Suggestion - Percussion Tie

I know this has been brought up before… but I would like to make a suggestion/request for the future to have possibly an independent “percussion tie”.

One of the things I love most about Dorico is how well it handles so many rules regarding music. The tie is no exception. However, when it comes to percussion music, the tie sometimes means something else. So instead of changing Dorico’s default behavior, I would like to suggest a percussion tie that follows different rules than the standard tie.

Here is an example from ‘Modern Rudimental Swing Solos for the Advanced Drummer’ by Charlie Wilcoxon, first copyrighted (possibly published) in 1941. Then later renewed in 1969 and 1979. The rolls are tied to the release note (the tie/slur arcs upwards, not downwards, and it goes from note head to note head).

Here is an example from a solo book I am currently re-engraving.

While the slur does not look bad, it doesn’t necessarily uphold the tradition of percussion music. And to tweak the slur to look like the example from the Wilcoxon book would take quite a long time when I have literally hundreds to do. So having an option to select and place a percussion tie would be quite amazing.


I haven’t tried this right this minute and it’s late here in Frankfurt, but surely you can use a regular tie and apply the tremolo only to the first or last note in the tie chain as needed by selecting that note in Engrave mode and setting the ‘Single stem tremolo’ property?

It would be ironic if the original, handwritten notation of this combination was intended by composers (long ago) as a slur rather than a tie. :open_mouth:


I appreciate your response. And you are correct. I was just trying to avoid having to do 2 or 3 different steps to achieve the desired look. Force duration (because of the respelling of rhythms), add tremolo, open engrave mode, open properties panel, etc.

I tend to allow Dorico to do what it wants to do. And having to force Dorico to do other things defeats one of the beauties of the software, that I admire and appreciate so much. Plus my work flow is that I copy out the basic skeleton of the piece rhythmically, then I go through and add the rolls, accents, etc. Adding the tie now, would rewrite many of the rhythms, and unless I have missed something there is no way to stop this, other than to rewrite each measure where this would occur. Adding another step to what was described above. That was the reason for the suggestion.

I do not want to see Dorico change it’s behavior. I rather like the way Dorico works for other instruments, and the thought that has gone into it. That is why I suggested a possible second tool that one could use.

If I turn on “Force Duration” prior to entering the tie, Dorico does keep the same notated rhythms… so there is one less step in this process.


I think about this ALL of the time as of late. Seeing how Dorico works, and thinking truly about what a tie means (and does), and seeing Dorico do that to perfection, really has got me thinking about this over the many months Dorico has been out. Last night I woke up in the middle of the night and had trouble going back to sleep. I grabbed a bunch of old and new drum books to see whether they used a tie or a slur. And in the world of music notation software, some publishers have indeed moved to using a slur. Others have kept with the tie. The sad part is so much of older percussion music was rather limited. And seems that anything that truly was worthy of keeping around, has been redone in the computer. So you see a mixture of tie and slur, depending on when and how things were produced.


This is more of a drum-specific slur than just a tied extension to the note, as the note is definitely re-articulated. But of course it should be at the notehead.

One other thing to add to this. If I do use the tie, when using the lyric tool for stickings, it draws the word extension line. I found a workaround of adding the notes, adding the stickings, then adding the tie. The only issue is that usually the stickings are the last thing I input. So this sort of ties one’s hands into a specific workflow. (no pun intended)


In the future, I’m sure this is something one will be able to automate via scripting… Your need is very much legitimate, but conceptually it really doesn’t deserve to be a distinct object — just a faster way to achieve what you want.

I think you have a point.

And while I don’t really know much about scripting, I am cool with any kind of work around, and or means to achieve this easily, without changing my workflow. This workflow piece, is where I think something needs to give somewhere.

I am willing to make changes to my workflow, but at the same time I have created this workflow over the last 25-ish years. And it is based on how I see the music. Therefore this is many years ingrained in me, and will probably take many years to undo.


Hey, Robby,

thanks for understanding what I meant. I’m coming back with a bit more time on my hands and I’ve just tried something. While the scripting is very much rudimentary (no pun intended), you can speed up a couple of things by recording macros already. I was under the impression that macros could not, as of now, reach all property values so as to rewrite them (though most work), and I would have to double check if this worked.

Start Recording Macro (from the Scripting menu) while in Write Mode — macros will change modes for you, so you’ll save quite some time by catching the tie while just selecting one of the tied notes;
Select/highlight the notes with ties you want to change;
Switch to Engrave mode;
Go to Properties > Ties. Toggle the Direction Property and change it to up, as well as the Start and End Offsets. Set these to, say, 1/2 on the Y axis.
Switch back to Write mode and Stop Recording Macro.

You’ll be set! You can invoke this little script (there’s a shortcut by default) on any pair of tied notes while in Write mode.

Thank you sir!!!

I’ll look into this later today. I have NEVER done things with macros, so we will see how this goes. I’ll report back once I have given this a shot.