Barré chord fingering annotations for (classical) guitar

I have just started using Dorico for my classical guitar compositions, and overall I really like it! However, there is one common fingering annotation that regretfully seems to be missing or at least seems incomplete: barré fingering for the left hand. Traditionally, this is typeset as follows:

Screenshot 2021-06-26 at 22.42.57

  1. The ‘C’ character is often used to indicate it concerns a chord fingering, followed by an arabic number indicateing fret position. Alternatively, a roman number is used to indicate barré chord fingering.
  2. Barré fingering annotation can indicate a semi-barré (typically a “1/2” is prepended) or full-barré (default, covering all strings involved)
  3. The roman or arabic numerals that are used to indicate the fret position can actually be inferred automatically from the chord notes. (automatic prefil but with possibility to override would be awesome)
  4. An horizontal scope (dotted or uninterupted) line may be used to indicate which notes are in scope.

Being able to use the above would actually complete Dorico’s essential fingering feature set for (classical) guitar and increase the product’s attractiveness to guitarists.

You can easily achieve that with custom playing techniques:

I would just add that if you wish to indicate a specific fret, Roman numerals should be used. In the examples you post, the context and intent is clear, but the convention is to use only Roman numerals, as in the second one.

Hi @ludwignobel, thanks for the suggestion! I will have a look for this work-around. I did not look at “playing techniques” because this is really guitar fingering and not some (custom) technique, so I suppose there is much to say for having it show up with in the fingering sections (e.g. next to “Plucked Fingering” also “Barré fingering”) … but I see how I can get it in the end through Engraving Mode.

@rpearl , thanks. You are right. Without “B” (barré) or “C” (cejillo or capotasto) preceding the numeral it refers to just the fret position. I agree that Roman numerals are more prevalent, and sometimes also Arabic numberals are encountered (e.g. C5 instead of CV) in sheet music from some publishers (not many though; this example comes from Belwin-Mills (US)).

It’s not a workaround, but the Dorico way of handling this kind of symbols.
And you don’t have to go to engraving mode either, you can create and edit playing techniques from write mode.

Still, to reiterate, it would be useful to have a native Barré/hand position designating system that’s tied to properly realized TAB and possibly automated bracketing/fingering in the music staff.

Cheers,
Benji

'Custom" doesn’t mean unusual or non-standard -it just means we have the ability to add, extend or modify those that come with the product by default. As a guitarist (of sorts) I agree with you- I think it would be a very useful notation to have.

Hi dev__dorico.
I’m a classical guitarist using Dorico and created my own Playing Techniques for guitar barrés.
They reside within my Dorico 3.5 userlibrary as part of an xml file.
If you wish I could email you the file with instructions on where to put it (on a Mac - sorry, others will know where a PC puts it) and how to use it.

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I noticed the same thing and even if you can easily achieve what you need with custom Playing Techniques, but for the fret position we should create one PT for each fret position.
Moreover positions indicators are used by the strings as well, even though mainly in school books.

I think there is room for a small improvement adding a couple of options to the property tab for the
“C” (barré) playing technique:

  1. Show or hide the “C” (so that we can have just the numeral suffix and not the prefix, i.e. “II” instead of “C II”)
  2. Type of line: solid or dotted and with or without the inward hook.

Hi Beppe
I did that with my Playing Techniques - just different entries in the PT Popover.
p1 for 1st position; c1 for barré in first position; hc1 for half-barré in 1st position.
They have the optional continuation line and go up to the 15th fret.