How to write anticipated chords and control staves length?


For Pop music sheet, I need to write anticipated chords on empty bars.
Is there a sign I can write above the chord (like a slur sign) to indicate it?

I also would like the bars to keep the same length independently of the number of bars by staves.

For example, 4 bars would be the half size of an 8 bars stave.

I there an easy way to doing it?


For your first question, can you post a pic of what you want? If the bars are empty, then the chords are a cue I assume. I would be inclined to just use a slash voice cue to make sure the rhythm is clear:

For your second question, you mean like the old onion-skin hand copying days when you could sketch out the layout in advance then reproduce it on multiple parts before copying the notes, so the layout was consistent? Off the top of my head I can’t think of an easy way to do that (I’ve never wanted to do it in Dorico) but maybe someone else will have a solution.

It sounds like cellicello is looking for proportionaly spacing, which is normally a bad idea. You can try setting a custom spacing ratio of 2 on the Note Spacing page of Layout Options, but I don’t think you will actually find yourself happy with the results unless the music is rhythmically very simple and uses only a few note values that are close to each other in duration.

Oh, ok, yeah 2:1 proportional spacing is definitely a bad idea. I thought he was trying to keep the bars even in each system regardless of the music they contain, like an old hand-copying layout. Something like this, where all bars are even on each system:

Hello FredGUnn and Daniel,

Thank you for your reply :slight_smile:

As for my first question, I agree that using a slash voice cue will make the rhythm clear.
I’ll do it.

About my second question, I was looking to find an easy way to keep the bar length even.
As for 8 bars, all the stave long and 4 bars half stave long for example.

I attached a score written by hand.

Obviously different circles of musicians may have different conventions, but I can’t say I’ve ever had a need for this type of shorthand notation. As your example is lacking any complicated extensions, I would think it would be fairly easy to accomplish in a program such as InDesign or Illustrator though. You could probably even do it in Word. In Dorico you would have a lot of manual adjustment in Engrave, probably so much that it isn’t worth the time when it could be quickly entered in a DTP program, especially if you started from a template that already had all of your basic design elements ready to be copied.

Unless I’m misreading and the # signs are something else, was there a reason to write “Cm G# Cm” rather than “Cm Ab Cm”?

I would guess maybe because guitar players favor sharp keys?

Ah, I’ve seen this sort of proportional notation in really compact Nashville chord charts. You can fit a ton of info on a single page this way.

I’m not a guitarist, but I would have thought a i - VI - i progression (or I - iii - I in a major key) that only changes one note by one semitone would have been something they might know about.

I would guess the hard part of playing chords on a guitar is changing from one chord to the next, not finding the individual chords.

LOL! Yeah, seems reasonable but …

I was doing a gig a few years ago with a pretty famous (infamous?) drummer’s band, and he had brought in a rock guitarist for a few tunes. I don’t remember why, but we had to play a big band arrangement of the James Bond theme in this gig, which ends on an E minor-major 9th chord. The guitarist missed it the first 2 passes at the rehearsal so the arranger asked what was going on. The guitarist said, “I don’t think that’s possible,” LOL!

Ah yes… the min-maj9. It’s so… “secret agent movie”… ha!

Obviously It should have been written Eb #5 b9 :slight_smile: