Custom Percussion

Using Dorico 4.3, and this is crossposted to FB…

Percussion Question, double-posted to the forum too @ :
I’m looking to engrave a part for strings that makes extensive use of percussion on the instrument - knuckles on the front of the instrument, tapping the side, etc. I’m trying to make something like this, but I’m wondering if Dorico can help speed up my workflow? It’s for kids (ages 9-18), so the repeated glyphs are necessary.
At the philosophical (?) level, I have the three lines labelled ‘front, side, back’ (i.e., of the instrument), with noteheads / glyphs changing how the instrument is struck.

  • How can I change how to input the notes so that it’s automatically a square / x / regular notehead? Currently I have to change each one manually.
  • Is there a way to have a glyph automatically generated with a specific technique? I have them set up as custom playing techniques, but again, have to manually enter even though it’s the same every time. (I can imagine a solution involving selecting + filtering, but would prefer something at the level of input just for my own workflow / creativity.)
  • For rehearsal purposes, it would be nice have some approximate sounds, like a bassier thump for heel of the hand, a clicking sound for fingernails, a high drum for fingertips, etc. so the kids can practice along. How can I have multiple INSTRUMENT SOUNDS on the same line in a grid setup? I’ve found how to do it in a five line staff but grid is much preferred. I’d MUCH prefer to not have make a second score / flow merely for playback.
  • Finally, these aren’t like “bongos Nos. I - XII” or something, so is there a way to turn OFF that auto numbering? The staves are connected vertically to the instrumental part (violin, cello, etc.)


Here’s a bass-y thump and knocking on the side of the cello. The auto-numbering is ridiculous since each instrument is divided into 2 parts (hard and easy) and EACH part of the 10 has percussion on the string’s body…

Here’s fingertip on front of instrument, following by slapping the side and rolling fingernails