Simple Note Entry with Finale

Hello All,

My apologies if this is completely obvious, and I'm just missing the boat, but I am having trouble entering music in Finale with Simple Entry. I do not have a midi keyboard and am solely entering notes manually.

I am using Finale 2009, and am actually attempting to use the Finale 2008 VDL template, with VDL 2.5 and Kontakt player.

The problem I have, is that I do not understand how to enter notes into my score that fall on 'sharp' or 'flat' pitches. For example, I want to use Snareline Manual, which seems to be working well, but I just can't get Finale to allow me to enter a G# for RH Hits or an F# for LH hits. I suppose if I was using a Midi keyboard, simply using speedy entry and hitting the respective note on the keyboard would enter the note appropriately, but Finale is not allowing me to indicate accidentals on the notes. (Maybe because I am using percussion clef?)

I've successfully used Snareline (AutoRL) but I am writing exercises requiring single hand independance patterns and that subtle RH vs LH difference is making it sound completely wrong! :/

I do plan to get a midi keyboard eventually, but right now I really would like to understnad how to enter these notes manually. I suspect this is more of a Finale question, but it seems as though I am missing the understanding of a basic concept here and I am hoping someone is willing to help guide me!

- DJ

DJ - I assume you are using the Simple Entry palet?  On the palet there is a 1/2 step up and 1/2 step down key that you can click on to move the notes in the desired sharp or flat direction, either upon input or after they are already input.  There should also be a sharp, natural and flat key on the pallet which you can use in the same manner.  I'm not sure if this answers exactly what you are asking?  I'm a simple entry user myself, and I find that most times I have to cycle through the sounds once I place a note since there are so very many possible VDL variations for a given space or line on each staff.  Finale 2010 and later made this alot easier with the annotation that accompanies the use of Simple Entry for the non-pitched percussion instruments. 

There are free ";virtual"; MIDI keyboards you could try too.  Those let you click on keys with your mouse.  But I would just buy this ASAP and you'll wonder how you got by without it.  Less than a tank of gas: 
Hi Guys,
Thanks very much for the responses! Yes, I am using the palette, have attempted to use both the sharp, flat, 1/2 up, and 1/2 step down selections. However, when I attempt to apply that to a note in the score, it will not change the note in any direction... :/

This is why I am think I am missing something, because it seems as though something with the template may be preventing it...

I will try a virtual MIDI keyboard first... And like I said, eventually, I'll be picking up an actual keyboard. I agree--the Nano2 looks great!

- DJ
In the Simple Entry Palette, do you have the sharp symbol selected while/before you're entering notes, AND do you have the CapsLock key on (this enters F# and G# on top of the staff, instead of in the staff)? If I have the sharp symbol selected, CapsLock, then hit 'F' or 'G' on my computer keyboard, I get the appropriate notation and sounds.
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