Flipping selected stems for guitar is unintuitive / more work than expected

• Nov 27, 2022 - 04:23

I've got some music for a guitar player. I'd like to flip the lower notes played using thumb, as it's commonly annotated. This turns out to be quite hard.

stem flip.png

It looks like there are two approaches - the first one doesn't work in this situation, because using the "stem flip" button flips the whole group, which is not what I'm after:

stem flip bad.png

The second approach is to use two voices, which I can do, however it requires a lot more work:

stem flip wtf.png

This inserts the rests for the other voice, which I need to explicitly hide, but also watch out that I don't hide rests which are actually necessary. Then every time I edit such bar, there's more cleanup to do after each modification.

It's a really annoying situation and I'd love to have an action for "flip stem, but actually only this one... no, really".


In reply to by underquark

"The second approach is to use two voices, which I can do, however it requires a lot more work"

It's the right choice. And it doesn't take much work if you use the right tools and workflow.

  1. Of course, it would have been better to enter your score voice by voice. You would not have to "go back" to do it. So, the BETTER workflow :)
  2. In your case, since everything has been entered in Voice1: select the three A (by list selection, with Ctrl/Cmd key held + click, OR, if your score contains many other similar notes by: right-click on an A -> Selection -> More -> Same pitch)
    Then, by simply navigating in the score with the arrow keys and using shortcuts, e.g. W (to double the duration), it goes really fast.

See the GIF (of course, you can add then ties, also you may preferred shared notes, but I don't know exactly the wished result ?)

Video stems.gif

The voice approach is definitely correct one - it's the whole reason the stems are in opposite directions in published music to begin with. That is, the rule is not, "show thumb notes stem down" or "show lower notes stem down" - it's "show multiple voices with opposing stems". Every time you see opposing stems in guitar music, it's because multiple voices are used - not just for thumbs or low notes.

But, don't enter the voice 2 notes as eighths - enter them as their full value (half and two quarters). Then there are no rests to hide. Unless you literally want the player to stop the note after only an eighth - and in that case, you should notate as eighths and then don't hide the rests. But I don't think that is what you actually mean.

When entered normally in this way, entering multiple voices is quite simple, as shown previously.

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