Default note selection during step input for percussion kits

During step input in percussion kits, you can press the letters on a computer keyboard that correspond to staff positions for kits using the five-line staff presentation type. For example, you can press F to input a note on the F space or line.

In Preferences, you can set options for inputting notes into percussion kits in the Note Input section of General page. For example, if you want to use staff positions to determine notes, choose Use staff position for Input notes onto kit or grid.

If you have the staff positions set relative to Treble G clef, then F could mean either the bottom space on the staff or the top line on the staff. In a standard drum set, this would mean either the kick drum in the bottom space, or the ride cymbal on the top line.

When inputting notes in pitched instruments, Dorico chooses the lower or upper possible staff position based on which is closer to the current position of the caret.

However, when inputting notes in percussion kits, Dorico chooses the staff position of the note with the same stem direction as the last input note, rather than the staff position that is closest to the current position of the caret. This makes it easier to input common note patterns used in percussion kits.

For example, inputting kick drum and snare drum notes on a standard drum set is a common pattern. The kick drum is in the bottom space, and the snare drum is two spaces above: five staff positions away from the bottom space, and four staff positions away from the top line.

You can press F for the kick drum and C for the snare drum.

The default stem direction behavior for inputting notes in kits in Dorico means that you can alternate pressing F and C, and the notes are input at the positions of the kick drum and snare drum, even though the top line is the closer position after inputting a snare drum note.

This is because the kick drum uses the same stem direction, and therefore voice, as the snare drum.


Dorico automatically changes the directions of stems according to the positions of notes on the staff when only one voice on the staff contains notes, regardless of their voice.