How to enter guitar notation

I would like to enter a piece of music for guitar and found some stuff that I don’t know how to enter this into Dorico :sleepy:
I don’t even know what that notation indicates 3/6 CII, because I don’t play the guitar myself :grimacing:
Is there someone out there that knows what it means and how to enter it into Dorico ?
Thanks :slight_smile:

In general those Roman numerals indicators denote the position on the fretboard. I wonder whether in this case it’s specifying how many strings, or possibly just which individual string the fret indicator applies to?

You can create these kinds of indicators for yourself in Library > Playing Techniques, including specifying a continuation line with hook.

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In case this is urgent (someone else will reply I am sure) 3/6 is presumably the number of strings (3 out of 6) being held down by the left hand’s 1 (1st, index) finger, meaning it does not span across all the 6 strings at that position (fret). Commonly you would simply use 1/2 instead of 3/6 (for which Dorico already has a playing technique).

The II is the 2nd fret where this “half barré” is positioned giving you the F# (on the E string) (or F natural if it is a diagonal barré) and A (on the G string). (The B string in the middle of those two strings is also spanned by the index finger but not played (plucked) at beat One of that measure.)

At the bottom, I have indicated the notes created by using the half barré (above which are the default guitar string tunings, lowest sounding string on left, going higher towards the right).
Because the index finger is only on half the strings at that fret position, the other 3 (lowest sounding) strings are free to play as Open (“0” no fingering) so remain at their tuned pitch, giving you the low D on beat One of that measure as you see at the bottom.

Someone else will probably answer if you specifically want 3/6 (you would have to create it yourself). I presume there are instances during the piece (or publication) where other options like 2/6 or 4/6 are being used (or it is a beginner piece specifically showing the exact information for the barré span) otherwise normally 1/2 would be used.

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Oh I see, Daniel has answered also!

Playing techniques

Custom Playing techniques

Or you could simply add the 3/6 part as text?

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While editing playing techniques, you can add text, but I seem not to have the ability to edit existing text :sleepy:
Now you have to delete the existing text (by pushing the bin-button) and create a new text, and then repositioning and resizing it again.
Why can’t we just edit the existing text ? Or am I missing a point somewhere ?

By the way, when you go to Library->Playing Techniques, there is no Half Barré in the list. It seems to be missing the guitar playing techniques, or I am doing something wrong again, of course.

You can get there only (as far as I can see for now) by applying the half barré in write-mode, go to engrave-mode, and edit the half barré object you just placed in write-mode. I find that weird… :man_shrugging:

You can indeed not edit existing text in the music symbols editor (used for playing techniques and many other things). You do have to delete the text and add it again.

Playing techniques and playback techniques are related but not the same: playback techniques are associated with playing techniques (and other notations) and are what you refer to in expression maps in order to produce specific effects with your assigned virtual instruments. You don’t need to define a playback technique for a playing technique unless you want to produce a specific effect during playback. In the case of a barré indication, I doubt your playback device would have any articulations or techniques that would need to be switched on the presence of such an indication.

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I created this one:
It’s made up of 4 text elements: “3”, “underscore”, “6” and “CII”.
But… there are no alignment tools :sleepy: so, to get the aligned is almost undoable, taking into account that the frame lines and -handles are thick and obscuring the text. And this has to be done for each combination (2/6 CII, 3/6 CII, 6/6CV… etc. etc. the list goes on and on)

So, feature request please:

  • Add some alignment tools
  • Add a group/ungroup tool (to move a group of elements around, it now depends on the order of putting in things)

Ample Guitars has keyswitches for neck positions, and they make a noticeable difference in timbre, of course. Having predefined Playback techniques for each fret position would open up many possibilities…


I thought this might be useful. I decided to only create 6 Playing techniques for 1/6 … 6/6. Then would add [C + roman numeral suffix] and place using Engrave mode.
I cannot think (or hope I would never) I have to use a lot of them in a piece :slight_smile: so not worried about having all the possibilities.

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I’ve played classical guitar since the early 1980s, have shelves and shelves of scores, books and pieces. I have to say, I have never come across such notation for barring. Is this some new method (like in the last decade)?

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I found it on a score from “The Classical Guitar Shed” (

for example:

I see. That was typeset fairly recently. The two editions of that piece that I have consistently use 1/2 II/IV etc.

It’s interesting and definitely more precise. I wonder how a partial bar would be notated, e.g., A (chord) with a bar over D, G and B strings leaving low A and high E open.