Score/notation software with midi support?

Not guitar-specific, but I am working on vocal melodies for a song I’m writing and getting frustrated. Doing it on paper would be far easier than using software when I figure it on the guitar from what I’ve tried so far, but I can pick out a melody on a keyboard easily enough and ‘dictating’ it right to score would be pretty neat.
I have a MIDI keyboard but so far all I’ve tried are GarageBand and MuseScore… the latter I thought would be great but it only seems to use MIDI for note entry, not duration so you can’t just play the phrase and record it. And as far as I know you can’t export from GarageBand into a form tools like MuseScore can use… ideally I would like it available in both so I can easily insert a guide melody for recording a take, or whatever.

I know tools like Sibelius are used by the pros but for a casual user who doesn’t want to spend ages learning the software, is there anything out there? Am I right to think MIDI is the only real option, or can modern software just as easily pick out the notes from my guitar playing these days?

I use GB for recording but have been thinking for a while about getting Logic Pro so if this is an area there’s a big difference, that’s useful to know.

Thanks for any suggestions, insight, etc :slight_smile:

Generally speaking, most DAWs will record real-time MIDI, including note length and velocity. You can then manually edit the length and velocity of notes and quantise to lock it to grid if you like.

You should then be able to export the Midi file and import into MuseScore or similar.




Thanks Keith. I hadn’t twigged the ease of export/import of MIDI files between different software. A quick google shows that even GarageBand can export Midi so as you say, probably using the DAW to capture/polish the raw melody makes sense in this scenario… quickly record it then listen back, tweak, etc.


I you are an Apple user, try the free JustChords app. It has midi settings, can record your inputs and is a great all round songbook.