Guitar Rhytm Slash Notation

• Nov 19, 2019 - 01:16


I doing some guitar scores, using rhythm slash notation, and am trying to make it look nice.

For example, on this page you can see this image...


When I do the same in MS3 this is how it looks...

Screen Shot 2019-11-18 at 8.15.00 PM.png

I assume the score on that referenced web page was not done in MuseScore. But still, is there a way to polish up the look of those slash notations in MuseScore so that it look more or less like that reference image?



Not sure which differences you mean specifically, but I see a few:

  • looks like for forced the stem of the second note up, press Ctrl+R to reset it to auto, which will make it point down again

  • looks like you are using one of the tab styles with stems, you apparently prefer without, so go to Edit / Instruments and change it to "simple"

  • the published example didn't center the slashes, which is bad IMHO, but if you wish to reproduce that look for whatever reason, select the slashes, press the Notes button in the Inspector if necessary, then use the "Fix to line" settings to change the position

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks, Marc (as always).

There are some other differences that I was actually hoping to edit. I did not find a way to do it in the style sheet, but I did manage to do some edits in the inspector. But through the inspector is quite time consuming, so I'm hoping there's a way to do a global edit.

Here are the details.

1 - In the standard staff the stems do not line up with the slashes. it almost feels like it is a unpolished look. I actually kind of like the look of the online example, where the stems do not quite touch the slashes. I can move the stems in the inspector, but it takes a very long time and also the inspector does not allow me to move the beams accordingly, so then the stems end up crossing the beams.

2 - In the TAB staff the slashes are much thinner than in the standard staff. They are also slanted at a different angle. Is there any way to make the TAB slashes the exact same look and thickness as they are in the standard staff? It would be fine if they crossed the staff lines, BTW, but at least if they could be as thick as they are in the standard staff, and slanted at the same angle.

3 - In the TAB staff there are visible white background boxes, behind the slashes, that partially cover the staff line. This also looks a bit unpolished.

I hope I don't sound too picky. It's basically jut to polish up the look and add some contrast in the TABs.


In reply to by Adinol

I think you may be confusing "polished" with "looking exactly like the default output of the program that happened to produce that one specific example". Check different examples from different publishers and you'll see everyone does things slightly differently, there is no right or wrong about the sort of details you mentioned. Hence, no reason to spend time manually adjusting things just to reproduce the bug you see in the excerpt you posted. Especially the outright bugs of the original, like the stems not reaching the slashes. That's not polish, that's just sloppy.

That said, the stem could definitely line up better with the slash head in MuseScire, feel free to submit that to the issue tracker. Meanwhile, it's easy to adjust these en masse. Just select the range of notes, right-click a stem, choose Select / All Similar Elements in Range Selection, and use the vertical offset to slide the stem down say 0.2sp. You can shorten the stems the same amount, then there is no need to move the beams at all. And all of these adjustments can be done for entire passages at once, no need to resort to doing it one at a time.

The opaque background both the slash and the actual fret numbers is deliberate, otherwise the lines intersect the numbers making them harder to read. If you do move the slashes onto the line it makes more sense, I guess. Right now there is no way automatic to make the slash noteheads not do this without also turning that off for fret numbers, which I assume you don't want. But you can again use the Inspector to set the "Stacking order" for the slashes to a lower number, then they get drawn under instead of over the staff lines.

There is no way to use the slash character from the music font here, because the font used for tab notation is totally different. You can, however, add that character from the Symbols palette if it's important to you. Select the notes, press V to make them invisible, then double-click the appropriate slash from the palette (be sure to choose Emmentaler as the font if that's what you are using).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thank you, Marc, for your thorough reply.

I made some progress by tweaking things in the inspector.

Now I have a follow up question. As you can see in the image, I matched the slashes of the 1/4 and 1/8 notes in the TABs pretty closely to the slashes in the standard staff. However, the 1/2 note appears as a regular slash in the TABs.

Screen Shot 2019-11-19 at 12.10.44 PM.png

I can thicken up that slash the same way I did it for the other notes, that's no problem, but I would prefer if there was a way to have the same kind of parallelogram shape, as in the standard staff, instead of a slash.

I do understand that the 1/2 notes get the short stems in the TABs but it would still look better if there was a parallelogram instead of a slash.

I looked through fonts but can't find that shape.


In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc,

I guess I don't understand what you meant in your last paragraph...

"You can, however, add that character from the Symbols palette..."

I do not see a palette called Symbols. There is a palette called Noteheads, but the slash symbol is not there. There is a parallelogram there, but it is not the same as appears in the standard staff for the slashed 1/2 note.

Basically, if I select the slash in the TABs and I double click on any of those note heads, nothing happens in the TABs but it does change the note head of the corresponding note, in the standard staff above.

At this time I am still trying to figure out how I can make the parallelogram note head appear in the TABs. I tried many things but had not found a solution, yet.


In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Fantastic! This does help and also opens up a range of possibilities for the future.

However, I am not sure if I might have found a bug. Perhaps, let me know if you think it's a bug and I'll submit it.

Have a look at this screen shot...

Screen Shot 2019-11-19 at 10.59.38 PM.png

When I try to do what you said, meaning, to select the slash in the TABs and hit V to make it invisible, the slash remains visible. I figured out what the issue is, actually.

This seems to be a stacked slash, because it represents 4 notes. So when I make it invisible it probably does become invisible, but you can see the slash that lays underneath, through the invisible slash. So, what I have to do is to select and delete a slash 3 times (which deletes 3 notes) and then select the remaining slash and make that one invisible.

Again, I am not sure if it's a bug or if I have to select the stacked slashes in a different way, so that all 4 layers are selected at once.

What do you think?


In reply to by Adinol

I see what you mean, and I think your analysis is probably correct. Not really sure what the right answer is. There are indeed multiple notes there, all but one set to invisible. So you need to select the visible one and make invisible. Ctrl+click will cycle through the overlapping elements, so yu can do that intil you find the visible one (check the Inspector to see). Or select them all then just turn off visibility in the Inspector rather than toggling it with "V". To select them all, select a range, then right click one notehead, Select / All Similar Elements.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Great. Again, this is very helpful.

I am getting everything visually the way I like it, now, but I am not sure why the playback does not work. When I click the play button only the initial chord plays, and the rest are silent.

I am attaching a sample score just to show what I mean.

Do you have any thoughts why this is happening?


Ukulele Slash Notation.mscz

Attachment Size
Ukulele Slash Notation.mscz 6.05 KB

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