Chord diagrams

Chord diagrams represent the pattern of strings and frets on fretted instruments and use dots to indicate the stopped finger positions required to produce the corresponding chord. This demonstrates the specific shape of chords in a compact way and is useful if a particular voicing is required.

In Dorico Pro, chord diagrams are part of chord symbols, meaning you can show them below chord symbols wherever they are shown. You can show chord diagram shapes for any fretted instrument, including different tunings and string arrangements, such as guitar DADGAD tuning. This can be different to the instrument above which they appear, for example, if you want to show chord diagram shapes for standard guitar tuning above the bass staff.

Figure 1. A sequence of chord symbols with chord diagrams for banjo

The positions of stopped frets relative to each other are known as “shapes” in Dorico Pro. Any playable shape can be re-used for other chords whose pitches match the shape, including any new chord diagram shapes you have created. This includes shapes being available for other instruments, other tunings, and other positions along the fretboard, so long as any open strings included in the shape can be played with a barré at other fret positions.

A single chord can appear with different chord diagram shapes for different instruments and tunings, as their open string pitches and the number of strings they have varies.