Capo above a vocal line not supported

I work on a lot of music which is a single vocal staff (or sometimes a full 4-part choral piece) with guitar chords. I am currently transposing a song where the original has capo chords above the actual chords, but Dorico does not allow that. Capo access is only above a fretted instrument staff. It would be very useful to be able to put capo chords on any staff that has guitar chords above it.

I’m planning to use a guitar staff as the vocal line as a workaround and see how that turns out. Not really happy with that solution, though.


Ed Roberts

This is already supported - you can set chord symbols and chord diagrams with a capo to appear above any staff, because the setup for these is defined on the player, not the instrument. To change the capo definition for a player, use Setup mode:

Similarly if you had a guitar player you could set a different capo definition on the chord symbols/diagrams than on the guitar notation itself - you sometimes see this in published scores where the chord symbols/diagrams represent the rhythm guitar and the staves represent the lead guitar.

1 Like

Thanks! Exactly what I was looking for!

I’m curious about capo in two different places. Under guitar as the instrument, click on the three dots and get:

And under “Strings and Tuning” click on “capo”:

This is a very useful diagram for a non-guitarist (me) and I assumed that this was how to insert capo chords in general. The player capo is quite primitive in comparison…

…but the idea of a negative capo setting is puzzling to me.

Thanks again!


The capo definition for the instrument is more complicated because you can define a partial capo. Partial capos don’t have any effect on chord symbols as they don’t give rise to a transposition, so they aren’t included in the equivalent dialog for the player.

The other reason for the differences between the two types of definition is that with the instrument it’s possible to define a transposition that isn’t associated with a capo. This can be useful if you’re dealing with detuned guitars (where the whole guitar is tuned down a semitone or a tone).

Documentation of capos starts here – there are several levels of how to show capos/control what they affect, in order to suit different use-cases.