Guitar TAB suggestion

Hello everyone, I’ve been using Dorico 4.2 and it’s been great. It’s been almost a year since I switched to Dorico to be my main notation software and it has surely been the best for me.

I just have a little suggestion for Guitar tab notation: it would be great to have the option of choosing the way how Dorico automatically calculates the fret/string for the notes you input.

Dorico always assigns the lowest fret possible when typing single notes. I’ve been transcribing some guitar work and I find myself inputting each note and going to the tab to fix the fret/string (using N/M) when I, for example, don’t want to play an open string because I’m playing in a higher fret position. This slows the transcription process a bit because you have to do it periodically.

It would be really awesome and save us a lot of time if there was an option to make the program assign the fret and string based on what’s the nearest in relation to the previous note, for example. Other programs like Finale have an option of selecting a minimum fret and things like that.

Thank you for your hard work!


Thanks for your feedback and for your suggestion, Fregan. We certainly thought hard about this when we were first working on implementing tablature a few years ago, but we thought that the kind of algorithm you propose would produce unexpected results at least as much of the time as doing the simplest possible thing, and we erred on the side of making Dorico’s allocation of string and fret as predictable as possible. However, it’s something we could definitely revisit in future.


If Dorico could understand the concept of position playing, that would get you mostly there. For example, select all the notes within a passage, use a property to designate the notes as position VII, then have Dorico set the strings and fingers within the four frets of position VII (perhaps allowing for a finger stretch of one fret). You could then have an option to display the position marker or not.

(Adding for clarity, this would be really useful not just for tab.)


Yeah, actually this specific feature/algorithm (fret/string assigned based on nearest note) might be difficult to implement. I haven’t seen it in other notation programs actually. What I’ve seen is the possibility of selecting one region of notes and applying an option like “specify lowest/minimum fret”. Something like that, if possible, would be huge and save a lot of time, especially when you transcribe guitar parts played on the 12th or higher frets, because the program would normally assign the notes all over the fretboard, favoring open strings when you don’t want them, and you have to change them one by one.

Thank you again for reading our feedback!

This exactly! This would be the ticket.
The position markers need to be customizable, and they would also need to have an associated playback technique in order to send keyswitches. Ample guitar libraries for example can respond to position information, very realistic playback!