(Apologies in advance for possibly incorrect terminology. Also, I'm fairly new to slash notation.)

I am writing a chord sheet for my band. I use slash notation and explicitly specify important rhythms/syncopations using rhythmic slashes. However, I am unsure how to notate a syncopated final 8th note in a measure that is otherwise just filled with slashes (no specific rhythm). Or more generally, notating syncopations when the part of the measure up to the syncopation has no specific rhythm and is therefore filled with slashes.

For example, in the image below, I do not want the crossed-out 8th notes, because they should not be emphasized; only the final 8th note in each measure (where the chord changes) should be emphasized by the band.

enter image description here

Are there good ways to notate this?

I tried making the first of the two 8th notes invisible, but that leaves an unseemly gap. I may be able to reduce it, but I'm concerned that it may not be a clear way to notate what I'm after.

enter image description here

I have also considered using a pause for the first of the two 8th notes, though that may give the impression that the band should not play on that beat, which is wrong.

enter image description here

  • In case you don't want a pause on the fourth beat, as in your first example, then I suggest that you put a dot on the third beat. Commented Feb 5, 2022 at 11:01
  • Just to be clear - did you want the 1st beat of every bar played or pushed?
    – Tim
    Commented Feb 5, 2022 at 12:32

2 Answers 2


Here's four possibilities. What would YOU play if you saw each of them?

The last one is the least specific, showing the anticipated chord change without implying a set rhythm for therest of the bar.

enter image description here

  • I think the last one is what I'm looking for. Thanks! Now to find out how to do that in MuseScore...
    – cmeeren
    Commented Feb 4, 2022 at 23:11
  • Did you miss what he actually asked for - he didn't show the chord being 'pushed' (as in your ties)? although that's might be what he really wanted!
    – Tim
    Commented Feb 5, 2022 at 9:26

Here's my preferred way to show that a chord is to be "pushed". I write a tied eight note in front of the chord symbol:

push chord symbol

How to do that in MuseScore 3

In MuseScore 3.6.2, you can add an eighth note and tie in front of a chord symbol with the Special Characters window, which you can open by pressing F2 while editing the chord symbol.

MuseScore 3 add push symbol 1

MuseScore 3 add push symbol 2

To get the chord symbol to align the way you want, you'll have to attach it to the last slash note of the previous bar instead of the first slash note of the next bar.

In MuseScore 2?

In MuseScore 2, I couldn't get the F2 Special Characters window to add the symbols to a chord symbol. But you could add a normal staff text by pressing Ctrl/Cmd-T and add the push symbols as a separate text element.

How to do that in Sibelius 6

In Sibelius 6, you can do the "push" symbol very nicely with Legacy Chord Symbols and with custom entries added to the Word Menus.

Word Menus

so there

To add the push symbol to a chord symbol, right-click on the chord symbol when editing it, and you get the context menu from which you can select the extra symbol that you added in Preferences / Word Menus / Chords (standard).

Sibelius 6 Preferences Word Menus Chords standard

  • That's simple, elegant, and very helpfully explained. Thanks!
    – cmeeren
    Commented Feb 6, 2022 at 13:22

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