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Video #9: How to add notes in 4 different ways in MuseScore

Video #9: How to add notes in 4 different ways in MuseScore

Very good to everyone! How are you? I’m Ismael Vallejo from Clave de Mi and this is video number 9 of our MuseTube course, the course where we are learning MuseScore from the most basic to the most advanced.

I have to say that this is the second time that I have to record this video and the first time, once I had everything recorded, it turns out that I had forgotten to plug in the microphone and the sound was that bad…”And this is one of the videos that I consider most important in the course…” But nothing happens! Here I am a second time, just as excited, recording this video for all of you, so that we can continue learning how to use MuseScore.

And in this video we are going to focus on one of the topics that I consider most important, and that is the topic of introducing notes, rests and chords.

As I have said in other videos, there are very important tools that we will use, but surely not as many times as we will use the introduction of notes.

Therefore, it is very important to be very clear about how notes are added, but the most important thing is to do it in an agile and fast way, since as I say, 90% of the time we will spend in front of MuseScore will be entering notes.

And for this reason, I will make different recommendations for you to multiply your performance with MuseScore.

So I don’t dawdle any longer, we go to the computer and start.

First of all, once MuseScore is open, I’m going to create a basic score with two staves, just in case I ever think of doing a test in which I need more than one staff.

Once selected, click “Done” and we already have our score created.

And now, once our score is newly created, I’m going to stop for a second, before we start entering notes, to tell you the four ways in which MuseScore allows us to enter notes.

The first is what I call the manual way and it is simply selecting the notes with the mouse.

The second and the one I normally use in my daily life is entering notes using keyboard shortcuts.

The third and as long as you have a MIDI keyboard, would consist of plugging it in and, through the keyboard, entering the different notes.

And the fourth is nothing more than the simulation of this MIDI keyboard using the on-screen keyboard.

Next, we will look at all of them in much more depth.

On the other hand, if you remember in the previous video in which we created our first score, the way in which we entered notes was simply by clicking on the little pen and it automatically allowed us to enter notes.

However, if we leave it pressed we see that, automatically, there are several ways to enter notes.

In this video we will continue using the default mode or the step by step mode while in future videos we will learn how to enter notes with the rest of the options.

And now, without further ado, we start with the first of the four methods and it is the mode that I call manual or method of entering notes with the mouse.

As I said, it is as simple as clicking on the measure where we want to introduce the note, going to the “Introduction of notes” mode, which is with the letter “N” and now, manually, we must select the figure we want .

In this case, for example, “Quarter note” is selected and, once we go over the staff, we see that we can place the note where we press.

For example, and as I did in one of the previous videos, I am going to place “G”, a “C”, I am going to change the figure to the “Half note” and I am going to place a “E”, for example.

And as you can see, this system does not have much more explanation.

It is simply choosing the figure we want, going to the staff and clicking where we want to place the note.

As I already said, it is a somewhat slow system, but equally valid.

By the way, if you are wondering how to put notes smaller than the “64th note” or larger than the “Whole note”, tell you that you can do it from the gear, and here, in the different notes that have the eye closed, for example, the “128th note”, I can click and we automatically see how it is already added to us so we can add them.

Likewise, if we want a larger figure than the “Whole note”, we have them below: both the “Double whole note” and the “Longa”.

We can click and it will automatically be shown to us.

In my case I am going to leave them hidden because they are figures that I do not use in my daily life.

The second way to enter notes, which as I said is the one I use on a daily basis, is through the keyboard and using shortcuts.

Likewise, we must press the “N” key to enter the “Note input” mode, which in my case I am already in, as you can see, which appears shaded, and now the operation would be the same as with the mouse, but doing it with shortcuts keyboard.

If before we had to manually select the figure we wanted, now we will do it with the keys 1 to 7, reserving 0 for the silences.

As you can see, 1 is the “64th note”, 2 is the “32th note”, 3 is the “16th note”, and so on I can change and choose the figure that I consider.

Once the figure has been chosen and to enter the note I want, I must do it with the keys from “A” to “G” with “A” being “A”, “B” being “B” and “C” the “C”, and so on until the “G” which is the “G”.

This representation coincides with the Anglo-Saxon notation.

For example, in this case, if I want to repeat the previous measure, first I must change to “Quarter note” with the number 5, then put an “A” with the “A”, now a “C” with the “C”, now we change to “Half note” with the number 6 and finally a “E” with the “E”.

As you can see, he introduced me to a “High E” and it is because the “High E” is closer to the previous “C” than the “Low E”.

To change an octave note, it is as simple as pressing “Ctrl.” and the “Up Arrow” to go up an octave or “Ctrl.” and the “Down Arrow” to go down an octave.

In this case, since what I want is to go down an octave, I simply press “Ctrl. + Down Arrow”.

So that you can see the power of knowing how to use keyboard shortcuts and the speed it gives us, I am going to write a “C Major” scale.

For example, simply press the number 5 to enter “Quarter notes” and, from here, simply press the keys “C, D, E, F, G, A, B and C”.

As you can see, I write it at a much faster speed than I would if it were note by note by clicking.

As I already said, it may seem a little confusing about keyboard shortcuts and that you may not yet be very clear about the relationship between each key and each note, but if you dedicate a few minutes or even a few hours to studying and learning the relationship there is between numbers and figures and between letters and notes, in the long run, you will save a lot of time.

The third method (for all of you who have a MIDI keyboard) is to plug it into your computer and start entering notes through it.

The problem is that, by default, we can only enter notes, not figures.

But this is something that we can solve by modifying the mapping of each figure with our MIDI keyboard.

First of all, we are going to introduce some notes so you can see what it is like.

Since you cannot see my MIDI keyboard, what I am going to do is show the “Virtual Keyboard” on the screen, since as I press keys on my MIDI keyboard, it automatically appears on the virtual keyboard.

I’ll give you an example, if I click on this measure and enter the “Notes Entry” mode, pressing the “N” key, now if I press a “C” on my keyboard automatically, you see how the virtual keyboard is selected and also note is added.

So I could enter the “C Major” scale from before by pressing “D, E, F, G, A, B, C”, all from my MIDI keyboard.

The problem is that I have no way, as I already said, to change the figure.

To be able to do it, I would have to go to “Edit” -> “Preferences” and in “MIDI mappings”, as you can see, I have all the figures here.

What I could do, for example, is select from “64th note” to “Whole note” with different keys on my keyboard.

For example, in my case I am going to map the “Quarter note” with the lowest “C” of my piano (which is “C2”), the “Half note” I will map with the “D2”, and the “Whole note” I map it to the “Mi 2”.

That way, I know that from now on those three keys, instead of functioning as notes, will function as figures.

If I now accept and we return to the note entry mode, we see that, right now, we have the “Quarter note” selected.

If I press my “D2” it goes to the “Half note” and if I press my “E2”, it goes to the “Whole note”, being able to change shape between the three keys.

And now, just to enter the notes of the scale in reverse, I simply have to go from the “C” backwards: “C, B, A, G, F, E, D, C.” All from the MIDI keyboard (although you have seen it represented on the virtual keyboard).

I take this opportunity to tell you that on the MIDI keyboard I must enter note by note, since if I press several notes at the same time, a chord would be entered by default.

I give you an example.

I can enter a “C”, an “E” and a “G”, but if I press all three keys at the same time, look what happens: it has automatically created a “C Major” chord for me.

Although now, we will talk about the chords, I have preferred to take advantage now, that we are directly with the MIDI keyboard, to explain what is typical of this introduction mode.

And as I say, and before talking about chords and rests, I will talk to you about the fourth way to enter notes and it is, as you can imagine, the virtual keyboard.

Until now you have been seeing a representation of what I was marking with my MIDI keyboard, but really, for all those of you who do not have a MIDI keyboard, and you like to enter notes like this, I can simply tell you that it is the same as before, select the figure that you want using the mouse or keyboard shortcuts and then clicking on the different keys on the virtual keyboard.

For example, to write the scale from before in “8th notes”, we first select the “8th Note” and now we are introducing the notes “C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C”.

As you can see, and unlike the MIDI keyboard, here we do not have the possibility of writing chords directly.

I hope that this first part about the introduction of notes has been more or less clear and now we are going to move on, as I said, to look at the issue of chords.

Look! A chord is a set of notes that are written at the same time and simultaneously, that is, the same figure.

This should not be confused with the different voices that we can have in a score (we will talk about that in the next video, which we will dedicate to the topic of voices).

First of all, I’m going to hide the keyboard on the screen and now we focus on the chord issue.

As I say, I’m going to go to the first measure again, I’m going to zoom in a little, and the way to enter chords manually is very simple.

We click on the compass, as before we pressed the “N” key and now, as you see, it is as simple as placing the note in the part we want.

For example, in this case, I’m going to insert it on the “C” above the “A”.

If we wanted to continue increasing the chord it would be as simple as clicking on the “E”.

If now, for example, we wanted to introduce a chord in this “Half note E”, we would have to change to the “Half note” and here we would introduce the chord we wanted, for example, an “A” and a “C”.

For example, for this second measure, I’m going to do it, but with keyboard shortcuts.

If you remember, first we have to change to the “quarter note” (we do that with the number 5), and if now I pressed, for example, a “C” to make an “A minor” chord, the problem would be that He would eliminate the “A” and put the “C”.

However, to tell MuseScore that we want to do it in chord mode, that is, add a “C” above the “A” that already exists, what we must do is first press the “Shift” key.

Likewise, if we now wanted to enter, for example, a “E”, we would also have to press the “Shift” key and press the “E” key.

And in this way, when we press the “Shift” key, we would indicate to MuseScore that we want to enter the note in the same position as the current one, but in chord mode and if we do not press anything it will automatically add the note in the position following.

For example, now if I press the “F” it will eliminate the “C” and add a “F”.

Maybe you’ll find it easier if I do it on an empty measure.

For example, I press on the “N” and, for example, I’m going to write a “C major” chord.

I press the 5 to do it with “Quarter notes”, I press the “C”, I press “Ctrl. + Down arrow”, for example” to go down the octave, and now I press “Shift + E” and without releasing press “Shift + G”, in this way it creates a “C major” chord.

A second way that MuseScore provides us to enter chords is by directly telling us the interval we want to go to.

I’ll give you an example, if here in this second position I press the “N” key and type the “C” again, imagine that now I want to write the “E” and the “G”.

Since the “E” is a third away, I could simply press the “Alt.” and the number 3, that way I indicate that I want to enter a third.

If now I press “Alt.” again and the number 3 introduces another note that is one third from the last one.

If, for example, I write a “C ” and press “Alt. + 5”, I would directly enter a “G”, since it is a fifth from the last note entered.

I also want to take a few seconds to explain the rests, since it is something quite simple, and it simply consists of choosing the figure of the duration of the silence and press the number 0.

For example, imagine that now I want to enter, instead of the “Quarter note” rest that there is, I want to enter two “Eighth note” rests, I would simply press the number 4 to indicate that I want to change to “8th note” and now simply the number 0 to indicate that I want a rest.

As you can see, it has automatically created an “8th note” rest.

Likewise, in the next measure I could introduce several rests.

For example, a rest of “Half note” by pressing the number 6 and then 0, a “Quarter note” rest by pressing 5 and then 0 and an “8th note” rest by pressing 4 and then 0.

As you can see, the rests are very easy to enter so I’m not going to spend any more time on this.

And finally in this video, I also want to talk about the accidentals.

MuseScore allows us to introduce accidentals in three different ways.

As you can see above, we see that all the accidental symbols appear, so the first method will consist of, before entering the note, clicking on the accidental that we want to enter.

For example, “Sharp” and now either enter the note manually or do it using a keyboard shortcut.

Likewise, if we want to enter a “Flat”, we can do so by clicking on the “Flat” and entering the note.

As you can imagine, this can also be done with keyboard shortcuts and it is with the “+” and “-” keys.

As before, I press the “+” key, and now to enter the “G” I press on the “G” and to enter the “C flat” I press on the “-” key and then press on the “C” key ( sorry that it has gone right to the next beat and we have not seen what we have done).

There is! As you can see, he introduced me to “C flat”.

I have to admit that, although this is a very simple way to do it, in the end I have gotten used to introducing them in less than a second way.

I’m going to the next measure so you can see it.

In my case I am going to press the “N” key again to enter the ” Notes Entry” mode.

If I, for example, want to enter a “G sharp”, what I do is that I directly press the “G” to enter the “G” and now with the up and down arrows on the keyboard I go moving by semitones throughout the scale.

If you notice, as I press the key up, we go up by semitones and with “Sharps”, while I continue pressing the key down we go down the entire scale with “Flats”.

I’m not saying it’s the fastest way, but it’s what I’ve gotten used to and it’s very easy for me.

This way, for example, for the “G sharp” I would go up there and to introduce a “Flat”, I will simply add the note and with the down arrow we will go down a semitone.

The third method, and although I don’t use it too much, is to go to the “Palettes” button and look for “Accidentals” here.

As you can see, we also have the “Flat”, the “Sharp”, the “Double flat”, etc…It would also be as simple as entering a note, either with the mouse or with the keyboard, and now once it is selected, do Click on the “Sharp”, on the “Flat” or on the accidental we need.

As you can see, it is also automatically added.

By the way, if we want to add courtesy accidentals (for those of you who do not know what courtesy accidentals are, they are those alterations that are not necessary because in one way or another it is implicit, but there are times that to help the musician who plays the score is put in parentheses for help).

If now, for example, we introduce another “D” we see that the “Sharp” does not appear because it is taken for granted as it is altered by the previous “Sharp”, but if we wanted to introduce it to remind the musician, it would be as simple as, first first add it from the “Accidentals” menu and secondly, and to indicate that the “Sharp” is a courtesy accidental, just click on it and from the “Accidentals” menu go to “More” and here At the bottom the “Parenthesis” appears.

By the way, I haven’t said it, but if at any time we get confused, the quickest way to undo the last operation performed is by pressing “Ctrl. + Z” on the keyboard.

For example, in this case if I press “Ctrl. + Z”, it would remove the parenthesis (which is the last thing we did), if I press it again it would remove the accidental and if I press it again it would remove the last note entered.

And that’s it for today’s video.

It may seem like a long and a bit dense video, since we have talked about many things, but the summary is the following: we have four ways to enter notes: with a mouse, with a keyboard, with a MIDI piano and with a virtual piano, and we have seen so much how to enter individual notes, chords, rests and accidentals.

That is the idea you have to have in your head.

From there, we still have to study the keyboard shortcuts as long as you want to use them.

And if you prefer to do it manually, remember that it is perfectly viable but it will take a little longer than doing it with shortcuts.

So we leave it for today, and as always, if you have any questions, you can leave it in a comment; I will try to answer you as soon as possible.

Likewise, if you like this type of videos and are following the course, you can subscribe to the channel and click on the bell so that YouTube informs you when I am uploading new videos.

See you very soon where little by little we will go deeper and deeper into all the functionalities that MuseScore allows us.

See you soon!

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