I'm conflicted. I have this passage (note: tuning = DADGBE, D2 notated as D2):

Notation with separate voices

First, this is incorrect, as I'm not including the three beat rest in the third bar for the second-from-the-top voice, because it would be needlessly busy to read (you could fit it in that little space under the C#?). At the same time, this isn't meant to be contrapuntal, so having such complex rhythms baked in seems like too much.

My second suggestion is this following one, with a mononophonic melody line, with some L.V. markings to indicate the rung notes. I would imagine this is preferable and 'more idiomatic', but I'd like some feedback.

Notation with open ties


2 Answers 2


Elaine Gould (Behind Bars, 2011) allows for both of these notations, so it's "engraver's choice". She gives preference to notating the full duration of each note.

When certain notes should specifically left to vibrate (laissez vibrer), notate the full value of the sustained notes.... Where the notation of sustained notes is cumbersome, place an open tie after each note. (page 383: Classical Guitar, Sustaining and damping)

However, earlier, in the section "Chords — Dotted notes — Ties", her examples show that the longer tied notes contain a notated duration each time a new pitch is added to a chord (page 70).

Based on the two sections, my recommendation is to add tied durations to make clear at which point each note enters the chord. That will eliminate the problem of the "missing" dotted half rest.

Notated solution

  • Since it's guitar, the 'gliss' may actually be a 'hammer-on'. So a slur would suffice, maybe?
    – Tim
    Feb 6, 2023 at 9:15
  • @Tim Actually, no clue. I was looking for a line like the one in the OP, and all I found was the "gliss.". Didn't see a way to remove the word itself.
    – Aaron
    Feb 6, 2023 at 9:17
  • @Tim Thanks for the prompt. Made me realize how to get rid of the word "gliss."
    – Aaron
    Feb 6, 2023 at 9:19
  • I omitted the 'gliss.' as per Behind Bars' note on finger shifts (p. 377), as a single fret (we're in D) slide up isn't really as much an expressive slide. To remove the 'text' from an object in MS4, click the object and disable 'show text' in the properties panel (or delete the text).
    – Not Legato
    Feb 6, 2023 at 11:01

The first example makes your intention clearer. Personally, I would use the second example but extend the tie from the eighth note to the whole note on D.

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