Guitar Capo Notation

Version 01.50.00
Added 07 Aug 2016 (last updated )

For use with Sibelius 6, Sibelius 7.1, Sibelius 7.5, Sibelius 8.x and Sibelius 18.x

This is a set of resources for notating guitar music that uses a capo, when you want to be able to see the music in the “played” key and hear it in the key that would result from using a capo. If you wanted to have a capo on the 2nd fret and sound in D major, you could write the music as if it were in C major.

THis suite replaces an earlier suite which was written in Sibelius 4 and whose definitions no longer worked for Sibelius 6 and later.

A simple approach, if you don’t mind playing back in the played key, is just to write the music in the played key (C major in the example), and add text instructing the player to put a capo on fret 2. If you want to see the music in the played key but hear it is the sounding key you need to make changes to both the notation and tab staves, and they are different changes.

In either case you create new instruments based on guitar staves. For notation staves, you change the transposition for where middle C sounds. For TAB staves you need to change the notes assigned to each string in Edit Instrument Edit Staff Type. If you have a notation instrument transposed in this way, you will likely want to enter notes in the Transposing Scores rather than the Concert score. Tab scores with different notes will not care if you are in a transposed or concert score.

This package provides some tools to help in the process.

1. The Acoustic Guitar Capo house style includes instrument definitions for guitar notation staves capoed from fret 1 to 12, which some sharp and flat variations when there is a choice of keys at a given fret.

2. It also contains definitions for TAB staves capoed from frets 1 to 12 for these tunings:

a. · Standard, no rhythms

b. · Standard, with rhythms

c. · DADGAD with rhythms

d. · Dropped D with rhythms

3. To use the house style, import it into your score. When you add instruments you will see several groups of instrument definitions under the Acoustic Guitar group, and you can choose the notation and tab staves from these groups.

Note that a notation instrument has an associated TAB staff which lets it know the fingering to use when copying from the notation staff to the tab staff. The notation instruments are set to use the standard tuning tab with rhythm, but you can change that setting in Edit Instruments to be your desired TAB staff.

4. The Capo Notation plugin takes an initial key and guitar tuning and calculates the tunings at various capo positions. It also calculates the transposition interval, final key, and transposition change setting for notation staves. This can be useful if you have to create more of these by hand.

Plug-in written by Bob Zawalich.