know by what logic it does this (since there are many possible ways to play a C major scale on a guitar)? Why one way and not another?

  • We can't really comment on their design decisions unless they've published a reason, but I can definitely see a use for finding out what method is used.
    – user28
    Apr 5, 2015 at 18:20
  • Let me clarify, I am not concerned specifically with Guitar Pro, many other guitar notation app auto calculate frets. So an answer as to how any of them do it, or any rationale around the logic would be intresting. It seems guitar teachers in general seem to use specific patterns down the neck rather than across.
    – FreddyD
    Apr 5, 2015 at 18:24
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    @FreddyD are you wondering specifically how software does it (with little information about your intent) or in general about the patterns down the neck, including what a guitar teacher would say? i imagine a guitar teacher will choose the position that is easiest for you to stay in or near, provided neither of you are too worried about voicing. Apr 5, 2015 at 19:23
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    I am wondering specifically and technically, from a maths point of view. I am looking at building an app that would include auto frettings. I am having issue working out what, if any, logic exists. It is of course possible no logic exists and its just convention developed over time.
    – FreddyD
    Apr 5, 2015 at 19:41
  • I suggest you get some midi tracks and import them into Guitar Pro. You may be able to identify a pattern. Also you could investigate transposing some tracks. Apr 5, 2015 at 20:40

1 Answer 1


If you are wondering on how to get a suitable/optimal fingering position, there are some existing research that develop such algorithms.

For Guitar fingers position, take a look at the following paper: http://www.csc.kth.se/utbildning/kth/kurser/DD143X/dkand13/Group7Anders/final/Vladimir.Grozman.Christopher.Norman.report.pdf

The algorithm is graph-based where each node represents few elements such as String Number, Fret Number, Note duration, etc. And it tries to find a solution that will minimize the cost of transition between the notes.

For Piano fingers position, take a look at the following paper: http://ijcai.org/papers07/Papers/IJCAI07-469.pdf

It is based on a statistical model called Hidden Markov Model.


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