An Algorithm for Optimal Guitar Fingering

University essay from KTH/Skolan för datavetenskap och kommunikation (CSC); KTH/Skolan för datavetenskap och kommunikation (CSC)

Author: Vladimir Grozman; Christopher Norman; [2013]

Keywords: ;

Abstract: Almost every note on the guitar can be played in several different locations, using one of several fingers. The number of ways a musical piece can be played therefore grows exponentially with the number of notes in the piece. Several things influence a guitar player’s choice of fingering. This study focuses on the biomechanical difficulty, using dynamic programming and a rule-based cost function to find the fingering that is easiest to play. The rules were mostly proposed by Mårten Falk, a guitar teacher at Lilla Akademien. The algorithm is limited to monophonic music. It was evaluated by Anders Eriksson, a guitar teacher at Lidingö Music School, on five classical music pieces. The produced fingerings were fully playable, though a few oddities were present, mostly stemming from the algorithm’s short sightedness: only adjacent notes were considered by the cost function.

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