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Guitar markings

Adding slides, bends, tremolos, hammer-ons, and other guitar markings.

You already know how to enter many of the standard markings that your musicians will need. In this section, we’ll cover some of the markings that are specific to some types of guitar notation. Like before, these fall into the categories of Smart Shapes, Articulations and Expressions.

In this lesson you’ll learn how to:

  1. Add tab slides, bends, and tremolos
  2. Add hammer-ons and pull-offs

Entering slides, bends, and tremolos

You can enter these common elements of tab notation into your score using the Smart Shape tool. Because these items often appear in both the standard and tab staff, we’ll start by entering them into the standard staff and then copy them down to the tab staff.

To add a tab slide

  1. Choose the Selection tool .
  2. Click to the left of the standard notation staff to highlight the entire staff.
  3. Drag the highlighted area down into the tab staff.
  4. In the Lowest Fret dialog box type 0 (if "0" isn't there already).
  5. Click OK. The notes will convert to tab numbers and the markings will translate properly for tab notation. The bend hats have converted to bend and release curves.

To edit guitar tab

You will notice the last note is translated to the open A string. Now, let’s move this down to the E string for the tremolo.

  1. Choose the Simple Entry tool .
  2. While pressing OPTION, click the last note so it is selected.
  3. Press the DOWN ARROW key to move it to the sixth string. Now the tremolo is possible without a whammy bar.

Now, let’s say we want to add a 1/4 bend on the second to last note.

  1. Choose the Smart Shape tool .
  2. Click the Guitar Bend Tool .
  3. On the second to last fret number (3), hold down OPTION and double-click. A curved line with an arrow pointing up and a “1/4” figure indicating a bend of a quarter step appears. Note that you can also enter guitar bends in a tab staff by simply double-clicking the first of two fret numbers. Finale even attaches the appropriate text based on the pitch difference of the fret numbers.

Now, you may want to add a bend indication in the standard staff on the second to last note.

  1. Click the Slur Tool in the Smart Shape palette.
  2. Double-click the second-to-last note (C) in the standard notation staff.
  3. Click and drag the handles to edit the slur. You can use the slur handles to create a small curve to the right of the note.

For compete information on entering all Smart Shapes, see the User Manual under the Smart Shape Tool.

Hammer-ons, pull-offs and other markings

We’ll continue to use this tutorial document to demonstrate how to enter hammer-ons and pull-offs. This method can be used to enter a variety of other markings as well. The Smart Shape Tool should still be selected.

To add a hammer-on.

  1. Click the Slur Tool in the Smart Shape Palette.
  2. In the tab staff, double click the “1” on the last beat of the first measure. You should see a slur from the last beat of the first measure to the first beat of the second measure.
  3. While pressing OPTION, click the Custom Line Tool .
  4. Scroll down until you find the H custom shape and click it so it is highlighted. There are several sets of these (H, P, B, and R) markings of different styles and fonts. For more details, choose one and click Edit. Then click OK to return to the Smart Line Selection dialog box.
  5. Click Select.
  6. Double click the “1” on the last beat of the first measure and drag across the barline to the first beat of the next measure. Remember, the direction of the slur and font of the “H” depends on the option chosen in the Smart Line Selection dialog box, and may not match the image below.

Now, you can use the arrow keys to make fine adjustments. To enter a pull-off, follow the same steps, only choose the “P” custom shape in the Custom Shape dialog box.

Use the above method to enter a variety of performance indications used regularly for fretted instruments. In the Smart Line Selection window you will find figures for bends (B), releases (R), palm mutes (P.M.), harmonics (A.H. and P.H.), picking, and others.

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