Navigate to the handbook page for MuseScore 3: Fretboard diagrams
As of MuseScore 2.0.3, a range of common fretboard (or chord) diagrams for the guitar are provided in the Fretboard Diagrams palette in the Advanced Workspace (previous versions featured only one diagram).
A chord diagram can be created for any fretted, stringed instrument by customizing an existing one. It can be saved to a custom palette for future use if required.
Add a fretboard diagram
To add a fretboard diagram to the score, use one of the following methods:
- Select a note in voice 1 and double-click a fretboard diagram from a palette.
- Drag and drop a fretboard diagram from a palette to the desired position in the score.
Edit fretboard (chord) diagram
- Right-click on the diagram and select Fretboard Diagram Properties....
- Adjust the number of instrument strings, using the "Strings" spin box at the bottom left of the window.
- Adjust the fret position number using the scroll bar on the right-hand side.
- Adjust how many frets to display (height-wise) using the "Frets" spin-box at the bottom right of the window.
- To place a dot on a string fret, click on that fret. To remove the dot, click on the fret again.
- Click above the lowest fret to toggle a string between:
- Open string (o),
- mute/unplayed string (x)
- To create a barre or partial barre:
i. Make sure the desired fret position is clear of black dots (click on a dot to remove it);
ii. Hold Shift and click on the fret where you want the barre to begin. Note: Only one barre can be applied per diagram;
iii. To delete a barre, click on the black dot where the barre begins.
For example, to create a full-barre F# chord, from a C chord:
- Place the C fretboard diagram on the score, right-click on it and select Fretboard Diagram Properties....
- Click on the relevant fret positions to establish the fingering dots.
Set "Frets" to "4" and fret number (right-hand scroll bar) to "2." The diagram should now look like this:
Create the barre by holding Shift and clicking on the second fret of the 6th string. Click "OK" to exit and you should get this:
The same principle applies if you want a partial barré. For example, the partial barré in an A7 chord is created by pressing Shift, then clicking on the 4th string, second fret:
Adjust position, size, color
The size ("Scale"), color and position of a fretboard diagram can be changed by clicking on it and altering the relevant values in the Inspector.
The position of the fretboard diagram can also be adjusted in Edit mode:
- Double-click on the diagram (or click on it and press Ctrl+E (Mac: Cmd+E); or right-click on it and select Edit element).
- Press the arrow keys for fine positioning (0.1 sp. at a time); or press Ctrl+Arrow (Mac: Cmd+Arrow) for larger adjustments (1 sp. at a time).
Fretboard diagram style
Some default properties of fretboard diagrams (barre thickness, vertical position, size etc.) can be adjusted from the menu: select Style → General… → Chord Symbols, Fretboard Diagrams. Any changes made here affect all existing diagrams, as well as those applied subsequently.