Guitar TAB

When are you planning to add Guitar TAB?

I hope one of the methods of input is to click on a line (string) and start typing numbers.

Programs like Notion and Finale have awkard methods for inputing Guitar TAB.

Guitar Pro and Sibelius allow you to type the fret numbers and use the arrow keys to navigate the lines (strings).

Do you have any guitar transcribers on staff?

Guitar tab won’t be part of the initial release of Dorico but we hope to get started on it relatively soon. We’ll be sure to share details about the sort of timescale on which tab will be added once we get started working on it.

Hey Daniel,

It’s important to use the major guitar magazines and Album transcriptions as a reference.

Aside from being able to inuitively and quickly type in the numbers, techniques like multi finger tapping and whammy bar stunts also need to notated.

There is a huge opportunity for you to do a great job on this.


Hi Daniel and OP,

I totally agree that guitar magazines should be a reference point, as well as other established publishing companies such as Hal Leonard and Cherry Lane.

I personally have been using Guitar Pro 6 for quite some time now to write down transcriptions, in the hope of one day see a software that will allow me to do what I want in terms of presentation and engraving with them. Guitar Pro is a wonderful tool for learning, not so much for writing “professional looking” tablatures.

Sibelius and Finale are way too complicated and not optimised at all for this kind of purpose.

A few things I would like to see in Dorico are as follows,

1 ) PLEEEEEAAASE link tabs and notation. I can’t believe that in 2016, Sibelius still has’t made it an automatic feature.
2) Note entry. I am far more used to the GP6 way of using the numpad not for duration but for placement on the fretboard, and the navkeys to select the string and forward backward in the score. I do understand why Sibelius and Finale never introduced this kind of note entry, but to be fair, I could have saved hours with a system like this and I know my peers will too!

  1. a little more subtle. It has been seen in a Metallica tab book (Ride The Lightning) that you have two voices playing an harmonised riff, however, both where on the same string, so you had a sort of X/Y symbol, where X is the note played by guitar 1 while Y is the note played by guitar 2. This symbol occupies the spot usually allocated to 1 note on 1 string. In the notation however, it is just a normal two voice harmony, nothing major (<---- ahahahha).

  2. this is where my point echoes the one of the OP in my opinion. Magazines and tab book feature a lot of different symbols, some uniques ones such as a descending pick scrape, or a whammy dive and release and up and down again…
    A sort of bend/whammy trick manager would be amazing in order to precisely depict the idea in mind.

  3. last but not least, a feature that has made me crazy is the possibility to use be able to hide and show staves at different point in the song. When the two guitars play the same notes, in a unison riff, GP6 forces me to use 2 separate and un-hideable staves… So imagine if you have 5 tracks: two rhythm, two solos and 1 harmony track, it gets very wasteful, very quickly! Sometimes a full song would be 45 pages long, where an efficient staff management could have cut it down to 7-8. Oh and while I am here asking all these things, would it be possible to add not a voice staff as such, but just the lyrics, without having to write down the notes? (I sometimes use the lyrics as a sort of guide for posiniton within the song).

Here are the ideas of someone that has spent countless hours transcribing on various softwares over the years.

I have so much hope in Dorico, please, make it the one software that has it all right from beginning to the end!

Sincerely yours,


I think Thomas’s idea to “add not a voice staff as such, but just the lyrics, without having to write down the notes” might connect well with the idea I raised in my post a few days ago, of being able to attach transposing chord symbols to lyrics". In other words, one could assign lyrics to a measure without inputting the actual note rhythms" and then choose whether the staff is displayed or not… My purpose and his are different but are two distinct examples of how users might find such a feature useful. (Of course, my needs don’t require the lyrics to be attached to a specific bar, just that the chord symbols display and transpose with the rest of the score…)

Very good point you are making here mate.

Flexibility is the key I guess!

1 ) PLEEEEEAAASE link tabs and notation. I can’t believe that in 2016, Sibelius still has’t made it an automatic feature.


I usually compose for band + small orchestra (which really gets classical scores, not just some background lines). And I really struggle to find a programm that works for the usual rock musician as well as for the classical musician.

Without this simple functionality, I either fight with a program that’s not made for orchestration (guitar pro 6) or I have to make two projects in two different programs and manually change the score as soon as a guitar player played around with the tabs. Also tried to write in one program and import in the other one, but had always a lot of transfer bugs. This is a desaster! So please, please, please, add a tab and notation-link! That would simplify my composing a lot.

Another question:
In guitar pro 6, you could get a band licence so other band members can make adjustments to the scores as well after the main songwriter sent around the score. Will there be a similiar feature as well? Because just for a small edit (f. e. guitar player adjusts the tabs or adds some tones to a solo) it is quite expensive to buy a full version for each band member. In addition, my band members often use guitarpro just as a training program to play along to the other instruments to get a more complete picture while rehearsing and you don’t have to start at zero in the rehearsalroom.

All the best,

“Relatively soon” is now more than a year, I hope to see Guitar TAB added by the end of first quarter next year? Is this possible Daniel?

Hi Guys,

I’d like to put my two cents in here if I may!

@ThomasMustaine, some great ideas. As a fellow guitarist, here are some reflections: (btw, is your last name really Mustaine? Any relation???)

1). Linking Notation and TAB. Do you mean that changes on the pitched staff automatically reflect in the TAB staff? While I think this would be great, how would Dorico know which string to put the note on? This would probably be quite straight forward for changes made on the TAB staff being reflected on the pitched staff.

2). Note Entry. I have never entered notes straight into a TAB staff so I may not have anything of value here. I can say though that if you enter into the notation staff (including all slurs, bends, wang bar effects etc) and then copy across to the TAB staff then (Sibelius at least) did a good job of putting things in the right place. There was a considerable amount of clean up required but it wasn’t too bad… This all ties in with point 1.

3). This happens a lot in divisi parts. On the notation staff, you can write the intervals/diads and then divisi to indicate that the part is played by two players but because the part is then played on the same string how else would this be achieved other than 12/16 for a major 3rd? It is hard to read and cumbersome I agree…

4). Again (referring to Sibelius) most if not all of the articulations are available as automatic TAB entries if you entered the notation first. TAB developed in Sibelius over years!

  1. Hide Empty Staves or a similar function I think is already achievable in Dorico. One thing to consider in these scenarios is the use of text i.e. Guitar 1, Guitar 2, Riff A, End Riff A, Riff B, End Riff B etc. When writing out the parts, we often only need one staff and one TAB staff and then you can write text instructions above the staff/TAB to indicate who plays what. A good example of this is the intro to Paradise City by G ‘n’ R: You have the intro chord riff written out and labelled Riff A. IIRC, as new parts are introduced they are labelled Riff B etc. This would be very much achievable in Dorico albeit TAB is not yet available to us. I see that your point refers to Guitar Pro so sorry to make light of this comment (I have no experience with GP).

The problem with lyrics are that they are rhythmic dependant. I guess you could put in a bar’s worth but this can get tricky too.

Yes, Sibelius and Finale are complicated but so will all pro level programs!

It’s great to get some guitar specific dialogue going :slight_smile:

No, I’m afraid that’s an unrealistic expectation. I know that there are guitarists waiting impatiently for us to provide good solutions for your needs, and we are committed to doing so as soon as we can – but implementing guitar tab is a major development effort that will take multiple months, and we have not yet done any work on it beyond some initial design discussions. We have a small team and we are still currently working on mopping up the major development effort that has gone into percussion and cues over the last six months.

I cannot promise that guitar features will come in the next version of Dorico, but I can promise that we will only work on them when we are sure we can deliver a really great set of features that will meet or exceed what you can do with other scoring software. If we were to come out with only basic support for tab in our next release, you still wouldn’t be able to use Dorico if it was missing (say) bends, so there’s no point in us devoting development time to this area until we can meet your needs properly.


Have there been any steps forward made on the Guitar tablature side of things?

Some important suggestions:

I am a pro engraver and some issues that have arisen in Sibelius and GuitarPro are the following (perhaps you can add these to the list of things the app. should be able to do).

Notation of hybrid picking put the use of RH ‘i’ '“m” or “a” up in the notation making it a pain in the hole to go from reading pick direction (above the numbers) jumping up to the notation where the RH directions are automatically placed.

Also, there should be a way to create custom brackets that can denote sweeps. i.e. instead of " V V V V V" to note a series of notes swept with an up-stroke, one large “V” that could be stretched for however long it needs to be underneath the number. The same for a downward swept note (sorry, no symbol here on the keyboard to write that).


Thanks for your suggestions – if you could attach a couple of pictures that show exactly what you mean that would be very helpful to us.

When buying DORICO in 2016 i couldn´t imagine that it would take this long. :frowning:
Don´t get me wrong, noone promised a date for including TABS, but i plead for giving it a higher priority.
Cheers, Stefan

I’m sorry to disappoint you, Stefan. Of course we hate to disappoint people who bought Dorico in the belief that we would be able to add a particular set of features in a specific timeframe, but it’s very difficult to predict how long something will take until we are in the middle of implementing it. Look back on comments I made last year about percussion support – I predicted we’d have it done by the summer, but it actually took until the end of 2017, and indeed really with the various further improvements made in 1.2.10 it really took until February 2018. We don’t want to set unrealistic timescales for features when we know from experience that building something really good takes a lot of time. Guitar notation is a very high priority for us, but unfortunately we can’t do it justice in the timescale of our next release, so we had to make the difficult decision to defer it until we can give it the time and attention it needs.

I hope Guitar TAB is THE priority for Dorico 2.5 or Dorico 3, have you started working on it yet?

Daniel seems to be taking suggestions onboard which is promising.

Snakebyte69, I realise that you don’t post terribly much in this forum.

Quite simply: every user has different priorities. The development team work ridiculously hard, and they have a roadmap for Dorico’s future development. Getting features implemented takes time, and getting features implemented right takes longer; often longer than they’d originally envisaged.

You are never going to get a response that says “yes, we’ve started working on this” until a matter of days/weeks before a new feature is released to the public. Dorico 2 has been out for less than 3 weeks, so, seriously, don’t expect news any time soon.

edit: to save you searching, see Guitar TAB and Chord diagrams - #16 by Sadhaka - Dorico - Steinberg Forums

Your question comes up a lot, and the official answer is that it’ll be “targeted” - note the term “targeted” for the next major release.

Hello Daniel at Steinberg,

Guitar TAB has been in demand for so long and so often. I bought Dorico 1 in the summer of 2017 and hopefully followed the questions of the users and the answers from you. It is frustrating. Instead, Dorico came 2 Pro / Elements. If there were any in Dorico 2 Pro Guitar TAB, I would immediately upgrade.

I have been using Cubase for over 20 years. There was already Guitar TAB in the first ATARI versions. Finale and Sibelius have also dominated Guitar TAB for ages.

Almost all releases for guitar today include Guitar TAB. I’m a guitar teacher and create my teaching materials with Guitar Pro. And the focus of Cubase is now mainly in the audio field.

Dorico has high standards (The future of scoring - DORICO: THE MUSIC NOTATION SOFTWARE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY). Mr. Daniel at Steinberg, can I still expect Dorico Guitar TAB to be on board this decade?

I would be very happy about an answer

jazzalien, try Shift indication - #4 by dspreadbury - Dorico - Steinberg Forums or Guitar Tab & Chord suggestions - #2 by dspreadbury - Dorico - Steinberg Forums

Thanks pianoleo.

I wonder if it’s worth learning for Dorico. Each program requires a certain training period.

If Dorico Guitar TAB gets, how long would it take to get all the important functions (Bends, Palm Mute, Arpeggio) in TAB and Sound available?

I’m afraid Dorico does not have a guitarist on the developer team. If at least a start was there. There is no real signal. At the moment I can not recommend Dorico to a guitarist.

I’ll be back in half a year.

How do you know Dorico doesn’t have a guitarist on the development team? How do you know there aren’t guitarists on the Beta testing team?