Tweak suggestions for capo definition dialog

Thanks for adding guitar capo functionality!

1- An “apply” button while the dialog remains open would be helpful. One can see the effect before committing. Otherwise, it’s left-clicking, then maneuvering to a 2nd tier dropdown to open the dialog again, selecting a different number, and so on.

2-A check-box to automatically add the text “Capo #” on the part, to the left of the capo’d chords row would also be helpful.

3- It took me longer than it should have to sort out this dialog box. Admittedly, I’m dull-witted at times:
“let’s see, my song is in Bb and I want to select capo 3. The dialog says 'in capo symbols, written C4 sounds as: … ’ hmmm Bb is a whole-step lower than C so …, wait, it’s C4; that means it is middle C, so the program wants to know if I’m capoing higher or lower than the original key? Should I select positive or negative numbers?”

Eventually, I learned to ignore the first statement altogether, jump to the parenthesis and mentally substitute “+3 half-steps” with “3rd fret.” If I simply want to select ‘capo fret 3’, I don’t want to do mental gymnastics to get there.

4- It may be a cultural thing, but “capo chord symbol definition” is needlessly cryptic when one is looking for which fret to set the capo. I only found it after using the help system. It’s already located in the ‘Chord Symbols’ sub-menu. “Capo Settings” would do the trick.

Some of this might come across as nit-picking, but I love Dorico and I want to help make your UI as intuitive as possible. I’m guessing that for users who are using Dorico to make quick and dirty lead sheets, the current dialog is an impediment.

Thanks for all you do!

Unfortunately some of the complexity here is hard to avoid if we want to be able to support a full range of use cases. For example, we want to be able to support PVG-style scores where guitar chord diagrams appear above an instrument that isn’t a guitar - this means we have to allow the capo definition for chord symbols to be independent from the instrument itself (hence “capo chord symbol definition”). Also, we want to be able to support detuned guitars as well as capoed guitars, so the transposition for the instrument has to be independent from its capo definition.

Thanks, that makes sense.

Please, please at least add an “apply” button. Better yet, a 2nd dropdown for quick fret selection.

Just now, I wanted to denote capo 5. The song is in the key of C. This is commonly played capo 5 for the nice voicing of the G shape. +5 half steps gave me Abb. No obvious way to swap the enharmonic equivalent. Trial and error got me to -7 to achieve the correct capo level. I don’t understand the math, nor should I be required to.

The user shouldn’t have to go through these kinds of mental gymnastics to simply set a capo. An apply button would at least allow one to do trial and error without continually going back to the left-click, submenu, etc.

I don’t know what percentage of Dorico users create lead sheets in addition to orchestral arrangements, but most church musicians in the U.S. are required to blend in contemporary music. I create several lead sheets each and every week. I’ve waited patiently for years for the capo feature, but for now, I must print a little chart taped to my monitor to keep track of which offset equates to which fret.

To solve your problem, you need to choose this:

rather than this:

so you need to press the up button twice more (once for E# to Fb, and again for Fb to F). I’ve shown the instrument dialog, but the capo chord symbols dialog works the same way.

This morning I spent 15 minutes to try and get Capo 1, D shape in the key of Eb. After 15 minutes and making a chart I finally discovered that there are enharmonic equivalents in the “written C4 sounds as…” list. I can’t imagine anything less intuitive.

Key of Eb:
C 4 Sounds as/ num / Capo symbol for tonic
Eb4 / +3 / C
D#4 / +3 / Dbb
D4 / +2 / Db
C#4 / +1 / D
Cb4 / -1 / E
B#3 / 0 / Fbb
B3 / -1 / Fb
Bb3 / -2 / F
A#3 / -2 / Gbb

Thanks, Richard! Sorry, my second post was uploaded before I saw your solution.
But… I am still pushing back at the devs.
Say I’m in Eb and I want to capo 1, D:
My options are C#4 +1 and Db4 +1. I guess the former and the result is Ebb. Repeat process.
If I want to capo 7, I have to click through to the +7 options, take a guess, then likely go through the submenus and do it again. I LOVE Dorico and everything that is great about it. But this dialog is a wart- completely counter-intuitive compared to other features. I doubt any of the classical users will ever touch it, or view this thread, so it will go unnoticed. A simple “apply” button would help tons.