This is my first post on the Dorico/Steinberg forum.
I’m looking forward to trying Dorico and providing feedback to the development team.
Tablature notation is essential to my teaching and publishing so I won’t be able to seriously use Dorico until tablature features are in reasonably full bloom. Nevertheless, with development on the horizon or just starting, I suppose it’s a good time to voice my needs and hopes.
Tab staff entry
For simple tablature projects I generally I record in real-time onto a treble clef … and generate tablature from that notation.
• For complex tablature projects (and up-the-neck material) I like the option of entering tablature numbers directly on the tablature staff—as we can in Sibelius, and Guitar Pro—and generate standard clef notation from the tablature.
Main reason: One can always accurately generate clef notation from tablature. But going the other way round one must engage the tedious task of setting the correct string assignments. Subsequently, if edits are not synchronized (between tab and clef) and if changes must be made in clef notation only, then new tablature must be generated after every edit. At such a juncture there are two options: again hand edit the string assignments, or rely on software that intelligently looks at strings assignments before generating tablature and tries to preserve them. Otherwise, regarding string assignements, it’s like starting the measure or phrase anew.
• I need the option of flat beams outside the staff, above or below.
• Independent beaming rules and the option to manually make beaming differ from the clef notation.
• Scordatura is “standard” notation that depicts the finger placement on a retuned instrument. Thus tablature from scordatua will display correctly, but playback from the scordatura staff will be off pitch for notes that pertain to retuned strings. There should be some mechanism to account for this descrepancy and playback the tablature with the correct pitches. I haven’t seen this feature anywhere.
Partial capoing techniques have become quite popular over the last 20 years or so. They provide a way of emulating open tunings … but without returning! There’s no consensus on how to address open uncapoed strings and open partial capoed strings, so that’s a big issue. And with partial capo notation there’s a playback concern roughly parallel to that of scordatura.
I’ve written an in depth article on partial capo here
And I’ve created Sound Thinking, an interactive fingerboard encyclopedia that supports partial capo. (Note that it requires that you have FlashPlayer installed and allow it to run.) Clicking this link will open Sound Thinking to a “scene” that compares Partial DADGAD (355533) to true DADGAD capoed 555555
More info on Sound Thinking scenes here.
Looking forward to developments!