Learning Curve - and Suggested Tutorial Topic

Hi. I have some very old background in Finale (full version 12 :slight_smile: and am currently demo’ing Sibelius and Dorico. I have several songs an choral scores developed that need to be notated, but nothing is written in any form except for chorded lead sheets. All of these were done live with various groups and in various settings. I sat down with Dorico to compose and work out rhythms on the fly and soon entered fractional rest hell :slight_smile:. I tried the same thing with Sibelius and it went much smoother, (however, I have had trouble with Avid in the past with Pro Tools, and would prefer not to go down that road again). I have now spent this morning searching this forum for “delete rest,” “delete note,” “compose,” “scratchpad,” etc… and have learned a few things I will try that should be helpful. I have watched almost all the tutorial youtube’s and read a significant portion of the manual last night, which was quite a chore :slight_smile:. I’m going to try turning off some things for composition, etc, and see how it goes.

On to my suggestion. Most of the tutorials on youtube seem to deal with putting down things for which you already know the rhythms. It would have been very helpful to see a tutorial video of someone starting to compose from an idea and all the mistakes and screw-ups that happen during that process. It was a chore to find out how to delete a rest, for example. I was able to delete a note, but there was a rhythm hole to the left of it. I entered music with my midi keyboard and hit a wrong note and then hit the right one, etc. and had to clean things up. This is the core of the learning curve for me right now. I will mostly be composing in choral and piano with guitar chords, sometimes exploding into four choral staves but mostly two SA and TB staves. The Divisi tutorial is wonderful, and will need some digesting. Working with the melody in the SATB and developing the underlying piano part is also new to me.

I am strongly attracted to learning and using Dorico, but the simple act of entering notes has been surprisingly (and discouragingly) difficult (compared with Sibelius). Compared to what I see most of you discussing in the forums my stuff is so much simpler, so I can offer a professional musician but novice notator viewpoint (as if that is needed :slight_smile:. The main problem is that once a program makes you feel a little stupid it takes more effort to get the enthusiasm ramped up to keep swinging at it :slight_smile:. I hope this post helps show another perspective and use case for the product. I still have ten or fifteen days of trial use left and should be faster at entry by the end of the day!




Ed, have you used insert mode? Very helpful. Moves all notes after the entry. That would fix some of your rest problems. Press “I” to toggle insert mode on or off.

Ctrl-Z to undo is wonderful… I use it all the time.

When you’ve entered a note, it’s selected. You can do some things with it:

  • alt-L/R arrow to move it on the rhythmic grid
  • shift-alt-arrow to lengthen or shorten
  • alt-up/down to move it diatonically
  • alt-shift-up/down to move it chromatically
  • Ctrl-alt-up/down to move it by octave

There are tons more, and users here are happy to help.

I do agree that the info could be more readily accessible for basic functions.

Have you watched the YouTube videos on getting started? Look for playlists, “How to—Write mode.”

Note Entry in Dorico is similar to Finale’s Simple Entry: though with a few notable differences, as you’ve found out.
Also, remember, if something is always not as you want it, then don’t keep changing each little thing - there’s bound to be a setting that will fix everything.

There is a Dorico Note Entry tutorial document, but I can’t find it now. I’m sure someone will post a link.

Thanks @dankreider and @benwiggy. I’m making some more progress.

Yeah, insert mode has amazing powers that I didn’t get for awhile. It affects adding and subtracting notes and rests. Amazing once you get it.

The Tutorial PDF for Note Entry in in the 'Files" section of the Facebook group. You can find it here:

The Tutorial PDF for Note Entry in in the 'Files" section of the Facebook group. You can find it here:

https://www.facebook.com/download/previ > … 8021134489

Page not found :frowning:

pianoleo, thank you :pray:t2:
Actually this link asks to sign into facebook first.
People without fb account (like me) can’t access this information…

Much as I’d love to, I don’t think I can legally re-host a PDF that is the work product of Steinberg. Maybe somebody from the team could? (Please!)

The link works for me. Perhaps because I’m signed in and a member of the Dorico group. I have suggested that the file be hosted here or on Steinberg’s support pages, as it’s a really useful run-through.

Ben, if you are signed in and are a member of the Dorico fb group you must have a fb account :wink:

[I’m logged into Facebook, but the link still doesn’t work. No idea what’s going on.]
Log into Facebook, go to Dorico group, click on Files, find file in list. Sorted.

Thanks, all, for the pointer to the tutorial pdf. I found the “quarter note” version in the Files area of the facebook group.


Well. I worked through the “Getting Started with Note Input in Dorico” tutorial and I must say that I feel better about my abilities to learn Dorico :slight_smile:.

A 20-50 page workbook would be amazing. But, I have gotten through the “slough of despond” (for those of you familiar with the Pilgrim’s Progress :slight_smile:) and feel better able to press on.

Thanks for your help. Any more tutorials or classes like this available?




I’d suggest you to watch the videos from Anthony Hughes on the YouTube Dorico channel as a priority. You should be set to go. And when a question rises, a search in this forum should provide the answer!

Thanks, Marc. I will watch them again.




I am someone who finds it helpful to have “background” information to understand any program better. For me, knowing the “why” it works this way or that way always makes the most sense. I find in those settings, I am not ‘fighting’ the program, because I understand what it is trying to do.

With that in mind, I recommend you search for the Dorico MOLA (Major Orchestra Librarians Association) video on YouTube. In that video, Daniel talks A LOT about the thoughts behind the programming. With those things in mind, you might have a much better grasp on what Dorico is doing, and how you might be better served using it. Keep in mind the video is about 5 months prior to the release of Dorico.


This +100. One of the first things I did was binge-watch (and listen to) all sorts of these videos and podcast interviews discussing the WHY. I can’t tell you how helpful it was to my learning.