Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
Creating scores using a computer application is detail oriented and can be time consuming. The more things that can be done without changing tools or going through dialog boxes to make choices, the faster and easier the work is. In Finale many of those musical details are assigned to shortcuts called metatools. metatools are available with most Finale tools, including the Expression, Articulation, Smart Shape, and even the Selection tools. Let's review how to use a metatool and then we'll talk about how you can create your own. So if you would, please open the creating metatools file in the 8_03 folder, and let's just review a bit.
I'm going to choose the Expression tool--it looks like the mezzo forte sign. And I'm going to assign an expression by double-clicking the note. If I go up to the Show All category, we can see all of them. And just note that these numbers that we see in the upper right-hand corners, and sometimes letters, those are the metatool assignment. And so we can assign these dynamics or expressions by just holding down the Assign metatool and clicking the note in the score. I like to remember that 4 is for forte and then going below that it gets louder and then above that it gets softer.
So for example, I can go 4 for forte, and if I go 5, I'll get mezzo forte, 6 mezzo piano, 7 piano, and so on and so forth. Now I can do the same thing with the Articulation tool, by choosing that tool and clicking a note. Here again we see the metatool assignments in the upper right-hand corner. So S is being used for staccato, A for long accent. So let me cancel out of there, and I'll hold down S. I can either click a note or I can drag and close a bunch of notes while I'm holding down the letter S, and it'll add that articulation.
We can do the same thing with the Smart Shape tool. So let me choose that. Even though we have the palette right here, I can add those without actually having to choose the smart shape that I want to use. So for example, if I want to add a decrescendo in the score, I'll hold down the lesser than sign and double- click and drag to assign that. If I want to add an 8va marking, I'll hold down 8, and if I double-click and drag above the staff, I'll get 8va, and if I double-click and drag below the staff while holding the 8 down, I'll get 8vb.
I can even do this now with the Selection tool. So if I choose that and select some notes--let me choose this line, so I'll Shift+Click that range-- I can change the spacing using 4 for note spacing and 5 for beat spacing. And I can even transpose a line using 6, 7, 8, and 9. 6 will take it down a step, 7 will take it back up a step, 8 down in octave, and 9 up in octave. So those are real handy, but you may find yourself wanting to assign your own metatools, and that's easy to do. So let's go back to the Expression tool.
If I hold down the Shift key and the letter that I want to assign to an expression, we'll open up the Expression dialog box. So let me hold down Shift+R, and that jumps me into the Expression Selection dialog box. That shows me that I already have the letter R assigned to ritard, but for this particular score I might need to add rubato a lot. So I'll choose rubato and Assign, and note that it doesn't assign that actually into the score, but it's just reassigned the metatool. So now if I hold down R and click, it'll add rubato. Now I want to tell you at this point that some of these expressions only assign to the top staff.
So if I try to add R onto the oboe part, you'll notice that it jumps to the up and it adds it to the top staff-- and that's only in the score. And the purpose behind this is that a lot of times when a conductor is conducting a score, they just want to see those important tempo markings and tempo changes in the top staff. Now in the parts that will flow through and put it in the right place in the parts. So I remember the T was assigned to our tempo, so I can go back into tempo by holding down T and clicking. Now I can do this in the Articulation Selection as well. So I'll choose that tool. I am going to hold down Shift+P because I want to reassign the P to the pause articulation.
Currently it's on the Pedal markings for piano, so I'll click down 1. And there is the pause marking in slot 35, so I'll choose that, click Select. Now I can just hold down P and if I double-click a note, we'll get the Pause marking, and I can drag that, put that in the score where we want. Oh, it actually looks like I put in twice that time, so I just need to highlight and delete that one and now I can drag that in. Now we can even assign a metatool to a chord symbol in Finale. So I'll choose the Chord tool, and I'm going to hold down Shift+M, and I'm going to assign that to a chord.
For example I might need to put the chord symbol C Major 7 a lot in this score, so I'll type a C. Then I'm going to go down to the Suffix area and click the Select button, and that will put me in the Suffix Selection area. And I'll choose Major 7 and then Select and OK, and now if I hold down M and click anywhere in the score, I'm going to get that same chord symbol appearing. So that makes it really fast. And by the way, that's just transposed because I put that on the B-flat clarinet part, which is transposed. So I was really excited when I first learnt how to use and create metatools.
I knew immediately that they would speed up the workflow. For now make up a list of the expressions and articulations that you need to add to complete the exercise score. Write down the associated metatools and use them as you finish adding articulations, expressions, and smart shapes to the score.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
73 Video lessons · 17812 Viewers
110 Video lessons · 10905 Viewers
130 Video lessons · 19141 Viewers
71 Video lessons · 14852 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.