An easier way to add fingering to the score?

• Jun 10, 2015 - 11:10

I find MuseScore very "click-dependent" when it comes to adding fingering (at least in a guitar score). One click to select a note, a double-click to apply the finger number from the palette, then further adjustment with the arrow buttons. Is there a way to spread the load onto the non-clicking hand with the use of keyboard shortcuts?

These shortcuts would be single numbers or letters reflecting the established notation: 0-5, T, p, m, a, c etc. Could this be done if there was a "fingering mode" available which could be turned on and off by a simple toolbar toggle button? This would allow the user to simply click on a note (in normal mode) with the right hand, apply the finger number with a one-key, shortcut (left hand) then make any final adjustments with the right-hand arrow buttons.

This would eliminate the need for double-clicking in the right-hand and reduce the strain on the tendons which can lead to Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) .

Since all instruments use some kind of simple fingering notation isn't this worth considering?


Definitely worth considering. There have been a few proposals, nothing has come of them. I think there may have been some work done on one, but I don't see a pull request.

In general, I want to see more keyboard controls for *everything*. I virtually never use fingerings, although I understand some use them very often. For me, it's dynamics, articulations and lines I most miss keybaord controls over. Blind users would need keyboard control for *everything*, but would probably most appreciate even the basics like key and time signatures. I'd like to see a well-thought general solution more than a piecemeal approach, although I do recognize that fingerings could be considered special.

Since I use fingerings for guitar music very often, I would welcome this, too. Improving the automatic layout of fingerings has been discussed a lot, but enabling keyboard input is something I have hoped for for a long time! :-) I think the idea of a fingering mode sounds very promising, since directly using the number keys seems the obvious solution. Maybe for other things comparable modes could be introduced, allowing for example to directly type in letters in a 'Dynamics input mode'?

My idea: How about a 'Palette input' button, similar to the 'Note input' button? I imagine activating it (keyboard shortcut 'P'?) would enforce the single palette mode (and open the palettes beforehand if not already visible) and allow the user to work in different input modes simply by selecting certain palettes. (As described above, for each palette in need of such a mode, an individual shortcut environment could be imagined.)

I use Musescore in linux and placing fingering is hard. You do it with the mouse by dragging a number onto a note. This isn't so bad if you don't have that many notes that need fingering. The thing is that the number will stay on the left side of the note instead of being above the note and then you have to click the number and drag it to the correct place.
I'm not sure if this is a bug but it's very boring having to drag the numbers and besides, as there isn't a grid to snap to, the number is rarely placed in alignment with previous fingering numbers.
I'd love to have keyboard shortcuts for fingering and Musescore automatically place fingering above notes, above score, in a way similar to bow markings.

In reply to by Don Giovanni

Add a fingering by dragging a number onto a note is definitively not the good way to do (not the better way, for sure).
If you prefer fingerings above notes, you may choose the first serie of numbers in the palettes (optimized for piano). Of course, depend of the number of voices.
And if your prefer fingering automatically above notes, above score (similar to bow markings), there is a good manner (or a good workaround). I use myself for certain scores. How? Simply by using staff text. Then, drag and drop these "fingerings" that you have created in a palette for later reuse.

Other consideration: moreover, in the previous comments, I am struck by the fact that everyone seems considered that one must enter a fingering one after another: select a note, then double-click on a fingering, and continue in the same way for all other notes and fingerings. The use of keyboard shortcuts corresponds to the same logic. A note, a shortcut, a fingering, and then I continue with another note, another shortcut, another fingering, and so on. By starting by the beginning and by finishing by the end!

To save much time, you need to have an overall vision of the score and fingerings. You know, for instance, that the finger 1 of the left hand will play a certain number of notes (let say 10 notes in a page): select these notes with the Ctrl key, and add the fingering with one double click (only one, not ten). These 10 notes are now accompanied by their fingering.

If the placement is not ideal, it may be time to improve it immediately by selecting them all and then modifying slightly the offset via the Inspector eg. Or if only a few notes involved, just by selecting them and moving with the arrow keys. This is to see, depending the context.

Then you continue with the finger 2 by selecting the notes that will be affected, followed again with a single double-click . And so on. In summary, with this way of doing, you are not "double-click dependent".
If you have, let's say, 50 notes involved, you don't have to do 50 double-clicks, but only 8 (assuming, eg for the guitar, that you place all the fingerings of the left hand and the right hand, which is not always the case, the only left hand being generally preferred).

In reply to by cadiz1

Cadiz1, you've been very helpful.
I've tried to select the fingering and move it with the keyboard arrows, like I do with the bow markings, but the numbers don't move. Perhaps it's a Musescore for Linux issue.
I'll try as you suggested and I'll definitely give some feedback.
Thank you very much.

In reply to by Don Giovanni

Are you using 2.0? 1.3 had a different system. With 2.0, the cursor keys should work fine. But again, they shouldn't be needed at all in 2.0 if you use thecorrect style of fingering in the first place - the different styles of fingerings are automatically placed appropriately in most cases. Also as noted, it's much more efficient to use double click rather than drag & drop.

In reply to by Don Giovanni

Don Giovanni wrote
"The thing is that the number will stay on the left side of the note instead of being above the note and then you have to click the number and drag it to the correct place."

I absolutely must DISAGREE with the above statement. In my long years of classical guitar playing
LH notation was ALWAYS in the left side of the note and the RH fingering above the note.
As is now implemented in 2.02 it is in most situations correctly done without having to adjust things
very must. And yes, as a linux user I have to drag and drop the fingering to the note but this is for me no objection. LEAVE THINGS AS THEY ARE NOW PLEASE!!!

In reply to by JoeAlders

I wouldn't assume he was talking about guitar specifically. Other instruments use fingerings too, and they often have different expectations. As you probably know, we already place piano fingerings above / below the note for single-note chords 9according to top / bottom staff and/or presence of multiple voices), which is standard. But we currently place fingerings to the left for multi-note chords, which isn't ideal but was sort of the most convenient compromise I could come up with.

Not sure what you mean about needing to drag and drop fingerings - I'm on Linux as well, and double click works normally for me. Are you saying it does not for you?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I wasn't refering to guitar fingering but to bow strings (violin, cello, ...) and some piano notation.
But Joe pointed out a good issue. The user should be able to customize the default position for fingering.
Or else, musescore could place fingering on the left for some instruments staff (like guitar) and above for others (like violin).

In reply to by Don Giovanni

Again, it already does. The standard fingering elements - intended for piano and most other elements - go above/below the notes (above unless there are mutliple voices or muliple staves, in which case it is "outside"). The "LH Guitar Fingering" elements go to the left of the notes. The "RH Guitar Fingering" elements go above. The string number elements go above. This all happens automatically already.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

"Not sure what you mean about needing to drag and drop fingerings - I'm on Linux as well, and double click works normally for me. Are you saying it does not for you?"

Yes, I also can add the fingering by selecting the note and then double clicking on the desired fingering in the fingering palette, but I find it easier to click on the fingering, drag it to the note till it high lights and then drop it. It is just one click in stead of three to accomplish the same task.

In reply to by JoeAlders

One click, but a long and somewhat awkward drag operation given that you have to be very careful about where you drop. I'm very surprised you find this easier than double click - to me double click is *much* easier - but I'm glad it works for you. I just wanted to be sure you (and others reading this) were aware of the option.


I'm also thinking the actual way to add finger numbers could be faster (I'm using MuseScore alpha 2.0.3). First, the key "X" doesn't work as it does with articulations, changing its position relative to the upper or lower side of the note. (Also, some articulations such as "Marcato" and "Portamento" aren't being aligned properly when we press "X").

I would also like to suggest the adition of "left hand" and "right hand" symbols for piano ("m.g." and "m.d." in Italian) in the 'official' palette. Another symbol I often use is an "inverted bracket" - such as ] - on two or more notes that are attacked at once with the thumb. There is an adjustable bracket in the Arpeggio palette, but it works only on the left of the note. I've attached an image with this symbol, used in the semibreves from the right hand.

Attachment Size
MUSESCORE Thumb bracket.jpg 70.5 KB

I agree. having just had the operation in my right hand. it is no small matter. The fingering also needs to add from 1-8 not just pentatonic numbers.

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