Playing techniques

The term playing techniques covers a wide range of instructions intended to tell performers to modify the sound of the notes they are playing, for example, by changing their embouchure or changing the position of their bow, or by modifying their instrument, such as adding a mute or depressing a pedal.

In Dorico Pro, playing techniques can be expressed as symbols or as text. All available playing techniques can be found in the Playing Techniques panel in Write mode, organized by instrument family. For example, you can find pedal lines in the Keyboard section of the Playing Techniques panel.


Because pedal lines have additional, unique requirements that do not apply to other playing techniques, such as retakes, start signs, and continuation lines, they are documented separately. Pedal lines also have their own group in the Properties panel that is separate from the Playing Techniques group.

Adding playing techniques can change how the instrument plays back. For example, adding pizzicato to a violin staff activates a key switch that changes the sound produced by the VST instrument.

Figure: Some of the playing techniques in Dorico Pro