Entering notes with the computer mouse is a simple and great way to get started in Finale, but it's not the most efficient way, or the easiest on your hands. Let's take a look at how you can enter notes using the computer keyboard; one of my favorite ways to enter notes. So I am here in the 4_02 file folder, and I am going to open up both of these files. I'll go to the Window menu, and I will tile them, and now I am going to place them both in Scroll view. Remember, the command for that is Command+E on a Mac, and Control+E on a PC. And I will zoom in a bit; that's Command+Equals or Command+Plus on a Mac, and Control+Equals or Control+Plus on a PC.
And then let's locate them both to measure 8. Let me click in the Measure field here, type in 8, and hit the Return key; do the same thing there. Okay, we are ready to enter a note. So I am going to choose the Simple Entry tool, and then I am going to Option+Click on a Mac, or Control+Click on a PC, to place the entry cursor into the Measure without actually adding a note. Now to choose the note duration, we are going to press a number on the numpad area of the keyboard. So I will press 4 for an eighth note, and then going to larger notes, five for a quarter, six for a half note, 7 for a whole note, and going down from an eighth note, you would go 3 for sixteenth note, 2 for a 32nd, and so on, and so forth.
So if we look down here in the Example Score, it looks like we need a dotted quarter. So I will press 5 for quarter note, and then to enter the note, you just press the letter name of that note on your computer keyboard. So if I need an F, I will press an F. Now, that entered in the wrong octave, so I am going to use my left arrow to go back and select that note, and then I am going to hold down Shift+Up arrow to put it back in the right octave. I need to dot that value, so I'll press the Period on the keyboard, and then I will press the right arrow key to move my cursor over, and get ready to enter the next note.
Now, you'll notice, again, I'm in the wrong octave, so before I enter that note, I will actually go Shift+Up arrow to put me in the right octave. Then I will press 4, so that I can add eighth notes, and I will type E, E, D, C, D, C, A to add those eighth notes, and then I will press a 5 to add the next quarter note, and press an F. Now, you notice that the next note is an eighth rest, so I will press 4 to change my note duration to an eighth note, and then I will press the 0 key on the numpad to enter a note of that value.
Now, if you are using a laptop, you won't be able to use a numpad, because you don't have. There are two solutions to this problem. You can go up to the Simple menu, and you can choose Simple Entry Options, and then click the Edit Keyboard Shortcuts button. Now down at the bottom of that window, you can select the Default Shortcut Table dropdown menu, and switch that to the Laptop Shortcut Table. If I click OK, we go back into the score; now I can actually change the note durations using the numbers in the QWERTY area of the keyboard. So five for a quarter, four for an eighth, so on and so forth.
Let me reset that real quick. The other option would be to add a USB numpad extension. This is really useful, and I think you'll find it a big help. Okay, if you need to edit any notes, it's simple. You can use the left and right arrows to move your cursor back, and select a note. For instance, if you need to change a note value, select the note, and then hold down Option on a Mac, or Control on a PC, and press the number that represents the right note duration. For instance, if I want to change that C into a quarter note, I will press Option+5; it changes that.
Notice that it moves the other notes over. Let me undo that; Command+Z to fix that. If I need to delete a note, I can just use my Arrow keys to select that, and then press the Delete key. If I need to change a pitch, I can use the arrow keys to go back and select a note, and then just press the letter name for the right note. So if that needs to be an E, I will just press E; if it needs to be a D, I will go back and choose it again, and press D. Now unfortunately, notice that time I was in the wrong octave, so I will press Shift+Up arrow to put that back in the right octave.
Okay, so take a few minute, and enter the rest of the notes in the score. I am going to do that myself, and I then I will join you in a minute. So I finished entering the notes, and now you will notice that I need to add repeats to the score to finish it. So I am going to put the score into Page view again. Remember, that's Command+E on a Mac, or Control+E on a PC, and I will go ahead and maximize that, and re-center this the way I want it. I am going to choose the Selection tool, which is the one on the far left here. I am going to select the first bar, and then right-click, and go down to Repeats.
I have several options here, and what I want to do here is add a Forward Repeat bar. Then I am going to click the second to last bar, and right-click again, and go to Repeats, and then I am going to choose Create First and Second Ending. So notice that it created a first ending over the bar that I had selected, and then the second ending after that. If you wanted more than one bar in the first ending, I would've needed to simply select more than one bar. So using the computer keyboard is one of the fastest ways to enter notes. It's easier on the hands and wrists than using a mouse, and you don't need to use a MIDI keyboard.
Getting fast at entering notes is just like learning to play an instrument: it takes practice.
- Setting up the hardware and software
- Creating a Finale score document
- Importing files
- Viewing and navigating documents
- Entering and editing notes with the mouse, keyboard, and real or virtual instruments
- Understanding measuring basics and music spacing
- Adding lyrics
- Notating music on a grand staff
- Notating choral music with layers
- Notating for guitar, including tablature and Smart Shapes
- Recording in real time
- Adding expressions and articulations
- Formatting scores
- Printing scores
- Exporting documents