Linked Staff not working (for me)

• Jan 29, 2016 - 01:05

Am using 2.0.2 on a Win7 PC. Also quite a newbie with musescore. Am only interested in linked and non-linked staffs for guitar in general.

No matter what I try I cannot create a set of linked staffs, say 6 str TAB & normal treble clef. The "add linked staff" option of the I panel (instrument I think) is ALWAYS greyed out - cannot click it. I can add/create non-linked TAB & normal treb clef.

Also the Handbook says in several places " a staff....then go to I panel" Cannot do it, you must open I panel first.

Lastly, cannot figure out how to have, for example,
2 treble clef staffs, then
1 treble cleft staff plus its linked TAB staff, then
more treble clef staff.
IE, switch in/out of staff pairs & types.

BUT not creating linked ones at all is MAIN Q.



There exists a Guitar + Tablature template in the new score wizard. Simply create a new score and look for the Guitar + Tablature template in the Solo section. The two staves are already linked.

To create new linked staves in an existing score...
As an example (using banjo) of adding another treble staff with a linked TAB:
1. Use menu item: Edit -> Instruments.
2. Click on 'Banjo' in the 'Plucked Strings' drop down list, then click on the 'Add' button. 'Banjo' will appear in the 'Staves' area.
3. If you wish to add a linked staff to that banjo staff click on 'Staff 1' and then click on the 'Add Linked Staff' button. Expand the drop down list to choose the TAB style - simple, common, or full.


Sorry to say - not true.

UR suggestion does create a TAB staff, but it is not linked. Notes entered in to staff to not propagate to the other staff.

In reply to by dpenny

In the dialog box of instruments (shorcut "I"), it's always greyed out, as you say, because you don't select at the right place.
Probably you click on the instrument name, like this:
1)You must click on "staff1", and consequency, you may add a staff or a linked staff. See:
2)Then, for change (or not, depending your choice) the staff type, you have to choose the staff type by opening the drop down list at the column right: for this, click on standard (default) second staff, then eg click on Tab. 6-str. simple (then: Next -> Next -> Finish)
And so, the two staves are linked now, as you wish.
staff type.jpg

Finally, by the same way, you may add another staff when you want, linked or not, at the same initial step #1, or later, after the step #2, by returning in the dialog box ("I")

1st: thanks to commentators. I now understand clicking around the I pane better.

BUT, I still cannot link a TAB staff with a Clef staff. I have chosen std 6st guitar for the TAB. Makes no difference whether the Clef-staff is guitar or piano.

By linking behavior I expect: create note on TAB => it pops up on Clef immediately, and vice-versa. Same for altering notes.

I can create 2 TAB staffs that are linked but why would anyone want to do that?

In reply to by dpenny

What goes wrong when you try?

This is what you should be doing:

1) Select one of the guitar instruments from the list at left. Either tab or standard; whichever one you want to appear on top

2) Press "Add"

3) Click where it says "Staff 1" at right

4) Click "Add linked staff". This will add another staff of the same type (standard or tab)

5) Under "Staff type", use the drop down menu to change it to the other type

6) Press "OK".

ahhh...I think I've got it.

To create linked staffs, you MUST (can only) create link staffs of the same/identical type.
Then as a second step, you can (in some cases) the type of display for either one of the two linked staffs.

Someone please confirm.

(and assuming true, the Handbook should so state. it is kind-of useless on this topic now).

In reply to by dpenny

Your assessment is true, and the Handbook *does* state this:

"Once the new linked staff is created, you will usually want to change its type (e.g. to tablature) and/or change its type properties, as described above."

But it's pretty buried in a long complex page.

Marc, I am having a similar problem. About a month ago I successfully added a ukulele linked TAB staff to a piano staff. Today I cannot do it. I first create the staff/instrument for piano, treble clef. Then I go to the "I" Instrument window, select "Staff 1" under the piano in the right hand pane,(screenshot1) and then select Ukulele(TAB) from the left pane and click on "Add Linked Staff" (screenshot2). I ALWAYS get Bass clef as the linked staff. (screenshot3). And when I click on Staff type (Standard) to try to change it, all there is in the dropdown is "Standard".

When you tell others to "change" the instrument, how do I do that? I have not updated this program since a month ago and I'm using v. 2.0.2, revision: f51dc11 on Windows Vista x64.

As another issue (in case you can fix the primary one); when I create a music notation score and want to ultimately make a TAB to link with it, must I create that linked staff before starting the score, or can I create my melody line on a piano staff and THEN add the linked ukulele TAB staff and the notes will propagate automatically? Or must I create the 2 linked staves and add the score note-by-note to have it propagate to the TAB staff? I think I did the 2nd scenario last month.

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In reply to by Ukulele Marilyn

I have given up on linking staffs - it does not behave the way I think it should and seem unpredictable as you are experiencing.

Instead, Marc pointed out that I could make unlinked staffs (I hate staves) and copyNpaste from treble staff onto TAB staff a whole measure at a time. It's quite fast for 20-30 measure scores that I am trying to deal with.


In reply to by Ukulele Marilyn

It's always much easdier to offer help if you post the actual score you are having trouble with., From a picture, we can only guess.

But here are some guesses:

1) you can only add a tab staff to an instrument that is actually defined to be able to use tablature, like guitar or ukulele. Piano cannot use tablature because it would not make sense.

2) The "Add linked staff" button, like the "Add staff" button, adds a staff to the currently selected instrument. It does not add a new instrument; that's what "Add instrument" is for. So if you have the piano staff selected, then "Add linked staff" will always add another piano staff, not a new instrument. The list of instruments at left is for adding new instruments to your score, not adding staves to existing instruments.

3) To change the instrument used by a staff, right click the taff, Staff Properties, then press the Change Instrument button

4) Yes, with the linked staff feature, you can add the notes first then add the linked staff. It works very well.

I struggled with this for so long! I always began with the default staff which always uses Piano as the instrument. I was writing for mandolin and the default staff also does not print the instrument on the page. It makes sense that Piano does NOT support tab. The light dawned when I read Marc's comment no. 1 of February 2016. It was simple to change the instrument.

In reply to by richardcraven

Great! For the record, it is normal for music of only a single instrument to not print an instrument name. The name of the instrument would normally be in the top left for parts generated from a larger score, or on the front cover for a collection in a book, etc. But fi you ever do want the staff name printed for music of a single instrument, just go to Style / General and uncheck "Hide instrument name of there is only 1 instrument".

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