Here is the backstory, scroll down if you just want the instructions! I picked up the guitar about 20 years ago, when my company at the time gave us $1,200 a year for personal growth/enrichment activities that could have nothing to do with our actual job. That was an AWESOME job perk. Too awesome, I think. It only lasted two years before the program got nixed.
At any rate, I used the money in year one to buy a Fender Stat Pack and guitar lessons at MARS Music, a now defunct music store in Atlanta, GA. I think I got ten, thirty-minute lessons out of the deal. Well, my teacher was a tool, and far more interested in showing off the songs he could play for me instead of teaching me. I think at one lesson I spend most of the time cleaning a virus off his personal laptop with the promise of extra lessons. MARS ended up closing and the teacher asked me if I was interested in continuing with him outside of the store, and I never returned that email.
Thus began a two-decade journey of self-study! I’ve been through it all, probably just like you – tabs, YouTube videos, random co-workers and acquaintances that play, and various “lifetime” teaching websites. Aside from the suspect quality of some Internet tab submissions, I had no trouble finding the recipes and play-along tracks to learn at my own pace. I did play a few regular guys but song selections was as random as the mix of the dudes in “the band”, and most attempts at original music fell flat.
Fast-forward to one Christmas in the 2012/2013 timeframe when my (now) wife bought me the original Rocksmith CD/game kit that changed a huge facet of my self-study. I could go on for days about the benefit of Rocksmith, the two subsequent upgrades, Rocksmith 2014 and Rocksmith Remastered, but you already know that, and that isn’t why you are here.
Just to wrap up the backstory, I’ve downloaded tons of DLC over the years and have gotten really great results from the software. The ONE thing that I always found missing was the ability to just sit and stare at the music/tabs in order to absorb/study it not streaming by my face. I’ve been searching for a solution and just refused to believe that we couldn’t get those arrangements out of the game onto a screen or sheets of paper. After all, it’s coded in there, so it must exist. I’ve been on the hunt for a long time, and finally found the winning combination of something that actually works with minimal frustration and no-longer-supported-open-source-tools.
How to export Rocksmith Song Tablature
1.The tool that you want to use is the FREE app, RocksmithToTab converter – as of today (02/19/2019), the direct download link is here.
For convenience, the official documentation is here, and gets you Windows users through it all effortlessly. (NOTE: I couldn’t get “Mono” to work, hence the rest of all this)
You’ll also need TuxGuitar, the FREE Mac app that will read the resulting .GP5 files if you don’t have Guitar Pro.
2.Since I am now a Mac user (long story, and still don’t like it as much as Windows for most things), this is where the trouble begins. But you’re in luck, I figured it out today, leveraging my Windows virtual machine.
I recognize this may be a WTF?! moment for some of you, the promise of a Mac solution but still needing Windows but like I said, I’ve had ZERO luck with the all-Mac solutions to date. I use a Windows VM regularly on my Mac, so it’s an every day tool for me. If you want a direct, failsafe solution and don’t have a Windows VM, Parallels offers a free 14-day trial and includes a Windows trial with it. In their own words, “Get started within minutes”. NOTE: I share my Mac files with my Windows VM for easy access across the two platforms, which makes this a cinch.
3.You’ll need to identify where your Rocksmith files are located on your HDD. I use the Steam version of the game on my Mac, and you’ll need to unhide files in order to get through in to the right “Library” folder: Macintosh HD/Users/pelokee/Library/Application Support/ Steam/steamapps/common/Rocksmith2014
songs.psarc is the key indicator file that the converter tool is looking for, but (for me) Spotlight wouldn’t find that, hence the reason for this step. I knew I was in the right place because the directory was almost 9gb in size
4.Copy that full Rocksmith directory (in my case, the whole 9gb folder) to somewhere more accessible by your Windows VM – I used the standard Downloads directory. The goal is to get the converter tool under Windows to be able to read/ingest your Rocksmith song files for the conversion process
5.In your Windows VM, launch RocksmithToTabGUI.exe
6.You’ll see the following dialog box, just click OK :
7.Here is where you will navigate to the directory you just copied your files to:
8.You can fiddle with the other fields depending on your specific setup, then hit the Create tabs! button for the conversion to begin. Within a few minutes, you’ll be done, and the directory you specified will open up (make sure you set the target directory to a folder you can access from your Mac!)
9.Lastly, flip back over to your Mac, launch TuxGuitar, and Open the desired song file. Just like in Rocksmith you can choose the Lead, Rhythm, or Bass track/tab. That’s it!
I hope this gets your through to the endgame a lot faster than it took me to get to the bottom of all this.
Rock on \m/