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Guitar Pro 6 Tutorial – Seven step diatonic mode method


Rather than simply provide the completed GPX file in the following tutorial, I decided to offer a hands on approach. This way you learn by actually following along with me each step of the way. You will not only learn how to notate the seven diatonic modes you will also be learning how to use Guitar Pro 6 as well.

Think of each step as being a bite sized lesson that I call a “lesson bite”.  I like to break things down into manageable chunks so to me lesson bites make sense.  When we eat, we take small bites and chew food in order to help the digestive system break it down.  Similarly, lesson bites are small bites of information that you digest a little bit at a time to help nourish your musical mind.

This tutorial is submited by Stephen Souza. 

What you will learn by the end of this method

By the end of these seven lesson bites, you will have a solid understanding of how to:

  • Use some of the functionality in Guitar Pro 6
  • Notate the seven diatonic modes in the key of C
  • Identify the characteristic notes for each of the modes
  • Practice applying what you have learned


Lesson bite N°1

In the first lesson bite of this method, you will learn how to:

  • Create and save a default score
  • Add score information
  • Create and save a customized stylesheet.
  • Adding measures and naming sections


Getting the most out of this method

To get the most out of this method I recommend that you digest each lesson bite completely before moving on the next. I find it helpful to review each lesson bite three times. The goal is to eventually know the lesson material to the point of not having to refer back to it again. The more you internalize, or digest if you will, the more freedom you will feel as a musician. There is a lot to cover so let’s get started.

1) Create a default score

Let’s start by creating a new default score. I chose the default instrument steel guitar but if you like, you can chose an electric guitar or a nylon. To do this, go to File -> New Score -> Steel Guitar (Default) or use the shortcut Ctrl+N.


Save the file by pressing Ctrl+S and name the file Diatonic mode method step 1.gpx.

2) Create a default score

Next add the Score information. To do this click on the information icon or press the function key F5 on your computer keyboard.*



3) Create and save a customized stylesheet

With Score information still open, click on the Stylesheet button. The Stylesheet has plenty of options to customize the look and feel of your score to meet your needs. To follow along with me, setup the Stylesheet using the settings below. I broke this down by each of the five tabs at the top of the Stylesheet.

Click on the Stylesheet – Page & Score format tab and set your score to match the settings below.


Then, click on the Stylesheet – Systems & Staves format tab and set your score to match the settings below.


Finally, click on the Stylesheet – Header & Footer format tab and set your score to match the settings below.


I did not make any changes to the Text & Styles AND Notation tabs leaving them at their default values.


Click on the button “save the style” to save the Stylesheet for reuse at a later time. Saved Stylesheets will have a file extension of .gps.

The benefit of Stylesheets is that you can save different configurations and recall them for later use. For example, I named my Stylesheet file as Diatonic mode method.gps. Now whenever I want my score to have this look and feel all I have to do is call up the style sheet which is a real time saver.

4) Adding measures and naming sections

The score default is set to the key of C which is what I will be using. Each of the seven modes will be broken down into two parts, an upper and lower part. So 7 modes X 2 scale sections (upper and lower) means we need a total of fourteen measures. Before adding the measures, set the View to Page (1 in window) mode by going to View -> Page (1 in window).


Now click anywhere in the first measure of the score then press the right arrow on your computer keyboard and add thirteen more measures. At this point you should see a total of fourteen empty measures with two measure per line. The example show a sample of the first four measures with two measures per line.


If you see more than two measures per line, you will need to use Design mode to fix this. To open the Design mode go to View -> Design mode OR use the shortcut Crtl+Alt+D.

Design mode allows you to control the number of measure per line AND the width of each measure. Guitar Pro 6 is chock full of options to help you get your score to the look, feel and sound just the way you like.
Go to the beginning of each measure and press the – button so that the score is configures as two measures X seven lines.


You can also use the + button to add measures or drag the two way arrow to adjust the width of the measures to make fine tune adjustments as needed. The last part of this lesson bite is to add insert section names and confirm what the file should look like at this point.

5) Insert section names

Now it’s time to add section names for each of the seven modes. To add a section name, follow the two steps in the diagram below.


6) Insert section names continued

Click inside the section name and name each the measures as follows.


  • Measure 1 – Ionian
  • Measure 3 – Dorian
  • Measure 5 – Phrygian
  • Measure 7 – Lydian
  • Measure 9 – Mixolydian
  • Measure 11 – Aeolian
  • Measure 13 – Locrian


Finally, save the file as Diatonic mode method step 1.gpx and overwrite the original.

I hope you enjoyed this lesson bite and when you have digested this lesson bite then move on to lesson bite two.

– Stephen Souza

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