Guitar TAB and Chord diagrams

Does the Dorico team have future plans to implement Guitar TAB and Fret Box Chord diagrams? If so, any estimate of when? I use Sibelius currently but want to switch over to Dorico for seamless integration between Cubase Pro9 and Dorico.

Guitar TAB, yes; but no announced arrival date.
Not sure about fretboards, but they will likely also appear eventually.

They’re definitely in the future plans. I suspect they’ll be in the next big update…

I’m afraid guitar notation in general is too big for us to fit into our next big update, but we will absolutely add both guitar tab and guitar chord diagrams as soon as we can devote the time required to do a really good and thorough job on the implementation.

Ah, thanks for clarifying. ‘Really good and thorough’ is way better than quick. :wink:

Is there a chance to get a tuning editor alongside with a string amount editor – instead of simply getting a choice of some predetermined tunings – when you turn to guitar notation? It would allow for setting up templates for individual tunings and for notation of literally any guitar tuning (not yet) out there, plus it would allow for setting up any plucked instrument providing any string number (7-string jazz [George Van Eps, Howard Alden], 7-string Brazilian violão, 7-/8-string electric, 7-/8-/10-/11-string classical guitar, 6-10 string sliders/resonators/consoles, 10-string pedal steel [E9/C6] or 12-string pedal steel [U12] with their diverse and all-but-defined pedal and lever configurations, not to speak of the lack of a “unified” way of notating the latter). Of course this only makes senses when synced to TAB notation.

Thanks for your suggestion, Eddo. To be sure I understand, can I just clarify that when you say “tuning editor” you want to be able to specify not only the number of strings for an instrument (“string amount editor”) but also the starting pitch, and possibly even the arrangement of frets for each string? If so, that is indeed our plan: since not every fretted instrument has the same number of frets for every string (e.g. even the humble banjo) and since not every instrument has a chromatic fretboard (e.g. the dulcimer), we plan to make it possible to define the number of strings, the number of frets per string, the delta represented by each fret (including both regular and irregular patterns), and the starting pitch of each string. I think this will be a reasonably complete model of the characteristics of both the strings and fretboards of fretted instruments.

You do not cease to amaze me. Every detail is so very well thought ! Can’t wait to write my first guitar score with TAB ! Bravi Dorico team !!!

…I never even thought Dorico would be something I would have an interest in but with guitar tab and chord diagrams, I will just have to learn more about Dorico… Is this something that takes a year to introduce or longer? Just planning my approximate time line

Because of the depth of what we would like to do to implement support for guitar notation, it’s not something that will make it into this year’s big release, but I would certainly expect it to be something that we target for the major release after the next one.

I’m sure this request is on the list…
Can it support custom tunings of various stringed basses as well.

Daniel and team,

Now this is indeed stunning and I understand your (Daniel’s) statement dating from Feb 2nd!

If I might add to this, as a teacher I’m not even that much interested in TAB as in my opinion it isolates the TAB readers from the “proper notes reading” community, so I tend to go an extra (abstract) mile with my pupils and teach them notes, which is generally not a problem, and it enables them to learn one lingua franca for all instruments. Those who struggle reading notes struggle reading TABs, too, although the degree of abstraction is lower.
However, it is difficult to teach instruments that provide many strings and fretting possibilities if you want pupils to learn a specific fingering, which is the case with pedal steel guitar. In this case I rely on TAB to detail the fingering, accepting the drawback that pupils read the TAB instead of the notation. And yes, I usually have to do this manually, since I do not know of any reasonable other way.

Not knowing if the small market of pedal steelers is in your focus at all, I’d like to suggest two features:
1.) A possibility to separate notes from the TABs and to print/display them separately, thus using TABs as a “solution sheet” in case of doubt while keeping notes and TABs synced
2.) A possibility to create macros to add the diacritical remarks needed to specify a string/pedal (or lever) combination. The solution of my choice – comparable to encircled numbers for string identification in guitar notation – would be numbered symbols (squares, triangles, diamonds, cones, various -agons etc.; maybe various colours, although that is less editor-friendly) to identify at the same time the string (via the number) and – if so given – the pedal/lever in use (via the form) – and it would be short.
Alternative: Letter/number combination; letters for pedals and levers (as is the case currently in much of psg notation), numbers for the strings.
Some pedals/levers raise/lower a whole note; sometimes it is necessary to press only halfway to achieve the corresponding half tone modulation – this needs to be noticeable.

Of course if you manage to come up with a viable solution for psg notation that is fixed and predetermined, but sets a reasonable future standard it will be all the same welcome.

I’d also welcome a scorchy app to display partitions on my tablet, but that’s a different subject.

I’m looking very much forward to Dorico’s future while I honestly still have enough to learn with the existing version.

Dear Eddo,

I find all your remarks very interesting and accurate. I hope notes and TAB notation will be sync’ed, and by the quality of what the team has achieved so far, we can only imagine it will be so.
Have you tried Newzik, a little app (I use it on my iPad) that makes it possible to read pdfs, xml files, synchronize them, even read them… for 10€ ? It’s still being developed, and I am quite confident it will become a standard in this field :wink:

Bonjour Marc,
Oui, je connais Newzik un petit peu, mais je me suis senti un peu repoussé par le fait qu’il faut acheter un abonnement.
Est-ce qu’il y a eu un changement de modèle d’affaIre depuis ?

Cher Eddo,

Je ne me suis pas abonné, j’ai dû payer un peu moins de 10€ cet été et c’est tout. Le logiciel est très intéressant.

Dear Daniel,

That synopsis on your intentions for TAB sound fantastic! I can’t wait to see it on my machine :slight_smile:


Dear Daniel

As a music engraver I’ve been using Score for guitar notation (notes+tab) for thousands of pages… Paired with Score’s ability to create complex macro it was by far the easiest and most powerful way to create all styles of tabs for any kind of fretted instrument. I really hope Dorico’s Tab notation will be as easy and powerful.

I’d like to specify my feature proposition post from Feb 2nd concerning pedal steel notation:
Instead of offering predefined forms simply make possible that users can load and trim their own graphics to be used as diacritical remarks. There is a small risk people will import, say, Christmas trees into their notation, but it would assure maximum freedom in deciding how to set up psg notation.

Another source of frustration in virtually any other notation software: Setting barré indications IS and always has been a tedious hassle! Since there are many different tastes out there, from people preferring simple “staples” to others who want a complex graphic (indicating the strings to be pressed (=vertical line), the duration (=horizontal line), the fret #, the finger # doing the barré – have I forgotten something?) it would be best you do a barré editor as well and let users decide if fret or finger numbers are inline (= the line is interrupted to make room for the number) or outside, if lines are thick or thin, wavy or straight, dotted or not, showing end pins or not…

And while I’m writing this I’m certain that this must be already on your minds.

Thank you for a great looking program with awesome playback capabilities. I’m very excited as we all are about what the future holds. Now for the reason for my post, I’m tired of using one program or another for something the other lacks. I use Finale, Sibelius, Guitar Pro and Chord wizard among other programs through the years and would like to see features like these below in future releases of Dorico for us Fretted instrument players. I know it is a long list and most of it has already been brought up but here is my thoughts just in case.


All of the below with altered tuning on the selected instrument ability.

Guitar fretboard diagram with the ability to select notes into the score and shows notes in playback

Keyboard with the same as the fretboard ability above

Ideas functionality from Sibelius

Other fretted instruments tabs

Chord dictionary with chord diagrams above the staff

Chord progression generator or guide similar to Cubase maybe

Ability to add chords to holding pin that are part of the score and can be dragged in and out.

The abilty to display and change chord diagrams from the chord symbol to the roman numeral or Nashville and other types of chord progression shorthand.

Scales functionality where it will display scale you pick in the selected tuning and show the scale on the fretboard diagram so we can import them into the staff or tab. Also, be able to load the full fretboard diagram or scales in certain positions on the fretboard. Maybe a way to align it with the selected chords on the staff for easy visibility on in key options based on the underlying chord progressions.

Ability to move music from staff to tab and back with the ability to specify the fret low and high ranges.

Integration/synchronization with CUBASE via rewire or something else. Until then give us a stereo audio track in Dorico to import to and sync with the score.

I know you guys can even best all of that and I understand it all takes time especially to get it right but please give us at least the tab and chord diagrams and audio track or Cubase sync ASAP as now you have a better marketing channel for recording guitarists being tied to Steinberg/Cubase!!!


Welcome to the forum!
Did you read this thread from the beginning?
The guitarists among us are all more or less impatiently waiting for the guitar features to be released, and it has been made clear in several posts that this won’t happen in 2018, but is likely to happen in the next major release. Concerning alternate tunings and “other fretted instruments tab”, this has been mentioned in one of Daniel’s posts above in this thread and is in the making. As for the “idea functionality”, several users simply create an “ideas flow” and deactivate it so it’s not displayed in the layout(s).

What I would like to add to the wishlist are capo chords in addition to sounding chords. One lane or mark up would be showing the chord position symbol, the other one shows the chord symbol of the chord that is actually sounding, e.g. capo 5 E position corresponds to A major chord. To differentiate, allow each “chord type” to be adjusted to taste: color, typeface, mark up etc
Let the user decide how he wants them to be displayed, e.g. one above the other or one behind the other.

Further, I’d love to have a configurable fretboard graphic!
Following some suggestions how to configure the graphic itself:
– Number of strings
– Entire fretboard to the soundhole/the end of the neck with configurable number of frets/partial frets (when frets reach round the sound hole)
– Number of frets when displaying only a fraction of the neck; “open neck” graphics
– Several heads from electric (Stratocaster type) via classical to acoustic – or without any head, just the saddle

  • beginning of body shape, depending on guitar type: 12th fret on classical, 14th fret on acoustic etc. Not the entire outline, just a part of the guitar body shoulders. Or maybe a slider enables the user to define how much of the guitar body is visible.
    – Orientation dots yes/no and where: (3rd), 5th, 7th, 9th, 12th [double dots], 15th etc.
    – Ability to save as template for repeated use; allow several templates for several instruments
    – Orientation: From vertical to horizontal and anything in between
    – Provide necessary parameters so users can import their own graphics and use as follows:

Once the graphic itself is configured, it can be used to show
– scales
– roots depending on the scale family
– comparative positions
– chords
– exercises

Each of them is configurable and would probably come predefined as round, filled dots for notes of a scale and rectangles for the roots, e.g., but remain modifiable by the user.

I’m not planning to create an iBook with the help of Dorico, so I don’t need them to be interactive and play actual notes when you click a dot (but hey – why not! Give it a thought). I’m interested to be able to not have to use Illustrator and the likes to create educational graphics.

@Daniel, out of sheer curiosity:

Do I perceive a hint that you are planning to realize saz, oud (well, no frets) – say: oriental instruments and makamat??

Still learning to use the software. The time is well invested. I prefer to know the software before being stunned by another myriad of new functions and possibilities. It’s like growing with the software…