Dorico Releases Version 2.2.20

Steinberg has just released Dorico 2.2.20. The majority of changes are bug fixes that were discovered (and then back-ported) from their current work on Dorico 3. You can read all of the fixes, plus new features, in the ongoing history file.

The new features are not huge but at least are interesting and helpful for workflow. For example, when you are in Print Mode you can use the Home and End keys to navigate. But you may be using Print Mode less often with this new version as you can Export the current page, current layout, or all layouts as PDF files; you can also Print the current page or the current layout whichever mode you are in. Not earth-shaking but handy.

When working with chords, you can choose to hear the entire chord when you choose even one note of it, or you can choose to hear just individual notes: your choice.

A little trickier is Dorico’s new action when you delete a selection: it will try to choose an object in the same position to save your having to re-choose with the mouse. Confused? Here is what the history file says:

Maintaining selection after deletion.When you delete one or more selected items, Dorico will now attempt to select another item nearby to the rhythmic position of the first deleted item, so that you do not have to pick up the mouse and click back in that area or otherwise manually reselect something in order to continue editing the music.”

I think this is one you will have to try to really find out. Check the history file for a fuller description of how objects are chosen.

Finally, when you import Tempo tracks you can choose to have them as system-attached text with or without borders if you don’t want them to function as Tempo tracks.

I’ll let you read the extensive list of bug fixes yourself. There are quite a few, so don’t miss this update!

 

Laurence Juber’s DADGAD Solos

Laurence Juber has introduced many of us to different guitar tunings, especially DADGAD. He has also proven to be one of the foremost arrangers for the solo guitar, so Laurence Juber’s DADGAD Solos is a book that belongs on the music stand of any fingerstyle guitarist who wants the rich sound of DADGAD in their performances.

LJ DADGAD Solos Cover

When I first became enthused about DADGAD, after a master class that LJ gave in Toronto, a friend asked me what was so special about that tuning, which seemed a lot of work to learn. “After all,” he said “they are the same notes, right?” Well yes, and no. DADGAD has several advantages but I will point out just two.

One is open strings. Many guitar songs and pieces (in standard tuning) are in E major or minor, because they allow the two E and the B strings to ring open in the tonic chord. Open strings give a tuning a unique sound, and they are most noticeable in the tonic, dominant and sub-dominant chords (I, IV, and V; or 1, 4, and 5). So in standard tuning, E major has 3 open strings and E minor has 4; A major or A minor has two open strings (3 if you are alternating the bass notes); and B7 has 1. In DADGAD, D major or minor can have 5 open strings (i.e. with no 3rd); G major can have 4; and A7 has 3. This gives DADGAD its ringing quality, akin to a 12-string guitar.

The second advantage is less obvious at first, but it is the major second between the 3rd and 2nd strings, now G and A. This allows for “close” voicings where, say, the 7th can sit next to the tonic on open strings, highlighting the dissonance. It can also allow for other chord shapes that are just impossible with standard tuning. Notice this as you play through LJ’s arrangements and you will see what I mean. (This major 2nd between strings was common in lute tunings, which makes some of them very difficult to play in the original versions while in standard tuning.)

Besides, DADGAD is not as “foreign” a tuning as you might think at first. Most fingerstyle guitarists are used to “Drop D” tuning, and two of the differently tuned strings in DADGAD are the E strings, so the “new” notes on the first string are in the same position as the bass notes in Drop D. This just leaves adjusting your brain to learning the notes on the 2nd string (A) which are the same names as the 5th string, and again most of us are used to using these as bass notes for chords. This is a good mental exercise, especially for those of us at an age where this is especially good for us. And of course you can depend on the TAB if you prefer.

Thus endeth the lesson on DADGAD. The songs in this book are standards and classics. They are taken from 4 of LJ’s recordings, and so the audio is NOT provided by Hal Leonard. Most LJ fans will have most if not all of these recordings, so this is not much of a hardship. And if you are missing one, you can listen to it on YouTube or another music streaming site. I suggest buying copies of any songs that you don’t have because most of these sites pay a pittance to the performer for streaming and they are not expensive to purchase. Listening to the originals is particularly important for this collection because although LJ has supplied both notation and TAB (with his usual precision of detail) there are no dynamics or other markings such as crescendo and decrescendo, and other nuances that notation just cannot capture. However, the melodies (and their embellishments) are indicated by stems that go up, while accompaniment in the treble clef has downward facing stems.

Here are the songs in the book, listed by the album they are on:

Fingerboard Road (2)

(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay
Georgia on my Mind

Indigo Sky (7)

All The Things You Are
As Time Goes By
Autumn Leaves
Cry Me A River
Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood
Raining In My Heart
Runaway

I’ve Got the World on Six Strings (2)

Over The Rainbow
Come Rain Or Come Shine

LJ Plays the Beatles (1)

Yesterday

SUMMARY

A great collection of songs beautifully arranged. What more could you ask for?