Having a skill set in some form of chart preparation software like Finale or Sibelius can come in handy for many things but I learned this week it can be a help when trying to replicate a sampled guitar track.
I use finale every week to create hymn lead sheets from hymnals for the hymn service at my church, so my chops are fairly tight and ready to go. Recently I was working for a client who had sent me a track to play on. He sent me an mp3 of the track sans guitar plus a sample guitar mock up of what he wanted the guitar track to do. The problem was that his samples had some strumming effect on them that made it pretty unclear as to what pattern he wanted me to play.
I didn't know how unclear it was until I sent him what I thought was a finished track and he informed me that it wasn't what he wanted. Usually we don't have a problem with my interpretation of his guitar parts, but in this case he was really married to the sample he sent me. Upon a closer I was even more confused. But I figured out the pattern. Or what I thought was the pattern. Opened up Finale. Created a mini chart. Took a screen shot of the chart (command-shift-4). And sent him the jpg through iChat. With the question, "Is this right?".
"Yes" he shot back immediately. I was tracking within seconds and had the files sent to him within the hour. Here's the chart I created on the fly...