Tablature is an alternative notation to the five-line staff, and is used for fretted instruments. On tablature, pitches are indicated by fret numbers positioned on lines, each of which represents a string on the instrument. As tablature is commonly used for guitars, it usually shows six lines.

Figure 1. An extract of guitar music shown on both a notation staff and tablature

In Dorico Pro, you can show music for fretted instruments, such as the guitar or bass, on a regular notation staff and tablature together or only show one or the other. Notes and notations are linked between both presentations, meaning any changes you make to one, including inputting notes, automatically updates the other.

On tablature, ties are automatically notated as round brackets around the second note/chord and all subsequent notes/chords in tie chains.

Any notes beyond the range of the instrument or impossible to calculate, such as below the nut on the lowest string or a natural harmonic without a suitable node, are shown on tablature as pink question marks. If two notes are allocated to the same string at the same rhythmic position, both notes appear beside each other and are colored green.

Figure 2. Note on tablature that cannot be calculated

The appropriate tablature is automatically shown for instruments according to their strings and tuning settings. There are default tunings stored for each instrument type in Dorico Pro, which you can customize in the Edit Strings and Tuning dialog.