Badges, and trying to get started on Dorico

I see that I have been awarded an “Anniversary” badge, for no apparent reason other than I have been trying (mostly unsuccesfully) to get Dorico to work. I am nowhere near writing music with this software, and the problems so often mentioned in the Forum only makes me realise how difficult (maybe impossible) it is for me to get any useful, logical, and helpful information from this software. The forum is taking much of the flak for no user guide for new users, and different approaches to getting far in music writing on the basis of info available at the beginning of getting used to Dorico.

Perhaps I should go somwhere else to try to get my musical ideas - I am so disappointed in the many issues that seem to be part of this comprehensive but opaque software. Have I wasted my time and money ? I am not able to answer this yet, but the omens are not good.

There is extensive, well-written Help documentation online, plus a PDF version. There is also a huge number of tutorial videos, working through various workflows and goals.

On top of that, other users, plus the Dorico team, willingly provide help and encouragement on this forum. A quick look at your recent posts show that all of your questions have been gratefully answered.

What are you still having trouble with?

What kind of music do you typically deal with? For instance, Solo Piano and Elementary Concert Band are widely divergent styles, calling for different approaches to using the software. Knowing what you’re dealing with might help others to offer more specific suggestions.

Sadly, there is no single volume Dorico tutorial where one can, at their leisure, go thru progressive steps to learn the basics, then intermediate and then more advanced techniques. The You Tube videos are excellent, but lack an organized, progressive overview.

Thank you for your reply. I am still asking probably basic questions, as the answers to these are not obviously available : You mention Help documentation online - it has to be searched for , and could form the basis of a simple “Getting started” booklet. I have yet to find the PDF version, unless you are talking about the enormous (1600 pages plus) booklet, which again does not help anyone starting out.

The videos are good, but why is there not equivalent set of videos as Anthony Hughes has made for SE ? A 3.5 version would be much larger, but would answer many of the simpler introductory questions which appear in the forum. I have looked in vain in these videos before asking questions, but these would be answered in this more up to date set of videos.

I am indebted to the very helpful answers I get from the forum, but is this the best way to ensure that all initial questions can be answered ? To keep asking basic questions in this way, as no other possibilities seem to be available can be an intimidating exercise for a ‘Newbie’ , and possiibly make them feel like I do at the moment - it is too difficult, opaque, there are no simple ways to start successfully.

Sorry for the moan, but when I was told I had gained an “anniversary” badge, it did rather emphasise the point that I am not yet getting very far, and that maybe a time for reflection is in order.

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A better and more complete version of the existing “First steps” chapter in the manual is in progress, as we know it’s important to help new users get familiar with the ins and outs of Dorico. The 3.5 manual is indeed quite large, as it’s a comprehensive reference resource that is also designed to be easily searchable online.

Other users have written their own takes on help for beginners which you can find online. There are also some short exercises written by John Barron.

The Getting Started with Dorico SE video series should also be useful to all new users, as it covers some key functionality available in all Dorico versions.

Bill - how can I help? What are you struggling with?

Dorico’s learning curve is steep it’s true. No shame in being frustrated with it.

Bill, I’ve written a Beginner’s Guide, and I offer private tutoring via Zoom that has helped quite a number of professionals.

When you’re stuck on something, just ask here. You’re almost guaranteed to get an answer within minutes.

Can I encourage Bill to persist in getting to grips with Dorico. It will do almost all (at the moment) he needs, and the output is very good. I say this from my own experience: new software is always daunting, and Dorico seems at first to be more daunting than most, possibly because of its unique approach. In the end, you will find it easier and more logical than Sibelius. I agree a beginner’s guide to getting started would be useful, but the videos and user guide really do provide all you need to get to grips with this program, and it is well worth the effort.