Automatic chords and inversions( 5 mins)
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 with Chord-X, emuso’s chord explorer. Additionally, any chord can have its notes reorganised (inverted) using the Inverter gadget, 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
We’ll carry on with the final version of the rhythm project file 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 “translate” them using a “generic interval”. All will be revealed below!
This next chord will be used below, editing the existing chord progression with Refine Part toolbar.
G (add 9)
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 …
- Click on the G (add 9) chord image above
- CTL-left-click the 5th fret on the bass string. The chord moves to become A (add 9).
- Make sure the mouse is in the same pane as the guitar! Invert the chord right once. The chord now becomes A/B.
- 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. It is coloured orange to show a change has occurred.
- Click “Back” on the Refine part toolbar, to change to Rhythm-X’s main toolbar.
- On the main toolbar, click the Visual feedback dropdown, and select “Inspect onset content“
- Click on the onset for fifth chord from the left in the “gtr chord” part. The chord appears on the guitar
- Click on the 7th fret, 3rd string. The chord becomes an F Maj7(13)
- Click “Refine part” on the main toolbar to change to the Refine part toolbar
- Click “Chord” on the Refine part toolbar. Then click on the onset for the fifth chord from the left in the “gtr chord” part. This receives this inverted chord
- Click “Back” to the main toolbar
- Click the Visual feedback dropdown, and select “Link track to active layer“. Click on any onset in the “gtr chords” part.
- Start playback and hear and watch your new chords appear
- 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 rhythm projects that you encountered in RhythmX #1. You are going to replace some of its chords using auto-generated chords.
Setting up for automatically generating chords of A aeolian (to suit the rhythm project)
- Enter the Toolkit
- Click “Clear” to tidyup the guitar
- Move the anchor to fret 5 on the bass (6th) string.
- Use “scale families” dropdown and select “major scale and modes“.
- Click “Scale” and select “Aeolian“. Emuso remembers this is the most recent scale to be used.
- Click on the menu item “Settings>Show scale row for autochord“. (By default it is selected). This will visually take effect at 6.
- Click the Toolkit “Chord-X” button. The button turns green showing it is active. The scale row for aeolian appears.
- The appropriate chord is generated at the anchor (which is currently located at the scale start note created at step 4)
- 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.
- Try CTL-left-clicking on these different scale note locations. The correct chord type is created at each clicked location.
- 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 Gen dropdown
You can use the Gen button dropdown, next to the Chord-X button, 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!
- Select “Generate sevenths” from the Gen dropdown.
- 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.
- Select “Generate ninths” from the Gen dropdown.
- The chord on the guitar will change what’s known as some kind of ninth chord
- 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.
- Make sure you listen to each one.
- (There are other possibilities available from the Gen dropdown).
All of these generated chords can be inverted. These can all be left-dragged as well.
Using scale-aware pattern translation
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 translation to create a new set of notes based on the previous ones, and imprinting these onto the “gtr melody” part, and so on.
- 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.
- Bring up the Refine part toolbar.
- Enter the Toolkit if needed
- Click Chord-X to turn it off.
- Click “Clear” to tidy up the guitar.
- Move the anchor to fret 5 on the bass (6th) string.
- Click “Scale” and select “Aeolian“. Emuso remembers this is the most recent scale to be used. (If needed, use “scale families” dropdown and select “major scale and modes” and then click “Scale“.
- 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).
- Click “Part” on the Refine part toolbar. Click the 6th onset. The selections imprint into the part, starting at the 6th onset.
- Use “translate scale > 2 scale notes away“. A message appears … “pattern will shift by 2 scale notes“. Nothing happens at this point.
- Use the inverter gadget, and click the right button. (Notice the “Translate” radio button has turned on). The selections for the pattern have all moved along the current strings (the rest of the scale notes have disappeared) towards the body. What was the 1st scale note becomes the 3rd scale note (b3) and so on.
- “Part” is still active. Click near at the 16th onset (last onset in bar 2). These new selection are received starting at this onset
- Click the right button again. The selections shift again. Imprint these somewhere … experiment.
You can use this approach for creating practice regimes with position changes along the neck. Use the left button to move the pattern towards the nut. The Up button moves the pattern vertically across the strings towards the 1st string. The down button moves the pattern vertically across the strings towards the 6th string.
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.