Take your First Steps with our new guide for learning Dorico

Take your First Steps with our new guide for learning Dorico

We are pleased to announce the availability of a guide targeted at helping new Dorico users quickly understand the application’s key concepts and workflows. Titled First Steps, and written by our intrepid technical author, Lillie Harris, it will take you through a complete project from start to finish, reproducing a short piano miniature by the Croation composer Dora Pejačević, and follow this up with an extract of a song by Ma Rainey.

The guide covers everything from project setup, finding your way around Dorico’s project window and user interface, note input and editing, adding other notations such as slurs, ties, articulations, clefs, octave lines, and explains the core layout and formatting tools you need to produce perfect pages of music. After a few hours, you will have input a charming waltz, made it look great, and in the process you will have learned all of the fundamental concepts required to use Dorico successfully and efficiently.

At the conclusion of the Pejačević project, you can then proceed to learn about some more idiomatic notations, including lyrics, chord symbols, and writing for drum set. Even if you think that your own use of Dorico will be more in the realm of Ma Rainey’s blues than in Pejačević’s salon music, we nevertheless recommend that you work through the piano piece first, as that’s where all of the key concepts and workflows are introduced.

Currently, First Steps is only available in English, but it is in the process of being translated into German, French, Italian and Japanese, and those translations will be published as soon as possible.

If you’re looking for further helpful tools for learning and using Dorico more efficiently, the Resources page here on the blog is a veritable treasure trove of information, with links to all of the documentation published by Steinberg, plus third-party books, video courses, hand-outs, and much, much more. Finally, if you are experiencing any kind of difficulty with learning or using the software, please don’t hesitate to come to the Dorico forum and ask your question there: you will find a community of knowledgeable and helpful Dorico users from around the world, and several Dorico team members – including yours truly and Lillie – are frequent posters, too. If you have any feedback on the First Steps guide, please feel free to share it on the forum, or if you prefer, you can contact me directly.

Tip: Add and edit ossias


  1. Create an ossia by making a selection, and choosing Edit > Staff > Create Ossia Above/Below, or right-click to show the context menu.
  2. Input the music for the ossia in the usual way.
  3. Drag the signposts to change the start and endpoints of the ossia.
  4. Choose whether to show barlines, as well as many other options, in Engraving Options.
  5. There are also more options for in Layout Options, including specifying in which layouts they are shown.

Tip: Add intervals above or below selected notes


  1. With one or more notes selected, type Shift+I to open the Notes popover.
  2. Type a number and press Enter to add that interval above the selected notes.
  3. Separate numbers with commas to build chords.
  4. Specify the interval quality.
  5. Add intervals below with negative numbers.
  6. Build complex chords quickly and easily.
  7. Even add notes to the top or bottom of existing chords.
  8. Type t before the number to transpose the selected notes by that interval.

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