purse_pic_webWith the introduction of Finale 2004 a new chord feature, the Fretboard Editor, was made available that greatly simplified creating custom guitar fretboards. As a Guitar Educator you can use this feature to design custom elements for your guitar classroom quizzes and instructional materials.

Here are some examples of fretboards you will be able to create with the following techniques.


When you have entered a chord with Manual Input selected in the main menu’s Chord command you have the option of creating and or editing fretboard diagrams.
• Select the Chord Tool > then check the Manual Input sub menu
• Next, select and check the Show Fretboards option.

  • Select the Chord Tool > then check the Manual Input sub menu
  • Next, select and check the Show Fretboards option.



Double click on the beat in the measure you wish to add a chord and the Chord Editor will appear where you can type the root and suffix of the chord to be placed into the score and create or select fretboard chord diagrams.



To create a fretboard diagram from scratch, click on the Select button in the Chord Definition dialog box.



This will bring up the Fretboard Selection: C dialog box where you have the option to select the Create button.




Clicking the Create button will bring up the Fretboard Editor dialog box shown here.



•           You can give your fretboard a unique name in the Name field.
•           You can also set the number of frets displayed in a diagram in the Number of Frets: field.



Items in the Fretboard Palette provide the essential elements of a fretboard diagram. These elements when selected can be entered onto a fretboard by either clicking or dragging.



• Note: the letter “T” is used for the Thumb as some guitarists, bassist, or other fretted instrumentalists will use his or her thumb on the lowest string of a fretted instrument.

You can also play an arpeggio of the chord elements by pressing Play if you have MIDI, Sound font or QuickTime Instruments for playback.
The Fretboard Number area is used to show the position of the chord on the guitar or another fretted instrument.  The Show button will display the Fret Number and the heavy bar representing the guitar’s nut used for chords in the first position will thin.



Note: Manipulating “The Number of Frets:” field while not placing any elements into a Fretboard diagram can be used to create manuscript paper with blank fretboards.

You can also use the Options > Multiple Items Per String checkbox (see Figure-9) and designing scales for educational possibilities. The different graphic elements can be used for open strings.



The View area lets you control the view percentage in the Fretboard edit area (300% is a good selection for editing or creating a fretboard).



Note: This will not affect the size in the score or printed version.



Another important element is the number of frets in the fretboard shown.  Using this option you can make fretboard blanks or teaching diagrams of chords, scales, licks or arpeggios.

Click OK once you have created your fretboard and then OK in the Chord Definition dialog box.

The final tweak is to use the Staff tool and uncheck items you do not want Finale to show. Such as: time signatures, staves, clefs barline but leave the chords and/or fretboards remain on the page as needed.
Remember by not placing any graphic elements into a fretboard a blank can be created for student workbooks or guitar instructional materials.

Using the show or hide options in the Fretboard Designer gives you options for the score.

The final adjustment is modifying the size of the chord or fretboard.  These options can be adjusted independently.  To modify their size select go to Document > Document Options as shown.



Then select Chords > Document Chord Size and set the percentages desired.  Below 100% smaller above 100% large size.



The last option is hiding musical elements in the score. Staff > Edit Staff Attributes.



Then uncheck any musical element you do not want Finale to display.