FR: Percussion Tie

I ran into an issue, working on a piece that was sent off to the printers.

Here is the screen shot (snare drum stems up, bass drum stems down):

The issue I had, is while the slur works well in most situations, it does not work well in all. This example would look better if I could use a tie, as it stays out of the way of the bass drum part. The problem with using a tie in this situation is that both the start and end of the buzz roll needs an accent. Using the tie, I cannot easily show an accent on both start and end notes.

It would be nice if there was a percussion tie, that acted similar to a slur, but was drawn like a tie.

I know that something like this is not high priority amongst all of the other features that people are requesting. I thought I would throw this out here since this is the first time I have come across the issue.


Hi Robby,

Perhaps you’re engraving for a client and have no choice but, if not, is there a difference between having a tie vs not having a tie at all?

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Unfortunately no. A tie in percussion rolls indicates to connect the release of the roll. No tie, would mean to put a small amount of separation between the roll and the release.

Here is a better example of the issue experienced:

Screenshot 2024-01-10 at 18.29.17


One more thing to add to the feature request. It would be nice if there was a token for percussion instruments used in the percussion kit.

Screenshot 2024-01-10 at 18.29.02

It is very common in percussion parts to put the instruments used under the part name.



I am working on a solution. Just testing it out now and making sure that the steps to achieve it are accurate. Give me about 10 minutes and I should have it ready for you. It’s a workaround and is a little fiddly, but it should achieve the appearance you want.

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So why not flip the tie/slur…?

Flipping the slur, puts it stem to almost note head. That would require A LOT of fiddling to get each slur, note head to note head.

Using the tie, you cannot place an accent on the first and second note in the tie chain.


Well that’s something I didn’t know!

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You’ve got 3 minutes.

This is very much a workaround to achieve the appearance you want, and it will affect playback unless you suppress the extra notes which I describe.

In another “instrument/voice” in the drum set (in the file I have attached, I chose Tom. 1), enter the notes which are being tied to (on the first beat of each bar). Select them, add the accents and flip their stem direction. In Properties, Suppress playback.

In Setup mode, click on the three dots at the end of Drum Set and choose Edit Percussion Kit… so that the chosen voice is on the same space as the snare drum.
I did this by dragging the Tom 1 to the same level as the snare.
In the score, the Tom 1 notes should now move to the same space as the snare.

Go into Engrave mode, select the notes and change the Voice column index. You will probably need to do that for the bass drum notes and maybe other notes also.

There will doubtless be extra rests being displayed as a result of the additional notes. These are easily removed using Remove Rests.

PercAccents.dorico (3.9 MB)


That is a work around for sure… but it will actually work.

Thanks for the effort!!! I’ll give it a go in the future.

However, I would still like to see a percussion tie at some point in the future. I know there are so many other requests that mean to more to more of the user base.


I really appreciate you opening my eyes to this work around. I appreciate the wonderful advice.

The only issue is that it is possible to not have enough rests in a measure.

Screenshot 2024-01-10 at 18.53.31

I will continue to play with this idea to see what I can work out.


It can be done,

I found that deleting the bass drum note(s) will sometimes delete the note(s) above as well. I used Cut instead.

PercAccents2.dorico (975.0 KB)

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An alternate FR to achieve the same result (and perhaps more flexibility in general) would be to allow articulations to be placed on any note in a tie chain. That would be my personal preference. And yes, I know it’s a bit of a violation of the “Dorico way,” but it’s a part of the Dorico way that’s not universally popular. The genius of treating note durations as single entities (and it is genius) has some unintended consequences that sometimes turn off new users and sometimes complicate life for all users. It’s probably a difficult coding challenge to keep the fundamental idea while eliminating some unintended consequences, but if the Dorico team can pull it off, I think it would be a win for everybody.

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Another approach: Get one slur adjusted to taste, and you can copy it with all its adjustments.

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