Liner Notes
The FATpick Blog

New guitarists often struggle with getting their hand in just the right position before playing a song. Until you've developed some muscle memory and familiarity with the feel of your guitar, it's easy - and confusing - to get screwed up by being off one string or one fret.

So as a beginner, starting a new song in a tab-player like FATpick or Yousician can be stressful. There's very little time to re-position your hands after using the keyboard or mouse to press "play".

One way that FATpick addresses this problem is to make the "target" you need to hit to start playing the song as large as reasonable. You don't necessarily need to "click" the play button, you can also hit the "P" key or even the spacebar on your keyboard to kick off the song. (To be fair, Yousician and other tab players also follow this convention.) But you've still only got a couple of seconds at best to move your hands from the keyboard to your guitar - and position them correctly - before the song starts playing. And if you pause in the middle of song, you may not even have that. It's frustrating to miss a few notes before you really start playing.

The the count-in feature - which adds a few on-tempo drumstick hits before the song starts playing - can also help, but it doesn't fully remove the time pressure.

So FATpick also gives you a way to start the song playback without even taking your hands off of your guitar: the sound-activated start mode.

When the sound-start mode is active, any clear "percussive" sound - a short pluck of a string, the word "Go!", etc. - will begin the playback. So with FATpick you can enable the sound-activated start mode, take as much time as you need to position your hands or get ready to play, and only then trigger the tab to start playing using a quick pluck, tap or voice command.

Sound-activated start mode is controlled by a button found among the media controls in upper-left corner of the tab player screen - next to the "play/pause" button and related controls.

To enable sound-activated start mode, click the button labeled with the "sound waves coming off a person" icon, like the one in the following image:

When the sound-start or voice-start mode is active, the button will be lit up in the "active" style. The exact style will depend on the theme you have chosen, but should be similar to what you see when you are actively clicking or hovering over a button. In the default theme, it looks like this:

While sound-start mode is active any suitably percussive sound from you or your guitar will start the tab playing, just as if you had hit the "play" button. Any count-in or other on-play effect you have enabled will be triggered as it normally would. When sound-activated start is enabled the "go!" sound really is just like clicking the play button.

Once playback has started - whether triggered by a sound, or clicking the play button, or hitting one of the equivalent keyboard shortcuts - sound-activated start mode will be automatically disabled (and the button will return to its normal style).

If you want to disable sound-start mode without starting playback, simply click the button again. Clicking the button will toggle the mode on and off.

FATpick is a guitar practice tool that makes playing real songs easy, engaging and fun.

Choose a song shared by another FATpick guitarist, or import custom songs from GuitarPro files. FATpick will display the score in an animated, interactive tablature viewer, synchronized with backing audio, that provides instant feedback on your accuracy and timing as you play along with any guitar.

You can download FATpick for free right now and start playing new songs in two minutes.

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