Guitar Notation Help

Hello Everyone,

I am a somewhat new Dorico user and am loving a lot of the features and workflow functions. I am finishing up a few pieces for guitar and would like to know if there are any solutions or workarounds to a couple of notation things I’d like in my score.

  1. Is there a practical way to write in a Scordatura tuning as a diagram? I’d like to show the tuning either before the treble clef or as an independent staff before the beginning of the piece.

  2. More modern notation of bar chords in guitar music use a bracket with roman numeral above to indicate position. I know there is a bracket under the ornamentations tab but there are moments where I need the same chord to be rolled. Is there any way to use a bracket and an arpeggio sign at the same time? I have tried adding a glyph in custom playing techniques, but unfortunately there is no one size fits all and the glyphs aren’t adjustable after the fact.

Thank you all in advance!

Dear Cruz,

The scordatura could be achieved with info in this thread:

You can achieve the arpeggiated/bracketed chord by entering the chord with the bracket and then add the arpeggiation to the next note. Enter engrave mode and drag the arpeggiation indication back to the desired position next to your chord.

Sorry, I had to edit this post because I forgot the link and I just tried the arp/bracket thing. Pretty straightforward :slight_smile:

Welcome to the forum, Christian. We are working on guitar notation at the moment and brackets etc. for string and barre indications are among the things we’re planning to support.

Unfortunately there’s no practical way to use both the non-arpeggio and arpeggio signs on the same chord. I guess one approach would be to add one or two notes in another voice and add the bracket to them, then hide them by making them transparent, then finally moving the non-arpeggio line in Engrave mode.

Did you mean a chord like this?

If yes, see description above.

Sorry for the convoluted messages - trying to get the kids out of the bath and get this done before dinner is on the table!


Ha ha, I just noticed that the first a in that line should be fingered with 4…

Excellent. Can’t wait for the guitar updates! I’ll try and implement a couple of these workarounds for the brackets.

I viewed the scordatura options. Looks like its necessary to adjust the size for a dashed barline. Are there any other options? I occasionally use dashed bars for odd meters and such.

If you search this thread there has been discussion of putting the scordatura or incipit the beginning of a score and having everything else in the “coda” to get a gap. That might work for you, might not. Sorry I don’t have a link for you.

Hi guitar_cruz,

I looked again at your first post and given that you could use the scordatura as an independent staff at the start of the music, you could create it as an Ossia (see attached):

Start inputting some notes, control click (Mac) on one > staff > create Ossia above. Note, if you do this on the first note it will include the clef and the time signature. You don’t want the time signature in your scordatura… Note: I am not sure if you can alter the length of the ossia staff so the smaller note length you can chose, the shorter the ossia (I selected a quaver). Create the alternate tuning, select the notes and then reduce the stem adjustment in engrave mode (I went to -9 1/2 spaces). Add a cleff to this staff. Add text if you like.

You can adjust the space between staffs in Engrave Mode too so I dragged the ossia up away from the parent staff.

You can’t drag the ossia staff around left and right independent of it’s parent staff as it is locked to a rhythmic position so place it early in the bar to keep it close to the edge of the page. I think that this looks reasonable…

Incidentally, if you prefer the other option where you hide the dashed barlines, maybe you could use the half barlines to indicate groupings in complex metres. One instance that I can think of is Bach’s use of a half barline in the Allegro of Prelude, Fugue and Allegro BWV 998 where the work is in 3/8 but every second barline is a half which we infer as giving it a slight 6/8 feel.

Might not be your style but worth trying to see if it works for you…

You will notice that I have put a line extending the V pos indication. Normally this would be hooked at the end but I haven’t really experimented with how to get that. This line is a gliss. without the text gliss.

If you’re going for a floating scordatura, you could always just make it a separate flow, within a separate music frame:

Hi guitar_cruz,

Instead of using a bracket you could use the C prefix before a Roman numeral to indicate a bar. You can also use different fractions to indicate how many strings to bar. For instance ½CV for a half bar at 5th fret.

The bracket would be nice too but this would work while we wait for the fabled guitar update!!

Here are two results for scordatura using ossias. I actually really like how they look, and being able to move them up and input metronome markings and such in between them does make it look like its independent of the staff below. I did a bit of trickery to try and get the ossia closer to the left but couldn’t find a way to get rid of the barline in the main staff. I’ll probably stick to the second one as you suggested Sadhaka.

On a side note, how do you get the half barlines like you mentioned for BWV 998?

Yea this is the easy solution. I like the solutions here, plus some scores use a combination of C, roman numeral plus the bracket for even more clarification. Just exploring the possibilities for now!

Dashed barlines are in the barlines sections of the right panel. Alternatively, just invoke the Shift+B popover and type : Enter

I found a setting using the pedal from playing techniques that works pretty well! Check the images
Screen Shot 2019-05-25 at 2.51.57 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-05-25 at 2.52.34 PM.png

If you posted them, they didn’t stick. I’d like to see them.

Here they are!
Screen Shot 2019-05-25 at 2.37.32 PM.png
Screen Shot 2019-05-25 at 2.37.12 PM.png

Yeah looks great and now that you mention it I may have read about that in another thread. Thanks for the tip!

I think pianoleo was writing about this but wrote dashed. Regardless, all of the barlines are in the right pane…

All of them? I remember there is a triple barline, and it doesn’t appear in the panel :wink: