Guitar TAB and Chord diagrams


For teaching purposes it would be great to add dampening indications, which usually are not part of a text in a non-teaching environment. Michael Langer, a guitarist teaching at Vienna University, uses the piano pedal “asterisk” in his guitar methods (Play Guitar, DUX Verlag/Edition). Absolutely pragmatic.

I’m very curious to learn what the next version of Dorico will provide regarding guitar notation!

Daniel said, “However, in as much as we can be sure about what the next major version of Dorico will contain, we can be sure that it will contain guitar tab, guitar chord diagrams, and more features for classical guitar notation.”

I know you hate these kinds of questions, but I’ll ask anyway: Is it safe to say that when Guitar TAB becomes available, that the other types of non-guitar TAB capabilities (that you and I discussed in Nashville) will be available in the same version where Guitar TAB first appears? Or do they likely come later?

Electric guitar notation and tab
one thing that would really set Dorico definitely ahead in electric guitar notation ease, is having the pop-overs serve as an entry mean for all those “idiomatic phrasing snippets” that take so long to enter in S.
grace note bends; unison bends; prebends; prebends with grace note release; microtone bends; grace note slide-in, etc etc
those snippets can be found by dozens in any electric guitar solo and doing transcriptions into a notation program with the usual tools takes ages
Now just imagine once you have entered the regular pitches and rhythms
select the target note, open popup; grace note bend Whole; DONE
select the target note, open popup; unisson bend WholeHalf; DONE
select the target note, open popup; prebend Whole; DONE

you get the point
take any edited electric guitar transcription book, look at the solos, there will be hundreds of those “idiomatic phrasing snippets” and they are a pain to enter


It’s hard to say. Certainly the infrastructure we are building for tablature is general-purpose enough to encompass fretted instruments with non-chromatic fretboards (like dulcimers) and instruments where the strings start at certain frets (like banjos), and we hope to be able to have at least basic support for lute tablature, but the focus at the moment is definitely on good support for 6-string guitars and 4-string bass guitars. We’ll see how far we get!

We’re certainly going to try to make it convenient to create these kinds of special guitar notations.

I assume Dorico will be able to understand which string is being played so that when inputting with a Fishman MIDI guitar or Artiphon Instrument 1 that send each string on different MIDI channels, the tablature will be correct?

We’re not sure about this at the moment. We hope to be able to support MIDI guitar input but it’s not something we can definitively state will be included in the next release.

Thanks Daniel, hopefully not too long.

Just wondering if there is an updated release date for Dorico with Tabs pease? I’m costing up a new computer suite for the school I work in, to be installed in August and would love to use Dorico. Tab is a bit of a deal breaker for us though as lots of our students prefer to use it.

Dear Cestman,
There will be tab notation and everything for guitar in next update (I mean real update, not maintenance one), Dorico 3. It’s going to be pretty big, or at least that’s what we expect (and so far, the team has never failed to bring wonderful surprises). Stay tuned, it’s supposed to come in the next months. I’d like to advise you to try and use the one month Dorico trial, as this marvellous app is also a complex one, and you will appreciate to start learning how to use it as early as possible.

Daniel stated the following on the official Dorico blog yesterday:

We said last year that releasing a major new version in late spring or early summer would be our preference, but the features we are working on at the moment, which span all areas of the software, are sufficiently large that the next major release is not scheduled for the first half of this year.


I’m not sure which country you are in, but are you in touch with anybody from the Steinberg sales team? If not, please get in touch with me on

Thank you

… the next major release is not scheduled for the first half of this year.

I can think of software developers where that would be marketing-speak for “we might release something just before Christmas if we get lucky, but don’t bet on it.”

But Daniel’s statements don’t usually need that sort of interpretation :slight_smile:

Presumably there is a benefit to releasing Dorico 3 in time for the upcoming school year this fall if the new features can be completed and tested; so I have my fingers crossed for a July or August release.

I know that this precise scenario has been thrown around the forum a few times and it seems rather plausible. It is my hope as well.

Dare I mention banjo? I believe what you described would work or banjo.

Now, can we talk about the bagpipe? :slight_smile:

I just want to throw my support behind all this and expand with a couple other aspects of Ted Greene’s (TG) chord diagrams which would greatly improve upon Dorico’s current implementation:

  1. The ability to place the fret number next to any row in the diagram can be very helpful in deciphering voicings with large stretches, or where you want to highlight the fret with the bass note, even when it might not be at the bottom fret. This is something quite frequently seen in TG’s diagrams. He even sometimes numbered both the bottom and top fret of a voicing, which is helpful, but not quite as necessary in the context of chords. For the purpose of scales, though, should Dorico’s chord diagrams ever be equipped to handle those as well, numbering multiple frets might be a more essential feature.

  2. Occasionally, Ted placed dots and other fingering symbols below the diagram, so as to extend it without the need for an additional row. This may seem insignificant, but nevertheless gives a more consistent look to diagrams on a page, given that there are few voicings spread over more than six frets.

Lastly I’d like to request the option to use roman numerals for fret numbers. Although frequently employed in scale diagrams, these are only occasionally seen in chord diagrams, most likely due to their requirement of additional horizontal space. Nevertheless, since fret numbers/positions are otherwise most commonly referred to in guitar notation by way of roman numerals, I think they should be available for this purpose as well.

In the next update you will be able to use Roman numerals for fret numbers, and to specify at which fret the fret number should appear.

That’s great, Daniel.