my first project - questions


I’m a new Dorico SE user. New to piano as well. I break my daily practice up into 3 parts, 1 is beginner piano theory and practice (currently learning the individual chords of the C Major scale in Melodics. Rhythms 1 and 2 of Pianoforall book 1 and Transcribing/Reading practice with Dorico).

Ran into some issues trying to transcribe bars 4 and 5 of Riders on the Storm (see attachment for image and project file)

Question 1: Bar 4

I can’t seem to make the first note of the group of 1/4 notes be a chord, leaving the others as singles… You can see in my question image, that it automatically made the subsequent notes chords too.

Question 2: Bar 5

It doesn’t seem to want to let me group those two first 1/4 notes + rest. When I enter edit mode, and try to enter the note closer to the first, (based on the little guide lines when entering notes -|–|--|–|--… but it won’t let me, it changes the first note to the 1/8th when I do.

This is made more difficult by the fact I don’t even know the names of these things I’m trying to do… as I am learning to transcribe in order to be able to have the MIDI playback ability to coach me on parts I am having difficulty learning.

Thanks for your help

Riders on the (386 KB)

Welcome to the forum, Andy. In bar 4, you need to use two voices: one for the up-stem semiquavers/16th notes, and another for the down-stem crotchet/quarter note. Check out this video for help.

In bar 5, first hit I to engage Insert mode, then select those two crotchets/quarters and hit 5 to turn them into quavers/8ths. Then turn Insert mode off again by hitting I a second time.

You didn’t ask about this point, but looking at your screen shot you need to find out the difference between ties and slurs. You seem to have used slurs where there should be ties in your score.

Regarding bar 4 - do you mean the note highlighted orange in your Dorico screenshot? If so, all you need to do to stop it overlapping with the notes underneath is to make that note shorter - so select just the B that’s tied over and press 5 (for quaver/eighth note). (I think Daniel’s advice about using multiple voices is intended for the 3rd bar in the musicnotes example, which is the 2nd bar in your Dorico screenshot)

For bar 5, Daniel’s right about using Insert mode then making the notes shorter, but in order to make sure the subsequent notes are in the right place afterwards, I’d recommend only making the first note in that bar a quaver/eighth note with Insert mode on. Once you’ve changed the first note, turn off Insert mode, then make the second note a quaver. That should leave the following notes in the right place, based on your example.

(The orange grid lines you see above the staff when inputting notes show the rhythmic grid - the number of subdivisions depends on the resolution of the rhythmic grid - smaller resolution = more lines, larger resolution = fewer lines. Where things get input depends on the position of the caret, which is the vertical line when inputting notes.)

(I think Rob is also right that you might benefit from using ties instead of slurs, for joining two notes of the same pitch together when they represent a single note held over barlines etc. Here’s a comparison of the two that might be helpful)

Daniel, Rob, Lillie, Thanks very much for taking the time to help me out!

Daniel & Lillie: As Lillie pointed out, when I followed your instructions for Bar 5, as soon as they turn to Quavers, it completely modifies the following bar and seems to add notes. (see screenshot bar5_after)

Rob, Lillie: Thanks for pointing out the slurs/ties issue, I made those modifications as well as learned an important distinction. In fact that documentation is really nice, I’ll be diving into it a bit more.

Attaching latest project file which includes the nice “wash” I believe I’ve heard it called and had to figure out the 8va octave shift notation.

It’s a lot of fun, in a way to reverse engineer the music knowledge while learning to read and input the information. It’s quite interesting how well “thought” out it is once you start to understand it.
Riders on the (398 KB)

I also wanted to ask, is it wise to fix an area before continuing? I noticed many times while trying to fix an element, that it cascades and affects everything after it (which I’m not used to thinking in those terms, given previous work with editing music in MIDI piano rolls (where the time structure is very grid oriented)) instead of the more evolved language of written musical notation.

I guess you have Insert Mode still on when you don’t need it. Keep an eye on the left sidepanel in Write Mode: there is a button/icon more or less shaped like a capital letter I (I think it’s called an insertion beam), which indicates that things you add or delete somewhere in the middle of your music will cause everything after it to shift forward or backward. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to leave Insert Mode off until you need it. The easy keyboard shortcut is simply “i”, to toggle it on or off.
Dorico Help on this subject.
Schermafbeelding 2020-04-22 om 02.15.08.png

Hi PjotrB! Daniel, Lillie, Rob,

Thanks for your response and help. I was able to fix that issue in bar 5 with you advice. I thought I needed insert mode, based on instructions Daniel and Lillie provided turned insert mode on at the start of that fix.

It is almost identical now to the Sheet Music, the rest is slightly different (original has same rest on both sides of that middle Quaver).

This is already useable for me to practice the intro parts. Although this is much more advanced than the rest of the stuff, even just getting used to the notes and getting the bassline + treble notes timed correctly as I play is challenge enough. It’s a long term goal :slight_smile:

Transcribing my lessons from other media into Dorico sheet music, so I practice as much reading/writing music as I can while learning.

Hi Andy,

Ah apologies, from just your screenshot it wasn’t clear how much music there was after those bars - what Insert mode does is pull music ‘earlier’ if you shorten or delete notes, and push music ‘later’ if you lengthen or add notes. That’s why some notes moved into bar 6 where they weren’t there before. What you can do instead is, without Insert mode on, change the duration of notes and simply move them right/left by pressing Alt-right arrow or Alt-left arrow. They move by the duration of the rhythmic grid - so if you set it to eighth notes/quavers, you move notes to the right/left by a quaver for each press.

Here’s your project with bar 5 corrected with the rhythm right to match your example (the rests were different in your last example because the notes were in different places in the bar). I achieved this by doing what I described above: made the two quarter notes/crotchets quavers, then just moved notes around until they were in the right place. This leaves all music afterwards in the same place as it was.

(I also added the downstem voice in bar 2 and made bar 4 match the original)

Good luck with learning this and hope you continue to enjoy using Dorico!

Riders on the (399 KB)

Hi Lillie,

Oh wow! Thanks for taking the time to explain this and for fixing it in the file. Being able to shift the note around in the bar is going to come in real handy. It’s getting easier every time I use it.

I’ve managed to get the entire sheet music for the song and am planning on inputting it completely. The only thing that worries me is that although complete, it has some errors on the easy parts I know at the beginning which I thought was odd. Makes it a great learning experience and I have to correct notes here and there that sound out of place when playing it through Dorico’s built in player.

So far I haven’t gotten stuck again, but I’m sure the solo will be a challenge :slight_smile:

Thanks again for the awesome support and I’m really impressed by quality of this tool and the fact the SE version is free and enables a beginner like me learn with

A lot of “free sheet music” on the web (and a lot of “not free sheet music” as well) is full of mistakes. Scores from a big name publishers (Hal Leonard, Universal, Warner/Chapell, etc) are likely to be accurate and follow standard notation conventions, but anything else might have been produced by somebody who knows almost as much about music as you do :open_mouth:

Thanks Rob, yeah, I can imagine the free material available online isn’t perfect.

I was hoping would have their “Hal Leonard Doors keyboard play along” book which has everything I think I’d need. I will have to call some local shops to see if anyone has it and can ship. Otherwise I may have to order direct from Hal Leonard in the US.

I’m in no rush, lots to practice for now which is more at my beginner level

Hi Lillie,

Just wanted to mention, there was just one thing preventing me from replicating your fix on Bar 4.

Rythmic grid resolution. I was going crazy because I would Alt- and it would attach it to the two other quavers… I imagine more advanced users change that from the default, which was quite coarse.

Once I get the basics down, I’ll be much happier. And I know you sent me a corrected file, but I can’t sleep at night if I don’t fix it myself and learn what I’m doing wrong :slight_smile:

Yes being aware of the rhythmic grid is a very useful thing in Dorico, as it has an internal concept of “rhythmic position” that is very flexible. You can make the rhythmic grid smaller to move notes or items by small steps, or make it larger to move them by big steps; or indeed lengthen/shorten notes by the rhythmic grid value.

This also affects how precise you can/need to be when copying selected items using Alt-click (that is, selecting what you want to copy, and with it still selected, Alt-clicking wherever you want to paste it). With a small rhythmic grid, you have to be quite precise about where you’re clicking (i.e. if it’s set to semiquavers/16th notes, you might Alt-click stuff to the second semiquaver/16th note in the bar, rather than the very start) whereas if the rhythmic grid is larger, like crotchets/quarter notes, wherever you click it will ‘round up’ to the nearest crotchet/quarter note beat.

(Just in case you haven’t come across them, my colleague Anthony has made a bunch of useful videos that put a lot of these ideas into context, such as this one about note input/rhythmic grid and this playlist for new SE users specifically.)