Tutorial: Creating a scales worksheet in Dorico

Tutorial: Creating a scales worksheet in Dorico

Dorico is uniquely powerful in terms of its handling of complex documents with multiple pieces of music contained within them, and in its ability to create consistent page layouts quickly and easily. But these tools may not present themselves hugely obviously to you at first, especially if you’ve been used to working in other music notation software that provides fewer features targeted at these kinds of use cases: you may well have become very proficient at bending other software to your will, and so when you come to try to do a similar job in Dorico, you might reasonably expect to find similar sorts of ersatz solutions, and consequently end up frustrated.

In this tutorial, we’ll introduce some of these powerful features and walk through the creation of a simple worksheet containing some major and minor scales. By the end of the tutorial, you will know something about important Dorico concepts like flows, vertical spacing, transposition, and more besides. So let’s get started.

read more…

Tip: Shorten note durations to remove overlaps in MIDI imports


  1. Many sound libraries employ a legato feature which is triggered by releasing a note after the next one has started.
  2. When you import MIDI into Dorico that has used this legato feature, you may find that some of the the notes are overlapping.
  3. Fix this by choosing Write, Edit Duration, Shorten to Next Note.
  4. All overlaps are removed instantly.

Tip: Extend note durations to fill gaps left when recording


  1. When you record music in real-time using Dorico, it is quantised based on your preferences.
  2. Playing naturally can result in gaps between some notes, especially when using a sustain pedal.
  3. These gaps can be tidied up easily with the help of a simple command.
  4. Go to Write > Edit Duration > Extend to Next Note to extend the duration of notes followed by rests so that those gaps are closed up.
  5. The command can be run over any selection, meaning you can easily choose which parts of your recordings are affected.
  6. To make the process even quicker, set your own key command in Preferences to trigger Extend to Next Note.

Tip: Justify the final system in your layout


  1. Dorico spaces your music for you automatically.
  2. On occasion, you may wish to force the final system to be justified.
  3. Open Layout Options (by pressing Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+L), choose the Note Spacing category, and uncheck the option to Only justify final system in flow when more than n% full.
  4. If you prefer, you can leave the option checked, and just set the value to something higher – this may work better in projects with multiple flows.

Tip: Create new default layouts for missing parts


  1. Dorico creates part layouts for every player by default.
  2. Sometimes, layouts might be deleted by mistake, meaning they no longer show in the layout selector or the Layouts panel.
  3. Fix this by opening the Setup menu and choosing Create Default Part Layouts.
  4. This will create new copies of any missing instrumental parts that can be dragged to their preferred position, and be found in the layout selector once more.

Try Dorico for yourself

Dorico SE is completely free to download and use, forever.

Download Now