Align upstroke and downstroke or alternative

I am using the upbow and downbow playing techniques to indicate upstroke and downstroke for a guitar part. If I remember correctly from a Berklee guitar book, but even so there might be better way to do it now, these are the symbols used and not the little arrows.
So far so good but these symbols are aligned even when in the pentagram we have the actual notes, as in my case, and not the slashes with stems. I believe it is easier to read them if they are aligned.
Is there a way to achieve it or a better way to notate guitar strokes?
I think the arpeggio-like arrows on the side are to be avoided due to the length of the passage.
Thank you in advance.

I’d just be using the up/down arrow Playing Technique from the guitar menu:

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Thank you. Probably the use of the bow strokes is a bit dated. What about the alignment?

I’m sorry, I don’t completely understand what you mean?

Edit: If you mean do they align in that same vertical position then yes they do.

Well, I for one happily use the bow strokes indications for guitar. I might be biased however, since I played violin as a teenager, but once you introduce these markings to students, they get it and use them.
What do you mean by “pentagram”?


I think it might be another term for the staff (penta- indicates 5, the staff has 5 lines), but one which I have not encountered in my 55+ years of music-making.

In English, at least, the term “pentagram” usually refers to a 5-pointed star, often associated with paganism, magic, the mystic, and similar beliefs and practices.

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Well, this is music for a guitarist…

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Sorry, I mean horizontally. This is a transcription from a mandolin part. Since the player is clearly picking the high notes only with the upstrokes I thought to be as most accurate as I can. But I think that this passage is more readable if the strokes, arrows or whatever, are on the same line.


In “Behind Bars” the use of arrows is suggested. I believe that in the past the symbol was borrowed from the strings.

I don’t have time to dig into your project (not that you’ve posted it anyway), but see Help with guitar tab layout please - #8 by pianoleo

  1. Make Line Body that doesn’t actually draw a line.
  2. Build that into a Line.
  3. Set upbow and downbow PTs to use said Line as their transition line.
  4. Group Playing Techniques.

Steps 1-3 only have to be done once. As long as you save each of those things as defaults they’ll carry through to new projects automatically.


You can also select the strokes you want aligned, group them with a right click, and then remove the continuation lines in Engrave Mode. I just tried this, it works.


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It certainly works. Setting global defaults that work for you is quicker in the long run than repeatedly overriding defaults that don’t work for you, though.

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Ops, the Italian slipped here. Pentagramma is the Italian term for 5-line staff. I am so used to a plethora of Italian musical terms!

turns out I didn’t actually read your post. :face_with_open_eyes_and_hand_over_mouth:
Like, none of it… Super embarrassing. :expressionless:
I just read “custom line” and assumed you wanted to make a custom line with upbow and downbow endpoints, or the like…

Obviously, your solution is perfect!
I’m not removing my post, so that others can learn how NOT to do it efficiently…



Yes, Mandolin notation takes its cues from Violin notation not Guitar. Yet another example where Gould should be ignored.

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