Transposed guitar part

I’m creating a score for me (piano) and my son (guitar). Since he is only 9, his arms are too short to play without capo. So he plays with capo on the 3rd fret which makes it a transposed instrument that sounds 3 semitones higher than a standard guitar (which sounds an octave lower than concert pitch).

I’ve tried adjusting the settings in the Edit Strings and Tuning dialog for the guitar instrument in Setup tab, such as placing the capo on the 3rd fret, but it doesn’t seem to have any effect on how the guitar part is written, even though the Transposed checkbox is on for that layout. What am I doing wrong? Is there any way to create a custom transposition for an instrument at all?

In the Edit Strings and Tuning dialog you need to do two things - you need to define the capo, which it sounds like you have done, and you also need to set the transposition value in the bottom of the dialog. For a capo at the third fret you either want a transposition of Eb or D#:


I did that as well, didn’t seem to make a difference in the part.

Could you post the project here?

Ah, hang on, when you say you’ve set the “Transposed” checkbox for the layout, do you mean the one at the top of the “Players” page that says “Transposing layout”? You need to set that and the one that says “Use fretted instrument transposition” further down the page.

1 Like

That last one was what’s missing, thanks! A bit confusing that these two settings aren’t directly next to / under each other

It is my view that there should be shortcuts in the Edit Strings and Tunings Dialog to this location. When I changed the note name on the above dialog after “In staff notation, written C4 sounds as”, I fully expected to see the result of my action as soon as I closed the dialog. There was no indication that another step is required. It is extremely frustrating to try to find out this information. It is not to be found by searching the manual. Only by coming to the forum do I find the answer. And only after scrolling through various other items on the topic of capo and the guitar. I request this feature be added to the Edit Strings and Tuning page.

Apologies for this information not yet being included in the published Dorico 4 manual. I anticipate it will be available in the English manuals very soon, including an overview of how capos work in Dorico and the different places you can have them affect the music (tablature, notation staves, chord symbols, and used chord diagram grids).

Information about capos should now be available in the published Dorico 4 manuals. E.g. in the Pro manual, start on this page and follow either the related links or nearby topics in the table of contents on the left.

1 Like