Need suggestion to transpose licks in several tonalities

I need help or suggestion. I want to do improvisation licks exercises in all keys.
My idea was to create instruments like sampler, sampler+1C#, sampler +1Db, sampler+2D, sampler +3D#, sampler+3Eb in which the number is the number of semitones. And then create a template with all these elements and write the licks in the original key and copy it to the other instruments (sampler) which will transpose automatically.
But I encounter difficulties with the enharmony of the transposition with the instruments also and especially with the names of the chords which are not changed enharmonically??!!
I thought that editing the instruments could transpose either to # or to b but the setting in instruments called transposition doesn’t seem to do what you want?! for example by writing (in transposition, written middle C sounds Eb3 or D#3 writes the same thing)
thanks and best regards

Do you mean you want to use transposing instruments in every key to simulate transposing exercises into all the keys without having to use the Transpose dialog? I think that’s a bizarre way to go about it. Why not just write in C, copy and transpose? You can streamline that process by grouping. For example, after you do C thru E♭ one at a time, you can copy all of those and transpose them up a major 3rd to get E thru G, etc.

As for enharmonics, transposing instruments automatically simplify enharmonic spelling of key signatures and chords past 5 ♯ or ♭. You can make them accept up to 7 ♯ or ♭ by turning off “Prefer enharmonic equivalent key signatures with fewer accidentals” in Notation Options > Accidentals > Transposition.

1 Like

Great thanks for your answer and opinion.
Till Dorico 4 I used your method but with dorico 5 I would to use transposing instruments and do not use Tanspose Dialog. Which should be much faster in also using “duplicate to staff below”.
Here is a gif to illustrate:

The problem is enharmonic and I imagined that we could choose this in the dialog: but I can’t change for example b3 into A doublesharp 3…is this possible?

For example transpose cm to c3m not to dbm, or D7 to Eb7 and not to D#7.
Best regards

Interesting workflow, is this just for your own practicing, or is it something you’ll eventually print out? I do this sort of thing a lot for students, so I’m always keeping it in one staff so it can be printed. I still feel like I’ve never found the optimum workflow with this.

  1. For moving up in 1/2 steps, it’s obviously easy to use R to repeat the phrase and then Alt+Shift+Arrow to transpose up in 1/2 steps. This does a reasonably decent job with enharmonics too, although there’s always some clean up. Unfortunately that command doesn’t work on chord symbols. When I use this method, I always end up just quickly typing them all in or copying from another flow or exercise.

  2. For 1/2 steps the Transposition dialog is pretty slow, as sometimes you’ll want a minor 2nd (C to Db) and sometimes an augmented unison (Db to D). Some years ago I tried doing this with macros and shortcuts, but I don’t think the transposition input was saved, and the macro simply opened the Transposition dialog box. Maybe I’ll try this again, but at least at one point I couldn’t get it to work.

  3. For patterns moving around the cycle in 4ths, using R and then the Transposition dialog works pretty well. You’ll likely need to stop and respell at C#m7 (- F#7 - B) but other than that it’s pretty fast.

A personal wishlist for these types of patterns:

  1. Allow Alt+Shift+arrow to work on chord symbols too.
  2. Allow Transpose / “Respell to avoid double and triple sharps and flats” to work for chord symbols too.
  3. Allow shortcuts to be assigned to specific transpositions, not simply the Transposition dialog box. (Is this somehow hackable now?)

Glad to see other people are interested in this that I use for myself and my students.
Agree with your wishlist, I will complete it tomorrow with 1-2 things.
For my part, I often use Cubase to prepare and transpose because it goes quickly like in this video example. then we can export in midi, merge in loop to have a single track for export, export in xml,…

et import dans dorico:

What’s your final output format? I’m assuming no one is reading off that grid, are they? Or is it audio only to play along with? I think I would typically present it like this:

Is that what your final output would look like? For something like that R and Alt+Shift+arrow, then a respell shortcut (if needed) works well and is really fast. It’s the addition of chord symbols that slow everything down as they aren’t as easy to transpose and modify.

(Since it’s a diatonic pattern and they aren’t really supposed to be reading it much anyway, I generally skip cautionary accidentals for these except for notes immediately following like Ebm to Em, Bbm to Bm. For a non-diatonic pattern I probably would use cautionaries. Just depends I suppose.)

Sorry, it was just few notes entered for a video example. In cubase if I do merge midi in loop and export it in midi file and open the midi file in dorico i can have the same as you but with some notes to change with enharmonic.
Tomorrow I try the same but with a real licks transcribed from real context ( for example a sax pattern) and post the results to discuss about.
Best regards

As an example, here’s a Gary Bartz pattern I just assigned a high school kid to memorize at a lesson yesterday. (I didn’t actually write it out, we just picked a II-V she liked from his solo to take through the keys this week.) Dorico does an ok job with a pattern through the cycle like this because the Transpose feature is sticky and remembers 4ths. This only takes a couple of minutes to do:

I find it much more time consuming to do going up in 1/2 steps since you have to keep fiddling with transposition settings if you do notes and chords at the same time.



Thanks for your reply: tranpose by 4th is a good proposition.
all method have good and bad flavours that we must change with correction. In yours I’m not fan of allways the altération of the 3rd of the IIm for F#m7,Bm7,Em7 etc…
I tried with my first idea with instruments tranposed and duplicate to staff below: also some bad results.
Here are the files if somebody want to test and improve.
licks_tranps_v5_sax.dorico (1.1 MB)