I want a partial/cut capo block to show in chord diagrams

Hi all - I’m on Dorico 4.3 (no reason (yet) to upgrade to 5…) and I’m wondering about being able to show a block for a partial/cut capo in the chord diagrams on a layout.

I’m just starting to wrap my head around creating lead sheets with guitar and capos (e.g. just a melody line for singers with transposed chord symbols or diagrams). I can do that fine now, but I’m trying to find a way to show a visual representation of a partial capo in a chord diagram.

I’m attaching images to illustrate - the first one is the sort I’m able to do in Dorico’s chord diagram dialog (though this image isn’t from Dorico, just a mock-up), and the second is the kind I’m looking to be able to create - with a black bar or something else representing a partial capo. In this example, it’s a capo placed on fret 2 covering the 3rd-5th strings.

I can’t find a way to do that, so if it’s possible and I’ve just missed it, can someone point me in the right direction? If it’s not possible, perhaps this is a feature request. (Or is it already in v5?)

On a related note, it looks like that Chord Diagram Variants box allows me to re-define a voicing, but not add a new one. Is there a way to define a new voicing so that I could add a brand new voicing instead of having to replace a shape that’s there already? It would be great if I could either do that or create some kind of custom chord diagram library.

Thanks in advance.

Not sure if it’s possible in Dorico natively, but you can use MusFrets for those.

Thanks Dan, I’ll have a look at that. Of course it would be a great benefit to be able to do it natively in Dorico, but this might be a workaround for now.

The option for these bar markings are in Engraving Options, well hidden on the bottom of that long list with measurements:

I was able to get this:

Speaking as a guitarist, this would result in the fingering you’re after, I think!


Thanks for that - that’s as close as I can find to do this natively in Dorico. It indeed captures the voicing, but it’s not quite what I need. The reason is that it’s not an accurate representation of the capo; it needs to cover also the G string. And I can’t find a way to allow Dorico to show dots/bars on two different frets but on the same string. So I can create the bar in the editor (in your example, click on G-string fret 2), but then I can’t click again on the G-string on fret 4 while keeping the 3-string bar intact. The editor is only allowing fingering, not barring.

Now, it will work for a full barre (eg. F#m - click on fret 2 on both E strings to create a full barre, then on the A- and D-strings on fret 4). Or, more precisely, it will work for when a barre starts or ends on a string that doesn’t include another finger. But this only works because Dorico is visually “bridging” the two E-strings and is not actually showing a finger placed on a string “inside” the barre. If a barre stops on the same string as a finger needs to be placed (as with the example of an E chord, where the partial capo/barre ends on the G-string, but the finger also goes on the G-string), there’s no way to do that.

At least, none that I can find. The “Edit Strings and Tuning” dialog allows me to partial capo the visual fretboard, but that doesn’t translate into chord diagrams.

For now, I’ll go with custom graphics and/or try Dan’s software. Thanks again!

@dan_kreider I just tried out MusFrets - what an intriguing thing! I’m 95% of the way there; I’m able to create the diagram with your standard notation for the barre, and get the dots in the right place, with the finger #, even! Two questions that would get me the last 5% there, in terms of what I’m looking for visually:

  1. Is there a way to include the chord name above the diagram with custom diagrams? It looks like that’s easy enough with your chord library ones, but I don’t see a way to do that for custom diagrams.
  2. For the barre, it would be amazing if there could be a visual distinction between a barre done with the finger and one that represents a capo. Is there any way to add this in? e.g. I typed in “b3d” at the A-string position to get a barre over three strings on the 2nd fret down from the nut. That works. But could you add in the ability to use a “c” (or other letter representing a capo) in place of the “b”, which would produce maybe a square instead of a circle, with the “bridge” between the ends being the full height of the square ends? So that would produce a solid rectangle over the three strings (as in my 2nd example graphic above, just with the thickness of the line matching the diameter of the circles), so that it’s a visual cue that it’s not a finger but a capo? I have no idea how complex or easy that might be (I’m not a programmer at all), but it would be a great value-added feature for my use case.
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Hi Michael, no on both counts, I’m afraid. I tried every possible font-fu I could think of to create custom chord names above the fretboard, but in the end I could only manage to make a couple dozen pre-packaged ones. You’ll need to add them as text. You can do this pretty easily using another of my fonts, MusGlyphs.

And no, the only two options for barres are the horizontal bar with circular ends, and the slur. Sorry.

Wow, I just checked, and discovered that partial capos are a thing. Never knew… :wink:
So my answer makes no sense whatsoever, excuse my ignorance… :rofl:


No worries, Dan, I appreciate your willingness to offer help.

@YourMusic.Pro no problem. They are a thing, and a fun thing at that! It opens up some great ways to create different voicings on basic chords, and also works great with two guitars - one with a cut capo and one with standard chords. But because of the relative rarity and complexity of notation, it’s more difficult to figure out how to visually represent them.

The bottom line is that I may just keep working with the vector files I created, and wait to see if this can be implemented into Dorico somehow. But I appreciate all the help!