Arranging violin music and the like for shredding

I have a process that seems very promising and I was curious if other people do the same, or perhaps something smarter.

I can find music that I like on places like and download MusicXML, an interchange format that Guitar Pro can read. Next, I can move it around to fit on guitar (if necessary). GP’s TAB will be legal but not be CtC-worthy, but one can bump the note around string-to-string: This is really thought-provoking and not a lot of effort. I’m going to spend a few hours thinking about how to attempt this piece that isn’t played so fast, but it’s a great study because everybody is so familiar with it. There are a few notes that fall off the bottom of my guitar but I’ll try to figure out how to catch them with the whammy bar, that should be a riot (as I don’t have a 7-string).


Dunno if it helps, but if I remember correctly I managed to arrange this for 6-string guitar with a tuning that was (something like):

C - G - D - G - A - E (but the high E was never used).

I may have gotten it slightly wrong, but basically I made it so that the lowest note of the tune was the lowest open string, and also the A pedal tone at the end of the tune was taken care by the 2nd string.

I completely forgot how to play this, which is a shame because it was a lot of work :sweat_smile: :cry:

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I made an arrangement of this for classical guitar. It’s been almost 2 decades ago though, and like @tommo I have completely forgotten how to play it. I’ll have to dig it up and see what state it’s in. I feel like I omitted fingerings and string instructions (and I did not use tab :slight_smile: ) so learning it again would be a challenge.

It’s a shame because I took a lot of care to sustain all the ‘2nd’ intervals to create a more interesting harmony. For example, what you posted, in the first measure all the high B’s and A’s are played on different strings, so we hear that lovely ‘2nd’ ring together. My arrangement featured this throughout. By contrast, the second measure in what you posted has the high C’s and B’s played on the same string, so they never ring out.

It’s one of the rare occasions where a solo classical guitar piece (transcribed from the instrument it was originally written for) could actually do more justice to the composition than the original. Harmonies that were implied by Bach on the cello could be fully realized when played on the guitar. Typically the opposite happens, particularly when the original piece was composed for piano lol! The guitar transcriptions require so many compromises that we miss out on important bits.

Sorry to derail your thread @kgk. Though I don’t feel so bad because you derailed it yourself by mentioning ‘violin’ and ‘shredding’ in the title and then immediately moving to a very chilled out, non-shred piece that was composed for the cello and not the violin :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

It’s a very cool idea though. Have you done this with any ‘shred’ worthy pieces for the violin, or is that still in the works?


This particular cello suite piece can be nicely done with a drop D tuning, transposing to key of G. John Feeley has a nice recording on YouTube. That piece isn’t particularly shreddy, it’s just a great piece.

Rick graham transcribed part of the e major partita. I transcribed it too, differently, but haven’t put a recording out yet, it’s not where I want it to be!

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Thanks for the suggestions on this piece! :grinning:

I’m currently mostly about the process of (1) trying to effectively import music (MusicXML?) and then (2) creating optimized CtC-friendly TAB (Guitar Pro 8?). I’m just curious if other people are doing the same thing, as Guitar Pro 8 makes it pretty easy, and I only realized that recently.

It could be a useful thing, to open the door for some people to new pieces. There is some great music out there :slight_smile:

Some issues I see:

  • tab can be limiting — one of the benefits (?) of notation is that the player can and should figure out how to play it, what fingerings work best for their hand and sound. In piano, fingering is an important thing to work out. I don’t know if it is the same with violin, perhaps the violin tuning and shape naturally drives everyone to use pretty much the same fingerings.
  • adapting pieces to guitar often requires transposing, tunings, etc. maybe the source pieces are doing odd things that will reduce the playability or sound of the pieces. Hard to say!

That said, making these pieces more available to players can only be a good thing. Perhaps storing them in a google folder with a list of what’s available will be good. Cheers!

I’ve started using it to make random DSX patterns. I didn’t know about musescore, thank you!

Question: do you know any easy way to apply alt. picking symbols in bulk to a piece? I’d like to be able to do that, then go back and tweak it to with with DSX.

This is another great ressource, although the file format is MIDI.

You have somewhat limited free downloads per day, but you can find an extensive collection here.

If the files don‘t import well, it is worth playing around with the Midi Import Filters options.


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Absolutely, all of those issues must be addressed, and GP8 makes that relatively easy. For example, one can easily transpose the entire piece, and also have it play segments (with an ugly tone, but still, much better than nothing).

I’m sorry, I don’t know. Writing to their customer service department has been helpful to me in the past, so give that a shot!

Thank you!