emuso

Automatic chords and inversions( 5 mins)

Jerry

Introduction

If you are a beginner to chord types and scale types, don’t worry.  You’ll still be able to make chord progressions with this guide.

You could manually use the Toolkit “Chord” menu to choose the next chord, along with any of your edits to the chord (or make up your own entirely), and load (imprint) this into a Rhythm-X part.  This is tedious.  Instead, you can make use of automatic chord generation.  Additionally, any chord can have its notes reorganised (inverted) by typing a character on your keyboard, often with surprising results.  When working with a scale, you can select notes for a melody, and use “scale-aware” inversion.  These are all presented here.

What you will learn

First, you will see how to invert a (part of a) chord, higher or lower.  This can be applied to any auto-generated chord as well. We’ll then carry on with the final version of the snappet from Exploring rhythm #2.   You will see how to turn on automatic chord generation and use emuso>Show scale row for autochord to give you a visual reminder of where (string and fret) the scale notes are located on the “guitar”.  Once turned on, when you CTL-left-click on a scale note location, or left-drag the anchor, the appropriate chord type is built from there.  You will then learn how to choose the chord complexity, resulting in a chord that contains from three to seven different scale notes built around the scale note location.   However, some chords may not be generated  at that complexity if that chord would sound clashy.

Finally, you will learn how to take a melody based on the scale notes, and “invert” them using a “generic interval”.  All will be revealed below!

 

Creating chord inversions

An inversion of a chord is a rearrangement of its notes.  Here is an example chord.  The red circle labelled “1” stands out to our ears.   Let’s check it out.

G (add 9)

  1. Click on the chord above
  2. Before you type anything, make sure the mouse is to the right of the vertical border between this quick start guide and the instrument.
  3. Type Right Arrow.  The chord inverts along its current strings towards the body.  Repeat.  It won’t move if the inversion would “fall off” the neck.
  4. Type Left Arrow. The chord inverts along its current strings towards the nut.  Repeat. It won’t move if the inversion would “fall off” the neck.
  5. Type Up Arrow.  The chord inverts along the current strings towards the body, and if possible, the inversion moves to the adjacent higher string. Repeat.
  6. Type Down Arrow. The chord inverts along the current strings towards the nut, and if possible, the inversion moves to the adjacent lower string. Repeat.

You can also select some of the notes in the chord, and just invert these…

  1. Click on the chord above
  2. Select (right-click) the notes on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th strings.
  3. Use the Arrows as above.

Note that once an inversion has started, any further selections on that inversion will be ignored and the entire current inversion will move when inverted.

Each of the following sections can be expanded by clicking on its heading, and collapsed by clicking on the heading again.

 

Edit the existing chord progression with Refine part toolbar

Now let’s edit the existing chord progression, using Rhythm-X’s Refine part toolbar.

Load back in the snappet from the end of Exploring Rhythm-X #2 …

  1. Click on the G (add 9) chord image above (Creating chord inversions)
  2. CTL-left-click the 5th fret on the bass string.  The chord moves to become A (add 9).
  3. Make sure the mouse is in the same pane as the guitar! Invert the chord once, by typing Right Arrow
  4. Click “Chord” on the Refine part toolbar. Then click on the onset for the fourth chord of the “gtr chord” part. This receives this inverted chord.
  5. Invert the chord again, by typing Right Arrow.  The chord now becomes A/B.
  6. Click on the onset for the sixth chord of the “gtr chord” part. This receives this inverted chord
  7. Click “Back” on the Refine part toolbar, to change to Rhythm-X’s main toolbar.
  8. On the main toolbar, click the Visual feedback dropdown, and select “Inspect onset content
  9. Click on the onset for third chord from the left in the “gtr chord” part. The chord appears on the guitar
  10. Invert the chord once, by typing Right Arrow
  11. Click “Refine part” on the main toolbar to change to the Refine part toolbar
  12. Click “Chord” on the Refine part toolbar. Then click on the onset for the third chord from the left in the “gtr chord” part. This receives this inverted chord
  13. Click “Back” to the main toolbar
  14. Click the Visual feedback dropdown, and select “Link track to active layer“. Click on any onset in the “gtr chords” part.
  15. Start playback and hear and watch your new chords appear
  16. Save your work if you want.

Combining use of autochord with creating or editing a Rhythm-X chord progression

Make sure you you exit the Toolkit, if you are currently in it. Now load up one of the snappets that you encountered in RhythmX #1. You are going to replace some of its chords using auto-generated chords.

 

 

Activating autochord

Setting up for automatically generating chords of A aeolian (to suit the snappet)

  1. Enter the Toolkit
  2. Click “Clear” to tidyup the guitar
  3. Move the anchor to fret 5 on the bass (6th) string.
  4. Click “Scale” and select “Aeolian“. Emuso remembers this is the most recent scale to be used.
  5. Click on the menu item “emuso>Show scale row for autochord“. This will visually take effect at 6.
  6. Click the Toolkit “Chord” button. This clears the instrument, in preparation for some chord selection. Scroll down to the near the bottom to select “Automatic“. The scale row appears
  7. The appropriate chord is generated at the anchor (which is currently located at the scale start note created at step 4)
  8. The scale row gives you a visual reference (from the inactive layer) for where the some of the scale notes are located on instrument, along the bass string.
  9. Try CTL-left-clicking on these different scale note locations.  The correct chord type is created at each clicked location.
  10. CTL-left-click the 3rd fret on the bass string.  Left-drag the anchor along the bass string … the same chord is moved to wherever you finally stop dragging.  Whereas CTL-left-click will create the appropriate chord type if the clicked location is a scale note.  CTL-left-click on a non-scale location moves the most recent chord to that location.

Choosing the chord complexity with the CTL-Shift and typing a number

You can hold down CTL and SHIFT keys, with a number in the range 3 to 9, to change what emuso does when it generates chords, such as with autochord, or when holding down the ALT key while moving the mouse over a scale note.

Don’t worry if you don’t know what we mean by triads, sevenths, ninths, elevenths, thirteenths, quartal triads and quartal sevenths for chords.  You’ll learn about these in lessons.  But you will hear and see what happens!

  1. Press CTL-SHIFT- 4.
  2. The chord on the guitar will change to what’s known as some kind of seventh chord provided the chord is rooted at a scale note.
  3. Press CTL-SHIFT-5.
  4. The chord on the guitar will change what’s known as some kind of ninth chord
  5. Try CTL-left-clicking on different scale notes, or left-drag the anchor along the bass string. The correct chord type is created at each clicked or dragged over location.
  6. Make sure you listen to each one.
  7. (Other possibilities are CTL-SHIFT-3 (for triads), CTL-SHIFT-6 (for elevenths), CTL-SHIFT-7 (for thirteenths), CTL-SHIFT-8 (for quartal triads) and CTL-SHIFT-9 (for sevenths)

All of these can be inverted using Left Arrow, Right Arrow, Up Arrow and Down Arrow.  These can all be left-dragged as well.

Using scale-aware pattern inversion

Now you are going to build your own melody, using the appropriate scale, selecting some notes from it, imprinting these onto the “gtr melody” part, then using scale-aware pattern inversion to create a new set of notes based on the previous ones, and imprinting these onto the “gtr melody” part, and so on.

  1. From the Rhythm-X main toolbar, click the “Clear” dropdown (don’t use the Toolkit “Clear” by mistake!), and choose “Clear part“. Click any onset on the “gtr melody” part. This removes all the melody notes.
  2. Bring up the Refine part toolbar.
  3. Enter the Toolkit
  4. Click “Clear” to tidy up the guitar
  5. Move the anchor to fret 5 on the bass (6th) string.
  6. Click “Scale” and select “Aeolian“.
  7. Select the following notes by right-clicking them on strings 3 and 4. The notes to select there are 2, b3, 4, 1, b7 . (Type “=” if you don’t see these symbols on-instrument).
  8. Click “Part” on the Refine part toolbar. Click the 6th onset. The selections imprint into the part, starting at the 6th onset.
  9. Type the number “2“. A message appears … “pattern will shift by interval of 2“.  Nothing happens at this point.
  10. Type “]“. The selections for the pattern have all moved along the current strings (the rest of the scale notes have disappeared). What was the 2nd scale note becomes the 3rd scale note (b3) and so on.
  11. “Part” is still active. Click near at the 16th onset (last onset in bar 2). These new selection are received starting at this onset
  12. Type “]” again. The selections shift again. Imprint these somewhere … experiment.

You can use this approach for creating practice regimes with position changes along the neck.

 

Next

The next quick start looks at transposing tracks in Rhythm-X. You’ll learn how to add “memos” to tracks, which are visual reminders of some shape you want to concentrate on while the tracks play out. These two features are especially handy for practicing. You’ll also learn how to time-displace tracks for interesting rhythmic effects.

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