Gripe With ‘Release’ Bends in Guitar Notation

Comments in another thread prompted me to look at a video that discusses TAB Notation in Dorico 3.

I am interested in the opinions of other composers for guitar/guitarists on the manner in which Dorico treats release bends.

In this video, at around 6:10, Anthony discusses release bends:

In the example, the note A is selected and then released to the G. I am happy that this was chosen as a matter of expedience but, for what it’s worth, you couldn’t release the bend of an A on the third string to the open 3rd G without having bent the note behind the nut!

My real issue is that releases can’t really be defined without having notated the pitch that the bend has come from originally, or at least an interval prior to that. This is normally notated by a stemless pre-bend note head in parentheses immediately prior to the pitch of the note to be released.

May I request that the release function be revised to include a pre bend notehead, perhaps with options for interval?

I would love to hear thought on this.


I’m by no means an expert when it comes to playing the guitar, but Dorico simply produces a release when you have a bend between two notes where the second note is lower than the first. If you want a pre-bend, you can add one to the first, upper note.

Yes. I noticed this anomaly. It is possible to do if you are Jerry Donahue though!