Classical Guitar Indications

Dear Esermont,
You have Dorico 3.0… Wait until the whole 3 cycle is over to “judge” the team. I am quite confident that they will make good use of the feedback :wink:

I’m pretty sure one could download the release notes before buying the software. I’m shocked people don’t read these things if they are counting on a feature. :astonished:

I don’t see their release notes on Dorico’s website but I doubt they includes what is missing from Dorico 3 offer.

I have been waiting since Jan 2017 when I purchased Dorico, for the classical guitar notation. I had hoped since version 3 was advertised as having “sophisticated support for classical guitar notations” that it would include the basics. Roman Numeral fret locations can be found in ANY beginning classical guitar book of any consequence. In my copy of Christoper Parkening, Guitar Method, Vol. 1, copyright 1972, p. 70.

“The Bar. The bar is a required part of guitar technique. It alludes to depressing more than one string simultaneously on a single fret with the first or index finger of the left hand. It is used to facilitate fingering, most often as an easier way of fingering two or more notes on the same fret…. Notating a bar: The most common notation for a bar is a Roman numeral indicating the fret to be barred…. Sometimes a capital B (barre in French) or a capital C (cejilla in Spanish) is placed before the Roman numeral. Both means the same – to form a complete bar on the fret indicated by the Roman numeral. So there are three different way to notate a bar. Example: III, BIII, and CIII. When there is a ½ in front of any of these bar notations, then only half of the six strings are barred…. The bar is held for the value of the note or notes it produces. This is generally indicated by a line or dotted line above the staff following the Roman numeral [e.g., ½II]….”

That means that this notation feature should be fundamental and basic to any classical guitar notation package that advertises notation for classical guitar.

Again, Dorico has over promised and under performed.

I am sure the team will get it right. Sibelius 4 was a great package and I am sure Dorico 4 will be the beginning of something really special. I just wish I had waited to cross-grade until Dorico version 4 or 5 and if asked, I would suggest new users should wait until a later release.

So far, I have paid: $279.99 for the cross-grade, $99 for version 2, and $108.39 for version 3. That is $408.38 for a notation package that I can’t use because of its lack of features. Sweetwater sells the new version of Dorico 3 for $560 and crossgrade for $280. If I were a lawyer, I would sue Dorico for false advertising and ask for my money back and just wait until version 4 or 5.

No, I am an unhappy customer who has waited long enough.

Thank you in advance and there is no need for anyone to respond to this post, unless they are offering a buyout for existing owners.


Esermon, I’m very sorry that you’re disappointed with the guitar features in Dorico 3. I will happily create all of the barre indicators you might need up to whichever fret you require, with both B and C at the start, and send you a project with these included.

please remember that barre and position indicators (roman NB) are NOT playing techniques but fingering indications

Daniel, Thank you so much for your offer of barre indicators but I do not want a workaround to address this issue. The barre and barre indicator are part of one feature, not multiple. I do not want to add anything to a score that I will have to go back to later and cleanup, when the full feature is added to Dorico. Add the feature when it is ready. I will use other software until your team adds the feature, as I have been doing for years. I am patiently awaiting the next release but yes, I am disappointed and please, stop over promoting features of Dorico that are in development.

Supposed DP4 is released – what exactly is the difference regarding the amount of work between “cleaning up” a score from a previous version containing work-arounds and reworking a score created in another piece of software and imported/adopted to DP4……?…

Eddo, nobody - not even the development team - can possibly know that until they’ve implemented whatever features make it into Dorico 4.

Leo: I think Eddo was suggesting that Esermont consider the tradeoff between 1) cleaning up a Dorico score once the Roman numeral feature is properly implemented and 2) cleaning up a Sibelius score imported to Dorico via Music XML.

If the former is less work, Esermont would benefit from creating new scores in Dorico right now rather than continue working in Sibelius until this one feature is added.


I agree with Esermont that including Roman numerals with barre indicators “should be fundamental and basic to any classical guitar notation package that advertises notation for classical guitar,” and with SeeWhat that “barre and position indicators (roman NB) are NOT playing techniques but fingering indications.”

The guitar notation shortcomings aren’t deal-breakers for me, but one of the first things I looked for in Dorico Pro 3 was the Roman numeral position indicators. Like Esermon, I was stunned that they were missing.

I also would like to see these guitar-related Engraving Options:

  • include or omit the “C” from the barre bracket

  • choose between solid and dashed line for the bracket default (I realize this can be changed after the fact in the Properties window in Engrave mode.)

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I too agree that the classical guitar features are rather disappointing but the workarounds easier than in ver. 2:
Besides the things listed above I can add:
Gliss. can’t have text - text is ruled out for fretted instruments. So no portamento either.
The font for right- and left-hand fingerings are shared, making it impossible to use the interface with different fonts for the two hands.
No C with a vertical line to indicate “half-barre” only the ½C.

That said the guidelines between fingerings are really good, and so are the in-system fingerings. And the possibility to add lines to playing techniques is great. But I miss a lines without hooks, arrows etc. I know I can remove them one by one in engraving mode - but more general control would be fine. With the playing technique workarounds, I finally will use Dorico exclusively for my future engraving for guitar.

Thank you, bobk,

Yes, my post was indeed meant that way. I somehow seem to have a talent to confuse Leo :slight_smile: It’s not the first time :wink:
And yes, I was suprised, too, to not find Roman numerals and can only guess that they will hopefully be delivered in one of the minor updates within v.3. I wonder if it has to do with the implied semantics that affect automated TAB fingering.
I’d rather the barré indications didn’t contain any letters, just vertical and horizontal lines and the before-mentioned Roman numerals somewhere in between.
As to the vertical line, it clearly enough indicates if the barré is “half” or “full”. It is even more precise in that regard.
I also realized that creating a common fingering for several strings doesn’t create a barré indication, although this would be logical in my eyes.
And I miss a possibility to indicate which finger does the barré. I’m used to see it directly next to the vertical line, not next to the notes.
As for one-third-barrés across only two strings I would love to use a simple “staple” (which I can, but it’s not semantic).

That said, I am all the same impressed by the current result and ready to switch for good.

To keep everything in the same place…

Also the string nb, in Dorico, seem to have some confusing semantics as they appear (wrongly) in playing techniques and in the properties bottom at a different size.
they do not hide when you un-check “Show fingering” in Layout/players/fingering, although they are definitely also to put in the “fingering” semantic group

I hesitate to weigh in on this but some of the arguments are absurd. Barre indications may not be native in Dorico yet but as stated above, they are easily created as shown earlier in this thread. Dorico’s incredible flexibility allows for it. To imply that it isn’t available in Dorico is just wrong. And while you may argue that barre is a fingering, that’s not quite right either. Notes under the barre have fingerings. And, whatever you call it, a barre is notated like a playing technique as it usually (not always) applies to a span of notes. Just saying…

I’ve been trying to find a vertical hooked line that is extensible - like the Ornament->Arpeggiation->Non Arpeggio one without the top hook - for a guitar barré.
I thought I might be able to adapt this one but can’t find it anywhere under Engrave Mode->Playing Techniques nor Engrave Mode->Music Symbols.
I could make a hooked line in Playing Techniques - but this wouldn’t be extensible vertically.
I did find ‘Fingering left bracket plain’ and ‘Left bracket for hairpin’ but can’t find out how to change them.

Has anyone come up with a good answer here?

Might this barré be a feature in a Dorico 3 update?

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Eddo, sorry, I misunderstood.

Andy, we certainly expect to extend the capabilities of the program with regard to lines like this in future.

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Good to hear, Daniel; thanks in advance.

Leo, I am willing to forgive you for once :smiley:


I’ve just spent a while trying to figure out how to get the ‘gliss.’ text to show, but to no avail.