Cues in Drum-Part - not possible?

Finally solved the problem of the unwanted staff change for all rests before a cue in the single line percussion part. It’s not elegant but it works:

  1. Create the cues with an invisible 5-line instrument as discussed above. Sections preceding each cue in the single line percussion part will be in a 5-line staff. This is undesirable.

  2. Create another player of the identical single line instrument. Do not include it in the score layout.

  3. Use it to create graphics to paste over the improperly staved sections.

See attached for examples

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I’m new to Dorico and to this forum, so I’m not sure if this has come up or could be helpful. The workaround I came up with for adding instrument cues to drum drum and percussion parts was to create a cue in a different instrumental part, cut it and then paste it into the drum part. I then selected rhythmic cue from the properties window and the cue appeared above the drum slashes. So, If I wanted a trumpet rhythm cue above my drum slash notation, I would create a temporary cue in the bass part, cut it (Cmd+X) and then paste it into the drums. It seems to work for getting instrumental cues into drum/percussion parts. Any changes to the source material also automatically updates in the cue as you’d expect. Seems like it’s a good solution for the OPs first problem.

Hi James,
Welcome to the forum, and thanks for sharing. Brilliant workaround!

Yes! Welcome and thank you!


I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the method used here to create a melodic cue in a drum part. My particular challenge is to have the drummer see an alto saxophone melody. Is there a step-by-step set of instructions for this somewhere?

Create Alto Sax cue and put it in an empty stave. Then copy/cut the pasted cue and paste in the drum staff.

Does anyone know why there has to be a workaround at all? Sorry to compare this with Sibelius - as a Sibelius user tempted by the price reduction for Dorico, it’s somewhat inevitable - but I definitely prefer it that in Sibelius I can do cues in the same way for all instruments, without needing a workaround; and also that I can select a group of instruments that are to have the same cue, and paste-as-cue into all of them in one go, which doesn’t seem to be possible in Dorico. Dorico cues are very neat (and certainly very good if you want a cue in the same bar as ‘main’ notes) but in such instances, they definitely take longer to do.

It’s the downside to percussion kits working the way they do. In Sibelius, percussion kits aren’t really any different to any other staves: they’re just a stave. In Dorico, each percussion instrument has its own internal stave, but what the user sees can be
a) individual staves for each percussion instruments
b) a grid (with multiple percussion instruments on it)
c) a five-line stave (with multiple percussion instruments on it)
This presentation of percussion instruments can be different per layout - you can give the percussionist(s) single line, but save paper in the conductor’s score with everything condensed onto a five-line stave.
This is infinitely more flexible than Sibelius’s handling of percussion, but there are flipsides.

Try this. It doesn’t work.

You can’t show a melody on an unpitched staff. When you copy and paste a cue of a pitched instrument onto an unpitched instrument, the cue becomes unpitched. If you need to show a pitched cue on an unpitched staff, you’ll need to assign a pitched instrument to the player holding the percussion kit, then add the cue to that instrument, which should (provided instrument changes are allowed) cause the cue to appear by way of an instrument change at the appropriate point. In Engrave mode you can then hide the redundant label or labels that warn you about the switch to and from the pitched instrument.


Are you planning on making this function somewhat less convoluted, in a future release? This is the kind of time-consuming workaround that drives me back to Sibelius.


Great - thanks. :slight_smile:

I think I need more elaboration on “if instrument changes are allowed” because I’m having a devil of a time trying to figure out how to have the drummer switch to a pitched instrument (alto sax in this case) at a specific measure. I have the drummer “player” assigned to both drumset and alto sax, with the drumset as the shown instrument in the score currently.

Take a look at the attached – hopefully it will be instructive. If not, holler. (381 KB)

Checked out the example. I see it’s possible - no idea how to get there. I think I have everything set up the same in the Setup Mode that matters. When I select a section to add as a cue, the dialogue doesn’t even give me an option if I’m trying to add a cue to the drum part, even with the alto sax as an additional instrument for the drumset “player”. And copying and pasting in the melody doesn’t force an instrument change either, so I just get the rhythmic stuff with drumset noteheads. I have no idea how the instrument change works. I would expect something like a popup option or a menu command where I select the measure I’d want an instrument change and select something like “Instrument change->Alto Saxophone” but I’m not finding anything like that.

Instrument change is automatic in Dorico. Display the galley view in Write mode (alt-cmd-2) and you’ll see all the instruments held by the players. As soon as something is written for an instrument, it will appear in Page view. If the previous music was played on another instrument, this new material will display an instrument change. Just make sure that the same player only plays one instrument simultaneously :wink:

This video shows you how instrument changes work.

Ah, I had to go to Galley view, apparently. Missed that detail. Thanks.

Very clever, thank you. Only in Dorico would you need a flute part to create a workable drum set part.

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