HOW TO: Dulcimer Tab in MuseScore

A lot of people, I am told, have stopped using the wonderful free music program called MuseScore because they can’t get it to produce a dulcimer tab. I’ve been using that program for several years now – I like it better than any of the programs I’ve tried – and I have managed to find a way to add a dulcimer tab. Of course, I had to think outside the box. My method may seem complicated at first, but once you’ve tried it a couple of times, you won’t mind the extra steps. It’s easy and pretty slick …

How to add Dulcimer tab on MuseScore.

  • Write your song.

THEN

  • Go to EDIT
  • Select INSTRUMENTS
  • Pick PLUCKED STRINGS
  • Select BANJO [Tablature]
  • On right side of page, click on ADD
  • Click on OK

Back on the main page: I suggest cleaning up the page by removing the instrument names from the left margins; you’re playing a dulcimer, not a banjo after all!

  • One at a time, right click on the instrument names (left side of score), the right click and select CUT. You will only have to do this four times.
  • Place the curser on the TAB score and right click. In the dialogue box that appears select STAFF PROPERTIES.
  • Find LINES; change the number from 5 to 3.
  • Unselect the box for SHOW CLEF
  • Click on ADVANCED STYLE PROPERTIES
  • Change LINE DISTANCE from 1.50sp to 2.00sp
  • Change FONT SIZE to 11.0pt
  • Click on the tab for NOTE VALUES
  • On the first line select NONE. (Note: this removes the note stems from the numbers on the TAB. If for some reason you want the note stems to remain, skip this step, but the tab will be less cluttered and easier to read if you remove the stems.)
  • When you’re finished, click OK at the bottom of this box.
  • This will return you to the main STAFF PROPERTIES box At the bottom of the box, click APPLY and OK.

Back on the main page:

  • Using the input function for notes (the N at the top of the page) select the note value and then insert that value on the appropriate TAB line. The number will insert as zero. Use the keypad to enter the correct numeral. REMEMBER to change the note value at the top of the page before you enter the next numeral on the TAB line.

When you have finished entering numerical values on the TAB, you will need to turn off the sound for the banjo before you a can listen to your song. If you don’t you will hear a horrible cacophony of banjo noises!

  • At the top of the page, select VIEW.
  • Select MIXER
  • Click the MUTE box under BANJO [Tablature]

How to get 6 and a half.
If you have the newest version of MuseScore 2, go to MASTER PALETTE and find the plus sign under ARTICULATIONS & ORNAMENTS. The older version of MuseScore 2 got to PALETTE to find the plus sign under ARTICULATIONS & ORNAMENTS.

Then do the following:

  1. Highlight the 6 (where you want the plus sign).
  2. In ARTICULATIONS & ORNAMENTS, double click on the plus sign.

This will put the plus sign somewhere above the 6. Drag it down to where you want it.

And that’s all there is to it. Now you can add dulcimer tab to music created with MuseScore. Let me know how you do …

Here is a sample of what a page would look like …

Spanish is a Loving Tongue-J-1

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