Help with guitar tab layout please

Hi All,
Guitar Target Version
I am trying to create a layout similar to the one in the snip above.

The down strum / up stroke symbols are above the tab only and are horizontally aligned.

The pull-off instruction p appears above or below the appropriate slur and is positioned close to the slur line.

Guitar Dorico Version

As you can see, I am some way away from this in my Dorico version, despite looking at some of the engraving options.

  1. The strum direction symbols appear above the stave as well as the tab and I can’t seem to stop this
  2. The strum direction symbols above the tab are not aligned horizontally
  3. The p for the pull-off only appears on the tab and is a long way from the slur, despite my having changed the direction of the slur and choosing the option for the position of the pull-off symbol to match the direction of the slur in the engraving options.

I have also attached the project.

Arpeggios example version.dorico (428.8 KB)

Other than setting the stroke direction symbols to be associated with the stave only, and under the stave, and then manually aligning them all, I can’t think of a way round this, so any help would be very gratefully received.

Thank you

You’ve set “Show guitar techniques” (in the “Guitar Techniques” page of Engraving Options) to “Tablature only” - it sounds like you want it to be “Notation and tablature”. You probably also want to set “Placement on notation staves” to “Follow slur placement”.

You are right that there is no way of setting the playing techniques to display only on the tab staff by default, but if you are in Engrave mode then you can set individual techniques to be “Hidden” on only the notation staff.

Thanks Richard - I can make the ‘p’ appear over both stave and tab by selecting ‘Notation and tablature’, but the ‘follow slur placement’ options were already selected, so the tab ‘p’ still appears in the wrong place and I’d also still like a way to line up the stroke direction symbols if possible.

If you change the default stem direction for tab staves (at the top of the “Tablature” page of Engraving Options) then the “p” will swap to the other side - the default position on tab is set so to avoid collisions with stems. You can also change its position in the properties panel in Engrave mode using the “Technique placement” property.

Thanks Richard

I applied the methods you suggested and this is the result:

The first bar now has the strum direction symbols hidden on the stave and the ‘p’ for the pull-off is similar to the positioning of the example.

When I put in a lower pull-off on the second line, the results were pretty horrible with these settings as you can see.

Let me summarize what I think I’ve learned - I hope I’m wrong about most of this (!):

  1. The only way to hide strum direction symbols on the stave is to select them all manually and then hide them
  2. While there is some leeway to adjust the positioning of the ‘P’ for pull-offs, they always appear either above or below the stave, which means they often look weirdly disconnected from their tie
  3. There is no way (other than manual adjustment) to align all the strum direction symbols horizontally half-way between the stave and the tab

Is that correct, or are there better solutions for these points?

I’ve also attached the updated project below. And pasted again the example I was trying to recreate:

Guitar Target Version

Arpeggios example version 2.dorico (429.3 KB)

That is correct, yes.

Thanks for the confirmation, Richard.

Are there other users on the forum using Dorico for electric guitar scores?

I’m coming to the conclusion that I’m going to need to get Guitar Pro for this and only use Dorico for my piano and song scores.

I must say I’m disappointed because I’ve been pleased to see the development of guitar features across the versions and I’ve also spent a lot of money on Dorico. But time after time my teacher will dash something out in Guitar Pro that just looks right straightaway, and which I then get bogged down in Dorico to recreate or - as in this case - can’t recreate even after investigation.

However, I appreciate that electric guitar scores probably aren’t the primary purpose of Dorico and I like its power and flexibility for the piano and song scores.

I’d be fascinated to hear from people who are successfully using Dorico for electric guitar scores, though.

There are some things you can do to make it easier. In your example project I’ve edited the upbow and downbow Playing Techniques so that they appear below by default, and so that they don’t show in the tab staff. Also so that their transition line (when grouping Playing Techniques) isn’t a visible line.
I’ve edited the minimum distance from staff for Playing Techniques in general, and the vertical spacing between notation and tab staves.

I hope you’ll find that adding strum/stroke playing techniques, using Select More, then grouping them together, gives you a quicker, passable result:

Edited project (edited in 4.1 but seems to open fine in 3.5):
Arpeggios example version 2 pianoleo.dorico (574.4 KB)

Aha, Leo’s suggestion for grouping the playing techniques with a hidden line is something I hadn’t thought about but is definitely the right way to go about aligning them.

Thanks Leo - I was thinking that if I was going to manually adjust them I would probably be better off keeping just the score ones, but I didn’t know that method to line them up.

For the example I created on the second line, is the best solution just to drag with the mouse in Engrave mode to an acceptable position, do you think?

Yes, I’ve long wanted a system of grids or guides for this sort of thing (as well as for template creation)

Hi Leo - thanks again for your response, which has taught me several useful things.

In trying to recreate it though, I can’t find ‘no line’ as an option for the transition line type for downbow / upbow symbols. It does appear in the version of the project you saved. I’ve tried looking in the lines panel but I can’t find how to add it to the list. Do you know what I need to do to make it an option to select for transition line type please?

I built a dashed line body that had no dash pattern set, then built that into a line. In 3.5 your best bet is to go into the Line bodies dialog, find my No Line line body and click the star in the bottom left corner to Save As Default (make available in other projects). Then repeat in the Lines dialog for the Invisible Line.

The Library Manager in Dorico 4 makes it much easier to import these sorts of tweaks.

Thanks - that worked for me