Finale Tips
Posted by Brendan McElroy


Here are some tips on using FInale, posted by Brendan McElroy.

Technical
– Setting up front page of chart (no title on second pages)
– Beaming
– slurs markings/phrase markings
– articulations
– dynamics
– measures expressions
– crescendos
– Chord Symbols
– Cues
– Breath Marks
– Rests (eighth note/eighth rest)
– Tying Eighth notes
– Tempo Marking

Formatting
– Marking phrasing
– Double Bars (on key changes, new phrases, etc.)
– Page Turns
– Taping Charts
– Codas (indents/have indication of rehearsal marking)
– End of page
– Multimeasured Rests
– Measure Repeats

Finale Forum

BEST FRIEND – Help – User Manual – Table of Contents – Search (allows you to search info on how to do pretty much EVERYTHING)

– General tips
* Use straight up midi when composing – no garritan sounds or sound libraries; also turn off reverb as it masks stuff
* Use finale as a notational tool instead of a compositional tool
* If you have a finale file over 78 characters long you’ll get a Print error. (older versions of finale)
* Document settings, program settings, and global staff attributes allow many customizable options

– Triplets (alt + 9) using simply entry

– Locking measures per system (cntrl + m) or select measures and hit cntrl + L)

– Explode/implode (1,2 with simple entry OR – Utilities)
* Useful when working with block chords in one staff. You can select which staff to put each voice in.

– Changing note durations
* Utilities – Change – Note Durations
* Useful for changing eighth note lines to 16th note lines without having to rewrite the line.

– Cue notes
* Put cue notes for instruments that have more than 6 bars of rest
* Easy cue notes via finale plug-in (allows you to put expression in, select instrument, change notehead size, etc.)

– Staff styles
* Don’t use ANY staff styles until you’re finished your piece. This should be the last thing you do.
* Older versions of finale often had issues with screwing up the staff styles for your whole piece if you didn’t make it the last thing you did.
* Slashes (hot key S when selecting the staff tool)
* Rhythmic notation (hot key R when selection the staff tool)

– Issue with multimeasured rests not working (breaking)
* Solution: Double click with measure tool and select the measure to not break multimeasured rests
* Solution 2: select empty measures and erase everything in them (select + backspace)

– Copy/Paste specific items
* Select specific measures then press cntrl + shift + click on the measure you want to copy it to.
* This will allow you to choose what to paste.
* Note: this will become the default for what you’re pasting until you change it again.

– Locking stems up/down per layer –

– Working with layers
* Shift + Alt + # (a number between 1 and 4) will select that specific layer
* Shift + Alt + S will toggle showing active layer only

– Linked Parts – Printing – Only one file is needed – I tend to use 1 for score, 1 for parts.
* If using a version of finale before 2008 (and including) check to be sure nothing gets messed as you edit.

– Extracting parts – Under File heading

– Measure numbers – Document – Edit measure number regions
* Putting measure numbers on every bar can and will make your chart look sloppy.
* It’s typical to use on double bars, multimeasured rests, beginning of each staff.

– Utilities – Respell notes will get rid of double sharps/dbl flats

– Edit – Enharmonic Spelling – Favour Sharps/flats, etc.

– Document – Display in concert pitch
* This allows you to work in concert pitch and not have to worry as much about transpositions.
* Use caution when using key signatures. Doing flats or sharps in concert pitch could give you double #/b’s

– Pieces with no key signature – C Major + Chromatic Transposition for
each instrument

– Showing nice Chord fonts (better than default finale chord font)
* with the chord tool, create a new chord make sure manual input is selected in the chord drop down menu
* select advanced options – suffix select – create…
* put in a single letter or number
* select font – jazz chord – size 18
* click on symbol and choose chord suffix

- Doing 6/8 with proper default beaming (number of beats: 2, beat duration: dotted quarter)
If you do it with 6 unbeamed 8ths, beaming will be messed up. If you forget to,
you can go utilities – rebeam to time signature

- Before page formatting in finale:
1) Redefine pages
2) If using linked parts: reset staff styles to score (right click with staff tool)
3) Select all – Right click with selection tool – create multi-measured rests
4) Align Dynamics plugin (Default amount is sufficient)
5) Utilities – Check Notation – Check Accidentals
* This will put back any accidentals that may have dissapeared from copy/pasting
6) Utilities – Check Notation – Check Ties
* *This will put back any ties that may have dissapeared from copy/pasting

- Drums Parts
* Use rhythmic layers and staff staff styles
* Staff Styles – Alternate notation – click the “Show notes in other layers” option
* Put drum cues in layer 2 then select, utilities – stem direction – up (OR staff attributes – stem settings – stems always up)
* Plug in – Single pitch

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