Tablature transposition issue

I’m creating a series of exercises/phrases in all keys for guitar (one flow per key, several exercises/phrases per flow), needing tablature.
Thing is, once my first flow is done and I just want to transpose it by a half step (one fret), I copy it but once pasted in the next flow and transposed by half step the strings in the tablature are not retained and notes are just assigned randomly to new strings most of the time, while I just want to keep the same strings and fingerings.
(Dorico 4, last update)

Is this a bug or is there anything to check in the preferences ?

Thanks !

Nope, this unfortunately works as designed. Dorico is not yet smart enough to work with fixed positions on the neck in order to keep fingerings consistent.
It will by default always break the TAB down to open strings…


If the key changes are all in separate flows, you could have multiple guitars, each with different open string pitches or capos, assign each player to the relevant flow*, and keep all the players in the same layout so only one guitar’s staves appears in any one flow.

(*or have the same single player hold multiple guitars and hide empty staves, completely up to you.)

If the “String” property has been set for a specific note (either manually, or because the note was input onto the tablature staff in the first place), then it won’t get re-allocated to a different string when you transpose it.

Thanks for your replies, that’s quite infortunate and I do hope it’ll be fixed…

@Lillie_Harris : that seems quite over-complicated and I’m not quite sure to understand how this would work. But anyway, the way I build my exercises in lots of Dorico files I’ve created is not necesarily per key but per root : in the case I was speaking of for instance, I’ve created a flow for root A that has different exercises/phrases in different modes of A (A minor, major, myxolydian, etc…) and I keep an open key signature for all of those anyway, then once I’m done with my first flow I just duplicate and transpose. Retaining the string here is important because sometimes there are exercises in a row that have the very same thing/notes, just with a different fingering and choice of strings so it’s not just about the notes.

@Richard_Lanyon : yeah the thing is I can’t set the string property for hundreds of notes, that would take me ages…
Also, all my notes were input onto the tab staff from the beginning, but I still get this problem.
In Guitar pro for instance I’d just have to paste my selection then press Option + Shift + Up shortcut and it’s done, split second (but for numerous reasons I don’t want to use GP, though there are still some things it’s better and simpler at doing)

One workaround you could do to set the string property for a lot of notes at once would be to select everything on the tab staff (not the notation staff) then press “m” to move it all down a string and “n” to move it up a string again. That obviously won’t do the right thing for notes that are already on the bottom string, so it’s not a perfect solution - depending on what you have to fix it may be easier than the other workarounds though.

I’m surprised that the String property isn’t being set when you initially input onto the tab staff, though. Could you just run through exactly how you’re inputting the notes? Are you typing the numbers, or using MIDI, or the fretboard window, or something else?

For some notes it’s been set but for other notes it’s not, it seems random.
I’m typing the numbers yes, although sometimes I did press m or n when having a similar exercise in an other mode that requires a more appropriate fingering.

Hmm, I can’t reproduce the problem here. Inputting fret numbers onto the tab staff in step-time input should always set the String property (and using “m” or “n” to change the string will also always set it). It could be that there’s a bug here, but I’d need steps to reproduce it if we’re going to be able to fix it. Does it happen even with a completely new project, e.g. if you start with the “Guitar with tablature” template?