Fretboard diagrams (prior to version 3.1)

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This page shows old instructions for MuseScore 3.
For MuseScore 4 users, see Fretboard diagrams (prior to version 3.1).

Note: This page applies to versions of MuseScore prior to 3.1 only. Users of MuseScore 3.1 and above should go to Fretboard diagrams.

A range of fretboard (or chord) diagrams for the guitar are provided in the Fretboard Diagrams palette in the Advanced Workspace.

Fretboard diagrams palette

You can create a chord diagram for any fretted, stringed instrument by editing an existing one. It can be saved to a custom palette for future use if required.

Add a fretboard diagram

To add a fretboard diagram to the score, use one of the following methods:

  • Select a note in voice 1 and double-click a fretboard diagram from a palette.
  • Drag and drop a fretboard diagram from a palette to the desired position in the score.

As the cursor hovers over the chosen diagram within the palette, its name will appear as a pop-up hint.

Edit a fretboard diagram

When a fretboard diagram is selected, it can be edited in the Inspector as follows:

  • To adjust the number of instrument strings: Use Strings.
  • To adjust the fret position number: Use Offset.
  • To adjust how many frets to display (height-wise): Use Frets.
  • To place the finger dots: Click on a fret to establish a dot; click again to remove the dot.
  • To create a barre or partial barre: First make sure that the desired fret position is clear of black dots (click on a dot to remove it). Then, holding the Shift key, click on the string where you want the barre to begin. (Note: Only one barre can be applied per diagram; a partial barre must end on the first string).
  • To delete a barre: Click on the black dot where the barre begins.
  • To Indicate open and mute strings (if applicable): Click just above the diagram to toggle a string between:
    • Open (o)
    • Mute/unplayed (x)
    • No indication.
  • To adjust the size: Use the Scale property.

To adjust a diagram's element properties

The position of a Fretboard Diagram can be adjusted using the keyboard arrows in Edit mode; or with the X- and Y-offsets in the "Element" section at the top of the Inspector.

Visibility, Color and Stacking order can also be adjusted from the "Element" section.

To adjust a diagram's style properties

Certain default and global properties of Fretboard Diagrams (e.g. barre thickness, vertical position, scale, fret-number font-size and position) can be adjusted from the Style submenu: select FormatStyle…Fretboard Diagrams. Some of these properties are subject to override via the Inspector; but most affect all Fretboard Diagrams in the score.

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