Fingerings for fretted instruments

Fretted instruments, such as the classical guitar, require additional fingering instructions for both hands and engraving options due to the complex nature of the music.

Fingerings for fretted instruments use the same fonts as normal fingerings.

Figure 1. A passage for guitar with right-hand and left-hand fingerings
Right-hand fingering

Right-hand fingerings tell the performer which finger to use to pluck the string, which is usually the right hand. By default, all right-hand fingerings are placed outside the staff, on the notehead side of notes, and follow the stem directions of voices in multiple-voice contexts. When the same finger plays multiple notes in a chord, you can show a single fingering with a bracket for the notes plucked by that finger.

By default, Dorico Pro shows “p” for right-hand thumb fingerings and “e” for right-hand fingerings for the pinky finger, but there are different conventions for these letters. You can change these default settings for all fingerings project-wide.


In Dorico Pro, we use “pinky” to refer to the smallest finger, but it can also be called “little” or “fifth digit”.

Left-hand fingering

Left-hand fingerings tell the performer which finger to use to stop the string, which is usually the left hand. In Dorico Pro, left-hand fingerings are placed inside the staff and to the left of the notes to which they apply.

When shown inside the staff next to notes, left-hand fingering appears smaller than fingering shown outside the staff. The default scale factor for left-hand fingering inside the staff is 95%. You can change this in Engraving Options > Fingering > Design > Advanced Options.

Video tutorial about fingerings for fretted instruments and string indicators (English)