Dorico video tutorial series serves up tools and techniques


While not exactly a new program by now, Dorico is still a young program compared to other music notation software we discuss around here. That means that the cache of Dorico resources is still also relatively nascent — but it’s growing steadily.

As we discussed on the Scoring Notes podcast with Dorico’s technical writer Lillie Harris, people learn how to use music notation software in more ways than ever — a point we made on another podcast episode, as well. One of those ways is to learn Dorico via a well-paced video tutorial series taught by an expert.

When it comes to expert Dorico users, there are few that are more expert than Leo Nicholson.

Leo Nicholson

This screenshot of his profile on the Steinberg user forum is surely outdated by the time you read this — and this doesn’t even include his activity on social media forums and one-to-one sessions. No matter how you measure it, Leo has logged a lot of time making Dorico users’ lives better, as well as improving the software itself with his many suggestions and reports based upon thorough testing.

Leo Nicholson’s profile on the Steinberg Dorico forum

And yes, Leo also devised the Notation Express and Notation Express XL Dorico layout and key commands, and programmed the Notation Express and Notation Express XL Stream Deck profiles for Dorico.

If you put “video tutorial series” and “expert” together and mixed them up nicely, the result you’d get would look a lot like the new series from macProVideo called Dorico Basics: Notation Tools and Techniques. Spanning 29 separate videos and lasting a total of just over two hours, this “101” course is designed to guide you through all of Dorico’s fundamentals, and more.


If you’ve ever had the pleasure of encountering Leo on one of the above-mentioned forums, you’ll find his presentation style familiar. Clear, thorough, and organized, Leo divides the 29 videos into six sections:

  • Getting Started: an intro, interface tour, key commands and Setup mode;
  • Note Input: a sprawling section starting with simple concepts like mouse input and ending with more advanced tools like Force Duration and the Scissors;
  • Global Options: how to change the “rules” and how to “break” them with the Properties panel;
  • Text: both within and outside the music;
  • Layout: the Dorico-specific concept of master pages as well as more common notation concepts like vertical spacing, horizontal spacing, and working with parts;
  • Printing: both to hard copy and exporting PDFs.

Thanks to the tools provided in the macProVideo portal (despite the name, it’s for Mac and Windows users alike), you can either work straight through the videos from start to finish, or easily skip around in a non-linear manner and mark your progress as you go along.

From “Dorico Basics”

The “101” nature of the course is appealing to Dorico SE, Elements, or Pro users alike, and as Leo puts it, he does his best to “steer you around some common rookie errors”. Where there are differences among the tiers, Leo points them out along the way. It’s entirely possible that you may start off watching the videos using Dorico SE or Elements and feel confident enough by the end to upgrade to Dorico Pro!

Even if you already consider yourself a “pro” user, absorbing the approach that an expert like Leo brings is time well-spent. Who knows — perhaps a “201” course is next up in the quest for Dorico knowledge!

Until then, you’ll be very satisfied with Dorico Basics: Notation Tools and Techniques from our friends at and available now at our Notation Central marketplace in the Education section. One purchase of $29.50 gives you lifetime access to the videos, and you’ll be able to keep track of your order along with other Dorico tools like Notation Express and the growing number of Dorico-compatible fonts offered through the site.

If you’re already a subscriber to one of’s Library Pass plans, you’ll get access the videos at no additional charge for as long as your subscription there remains active. You can purchase the videos there as well.

No matter how you obtain them, the Dorico Basics videos (and the information contained therein) are well worth adding to your own personal Dorico knowledge base.


  1. Bill

    Whenever I ask for help on the Dorico forum Leo is the one who helps!

    Thank you Leo!

  2. Mike

    Wonderful work, Leo! An excellent introduction or review of the most effective ways of working with Dorico. I am hoping for a future “201” version that covers more advanced topics like divisi and expression maps.

    1. Mike Philcox

      UPDATE: I was excited after listening to trial episodes of this great Dorico video series on my computer but disappointed to discover that my money was spent too quickly when I purchased the series more than $40 Canadian. My plan was to download and copy the videos to my iPad but I never got around to it before discovering that the same videos are available as an iPad app for only $10 Canadian. This will be much more convenient and I mention it here in the event other potential customers might find the same.

  3. Lawrence Ough

    Hi, Leo. Thanks for the course. Well organized. I know this is a big ask, but will you be updating the course for Dorico 4. They changed so much it’s almost its own new version.



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