Let your fingers do the walking with Add Fingering to Notes plug-in

Tips

Plug-in guru Bob Zawalich has outdone himself with his latest plug-in, Add Fingering to Notes. This rather ingenious plug-in allows you to add fingering to your guitar or keyboard music in record time, with no need for manual repositioning of the resulting fingering numbers or text. The video above (no need to adjust your speakers: there’s no sound) shows the plug-in being used to add fingering text to some guitar music. Read on for the low-down.

For keyboard music, Sibelius’s method of adding fingering text is pretty efficient: the numbers are positioned above or below the staff, and Magnetic Layout ensures that the digits don’t collide with notes above or below the staff, so there’s little work beyond simply typing in the required numbers. However, adding fingering to guitar music in Sibelius can be time-consuming because of the need to manually position each number to the left of the note to which it applies.

This is where Bob’s latest plug-in comes in. Add Fingering to Notes allows you to select some notes and go through them, quickly adding fingering text. Using a technique discovered by fellow plug-in developer Dave Foster, you can even use your keyboard to enter the notes quickly, typing each digit before Sibelius advances automatically to the next one.

When you run the plug-in, you see a minimal Keypad-style window:

You can simply click the appropriate digit, or type the corresponding key on your computer’s numeric keypad. If you want to skip a note, click Skip; to undo the previous fingering number, click Back; and to undo all the fingerings you’ve added and take you back to the beginning of the selection, click Erase. If you click Options you will see the plug-in’s options dialog:

In this dialog, you can determine the positioning of the text, the text style to be used, and you can even change the text to be entered into the score: choose between Normal numbers, Circled numbers, p,i,m,a guitar fingering, or you can create your own set by clicking Custom.

So how does the plug-in work in practice? The video above shows how quick it is to add fingering to a few bars of guitar music. Here are the steps from the video:

  • Select the passage on which you want the plug-in to operate.
  • To make the order of notes to be fingered predictable, make sure you isolate each voice. First, I work with the stem-down dotted half notes (dotted minims) in voice 4, so I choose Edit > Filter > Voices > Voice 4.
  • Now choose Plug-ins > Text > Add Fingering to Notes.
  • Click 0 to add the fingering in the first bar, then Skip to skip the note in bar 2, then 0. Note that the fingering numbers are positioned in exactly the right spot.
  • Click Close to stop running the plug-in.
  • Now select the voice 2 notes by selecting the bars to be operated upon, then Edit > Filter > Voices > Voice 2.
  • Run the plug-in again, and now try typing on your keyboard: 1, 4, 1, 4, 1, 1, 3, 1, 3, 1, 1, 4, 1, 4, 1.
  • Click Close.
  • Finally, select the voice 1 notes by first selecting the bars, then Edit > Filter > Voices > Voice 1.
  • Run the plug-in again, and add the necessary fingerings. For chords, enter the fingering number for the lowest note first and work your way up to the top note. The keys to press are 2, 0, Skip, Skip, 2, 0, then Skip for each notehead (including the notes shared with voice 2) until you reach the next bar, and so on.
  • Notice that the note spacing in bar 2 is such that the second pair of fingering numbers in that bar are swapped around and in non-ideal positions. To fix it, simply select the chord to the right of the misplaced fingering numbers and loosen the spacing by typing Shift+Alt+right arrow a couple of times.

That’s it! The work of minutes reduced to seconds. Thanks as always to Bob for contributing this plug-in to the Sibelius user community. Watch the video above in full HD resolution at Vimeo, and download the Add Fingering to Notes plug-in.

Comments

  1. Keith Reiss

    Yes. Very nice, but HOW DO YOU INSTALL the plugin? I am experimenting with S. First 7, and there is no mention anywhere of plug-in installation. Appreciate your insidht!
    –Keith

  2. Keith Reiss

    Folks. I am using S. 7 First (trial) on Win 7 64 bit OS. The plugin instruction I found (alas), but it is at least ambiguous:ibelius 7.x:
    Open a My Computer or Windows Explorer window and choose Tools > Folder Options
    Choose the View tab and make sure Show hidden files and folders is switched on, then click OK.
    Navigate to C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\

    Note that the location probably ought to be:
    C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Avid\

    or further down the tree yet!!!!!!!!

    I inserted the file: AddFingeringToNotes.plg

    all over the place. Re staring Sebilius 7 First failed to detect the plug-in.

    What the heck??????????????????????????????????????????

  3. Bob Zawalich

    Unfortunately, you cannot install new plugins in Sibelius First. It will only run the plugins it ships with. To download plugins you need to use the full version of Sibelius.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.