Baroque Guitar Chord Diagrams

Here’s a tricky one: I am writing a piece which includes the Baroque Guitar. The tuning that the performer uses and which is apparently fairly common for this instrument is: top to bottom: E4, B3, G3, D3, B2. In other words, it is the same tuning as a regular guitar minus the bottom E string. I can create a five stringed instrument by selecting a 5 string bass guitar and I can change the strings to the tuning I require in ‘Edit Strings and Tuning’. The problem is with the chord diagrams - By using a five string instrument, I get a five string chord diagram, but because the tuning I’m using is not a five string bass tuning, (or any other five-stringed instrument) I cannot get chord diagrams to represent this tuning properly. Does anyone know how I can achieve a five string chord diagram, using this Baroque Guitar tuning?

I suspect that I will have to use regular six-string guitar chord diagrams, and that the performer will just have to ignore the bottom string on the diagram, but I would really like them to represent the instrument accurately, if possible?

I must say that the overall Fretted Instrument implementation in Dorico is absolutely first rate. As a keyboard player I had not had any reason to investigate this aspect of the program until recently, but it is really excellent…Apart from my chord diagram issue for specifically a Baroque Guitar, which is not the end of the world, it is amazing to be able to create such comprehensive fretted instrument parts.

B2. In other words, it is the same tuning as a regular guitar minus the bottom E string

Either you mean A2, or it isn’t infact the same as standard tuning minus the string,.

Something to try…

Set the track to a standard 6 string guitar. Edit the Tuning, change the starting fret to 23 (or higher).

Now if you set it to use standard chord diagrams, it’ll always show an X on the bottom string, even if you have a note that would only be playable on it,. if it existed. That might be acceptable?

This won’t work if the low string really is a B and not an A, though.

This is just a reminder to all new users how versatile Dorico is.

I will absolutely never have a need for Baroque Guitar Chord Diagrams (I would probably pay a client instead of doing it). And I’m certain there are features that I rely on that others will never use - fantastic features.

There’s so much thought and detail in this program! And so we know that there’s so much to look forward to in the future.

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Yes, I did mean A2 and not B2.
I’ll try the 23rd fret thing in the morning…interesting idea, thanks.

I don’t have an answer but would like to point out that there are many & varied types of guitars or bass guitars nowadays with varied numbers of strings; so a “number of strings” problem would not be isolated to simply an antique guitar. i.e. there are bass guitars which have 5, 6, 7, or more strings (adding strings in both the bass direction and treble directions, meaning, extending the tonal range in both directions compared to a typical 4-string bass guitar). There are even 5 string Ukuleles now, instruments which could be considered modern/contemporary guitar (lute, really, or whatever).

This ought to “just work”. The list of tunings should include custom (user-defined) tunings as well as the built-in ones. For example, I followed your steps and modified the 5-string bass guitar and then I got this:

Note the “5 Strings: B2, D3, G3, B3, E4” tuning in the list. The only slight oddity here is that you will need to save, close and reopen the project in between changing the tuning for the instrument and trying to set the chord diagram tuning. This is an awkwardness with how the menus are built up.

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Fantastic! - Thank you Richard. I see what you are saying - When I booted up the song this morning, my custom tuning was indeed in the list of Chord Diagrams and when I selected it, all my Chord Diagrams updated to five strings.

You can basically customize any fretted string instrument to what ever tuning you are using, as I have just discovered. So the system is totally flexible. As Richard points out, once you do create a custom tuning, you have to save and reopen the song for that new tuning to appear in the list of Chord Diagrams. Then you can create your chord shapes in the Chord Diagram Library, hit the star and they will be available in all new projects. Very impressive implementation.

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