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[QUICK TIP] Learn how to change the stem directions of notes

In this article, Bobby Kittleberger from Guitar Chalk is going to walk through the process of changing note stems in Guitar Pro 7.5. You will also find a link to our new and detailed Guitar Pro 7.5 user manual.

Let’s Change stem directions in a few clicks

First of all, keep in mind that you’ll only be able to see notes if you have standard notation toggled “on.” Otherwise, you’ll just be looking at tablature. In Guitar Pro, note stems are still given to tabs, but they can’t be modified or inverted.

Let’s start with a simple melodic run so we can illustrate the process:

I’ve highlighted both bars which means the changes I make will impact all of the notes.

Once you’ve highlighted the notes you want to change, navigate to the following menu item:

  • Note > Design > Invert Stems

The stems will now be facing down instead of up, per the following screenshot:

You can see that each stem is now facing downward, pointing toward its corresponding tab note instead of facing up.

If you want to return the stems to their previous position, navigate back through the same menu and select Automatic Stems.

In the same manner, you can select a single note and invert the stem for only that note:

In this example, the G note at the third fret has a stem pointing up while the A note at the fifth fret is pointing down.

Bobby Kittleberger is the founder and editor of Guitar Chalk, a website that reviews online guitar lessons and publishes high-quality resources for guitar players.

Guitar Pro 7.5 new user manual

ENGLISH – Download Guitar Pro 7.5 user manual in English

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23 comments
  1. Miles - January 6, 2022 at 4:49 pm

    Really want to love this program, but I need to be able to control stem direction in tab only and also position picking direction indicators below the tab. Please add these features and I will buy it!

  2. Joel Harpur - August 31, 2021 at 3:30 am

    Hello, is there any way to the move the rest (whole note) into the middle of a bar and not on the left side? The rest currently just sits at the start of the bar on the left side, but I need it to be in the middle not the side.

  3. Thomas Duflos - August 12, 2021 at 4:43 pm

    Hi André, no this feature is not available yet, sorry.

  4. Thomas Duflos - August 12, 2021 at 4:42 pm

    Hi John, this feature is not available yet, sorry.

  5. John - August 4, 2021 at 6:41 am

    TY Shredvan, I can finally add (include) stems to TAB, but they are overly longstems – i.e. extending way below or above the staff lines. Is there a way of reducing the lengths of the stems?

  6. André - July 22, 2021 at 7:09 pm

    can we remove the note stems on standard notation and only use the note dots?

  7. Shredvan - February 23, 2021 at 7:01 pm

    Nevermind I found it. If you are also wondering its
    File—>Stylesheet–>Notation—> UNCHECK the box “Hide in tablature when using standard notation”

  8. Shredvan - February 23, 2021 at 6:54 pm

    Is there any way to add stems to the tab notes and not just the staff notes?

  9. Cammy - December 23, 2020 at 2:28 am

    Ha,

    I’m back on this thread looking for the same answer…..

  10. Stephen Brennan - October 27, 2020 at 1:39 pm

    Thanks Thomas , that works! Really should have realized that by now!

  11. scottishcammy - September 18, 2020 at 10:06 pm

    Hi,

    I’m creating drum music.

    I want voice 1 stems down and voice two stems up. Whilst I’m transcribing, so it isn’t messy as I create it.

    How do I achieve this?

  12. Rob - August 18, 2020 at 4:49 pm

    Rob again. I should just RTFM. Solution: Alt + voice number. Why didn’t I see that before?

    Covers head in shame, hides in a cupboard.

  13. Rob - August 18, 2020 at 4:40 pm

    Hi, I’m totally new to GP and climbing up the learning curve, so excuse if this is a dumb question.

    Is there an easy/quick way to move a note from one voice to another? I’m using Voice 2 for the bass line (RH thumb) and Voice 1 for RH fingers. So I’ve got a nice piece of music written and decide to change the RH fingering to move a note from Thumb to first finger (or vice versa).

    If I select the note, delete it, change the voice and re-write the note it screws up the rest of the measure and sometimes I get into a lot of re-editing. Would be really nice to be able to select a note and just click the other voice icon, maybe with the shift key down or something.

    Any ideas? TIA.

  14. Thomas Duflos - May 26, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    Hi Stephen, by default, it is better that you invert your voices: voice 2 for the bass and voice 1 for the melody. The stem directions will change automatically. Thanks.

  15. Stephen Brennan - April 25, 2020 at 11:43 am

    Hey, was hoping you clarify something for me, I’m notating for fingerstyle guitar, in which I’m using separate voicing within Guitar Pro (So all the bass line would be on Voice 1, the melody on Voice 2), is there any way for Guitar pro to define the stem direction based on the voicing? So for example, all the stems for voice 1 would be downward and voice 2 would be upward.

    At the moment, at the end of each bar, I go back and fix it using the ‘invert stem’ option in the edition palette, but if you could define it based on the voicing it would make it a little easier

  16. José Pedro Barbosa - January 25, 2020 at 12:51 pm

    Nevermind, I figured it out (I was using multivoice, selecting one voice solved it). Sorry to bother you.

  17. José Pedro Barbosa - January 25, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    I’m editing a piano sheet (grand staff) with two voices in the upper staff and one in the lower staff. The stem options appear grayed out for me. What am I doing wrong?

  18. Thomas Duflos - January 7, 2020 at 10:51 am

    Hi Derek, you could change the stem directions and then use the “multivoice” functionality. You can set one direction into each voice. Thanks

  19. Derek Fox - January 4, 2020 at 6:21 pm

    It is necessary to be able to alter each individual stacked note as either stem up or stem down in complicated arrangements. That is a way to notate divisi. In a two part viola section, for instance, if half of the section plays an E and the other half plays a B, we want the E stem pointing down and the B stem pointing up.

  20. Thomas Duflos - November 26, 2019 at 8:58 am

    Olá, Guitar Pro está disponível em português, obrigado.

  21. Marco - November 25, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    Olá gostaria de saber como faço ou qual versão do Guitar pro tem em Português?

  22. Thomas Duflos - October 15, 2019 at 9:17 am

    Hi! Thank you for your clarifications! ?

  23. Geoff Alford - October 13, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    In classical music, the direction of the note stems is not arbitrary. It is important for distinguishing melody and bass. Hence melody notes have stems up and bass notes have stems down – there is no argument.

    As for accompanying notes (say, in the chord), these will generally have stems down. If the notes are linking melody notes, these may have stems up; and if the notes are linking bass notes, then these may have stems down.

    The overarching guideline to always keep in mind is that the stem direction must clearly distinguish melody and bass.

    Note that this stem convention may not be followed in many finger-playing arrangments. Often, stem directions are determined by convenience or tidiness. For example, it looks “more tidy” to have high notes with stems down and low notes with stems up, keeping the stems within the staff. But this convention is arbitrary, whereas the classical co9nvention is not – it has the purpose of clearly distinguishing melody and bass.

    Note also, that guitar arrangments which follow arbitrary conventions may be rejected by classical guitarists and students because they confuse melody and bass; e.g. “why should I try to play an arrangement when it may lead to confusion over what is melody and bass. Better to get another arrangement which is clear.”

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