Toolkit quickstart( 5 mins)
We’ve covered quite a bit of the toolkit already. Here are a few features we haven’t looked at so far.
What you will learn
First, you will see how to create “pitch classes“, where you’ll “grow” a chord that covers the entire fretboard in a few clicks, and modify it. Then you’ll try out the “Pitch” tool for measuring intervals from the anchor. This helps get a firmer grasp on the instrument tuning. Then you’ll look at how to change the tuning of the guitar or bass. You’ll then use the “Invent” feature, where you can experiment with you own shapes. Finally, you’ll see how to switch between left-handed and right-handed guitar and bass
A pitch class is the name given to all notes of the same name that can be found on the instrument … for example, all the notes C. These will be identical pitches, or octaves of each other. At step 4 below, you’re asked to use the “edit” dropdown (the small triangle at the right of the box labelled “edit”).
Set Play Construct to melodic.
- Enter the Toolkit
- Click “Clear”
- Move the anchor to the 5th fret on the 4th string
- Select “left click empty location to create its pitch class or delete note’s pitch class” from edit dropdown
- Click on the anchor. This note is named “G”. Every possible place that G’s can be found appear.
- CTL-left click where you want, to move the anchor and watch what happens. (Dragging the anchor isn’t allowed)
- CTL-left click the 5th fret on the 4th string
- Click on the 3rd fret on the 3rd string
- Have a listen
- Click on the 4th fret on the 2nd string
- Click on the 5th fret on the 1st string
- Have a listen
- Click on the 5th fret on the 1st string (which is currently occupied). This deletes the entire pitch class
- Turn off pitch classing by selecting “left click creates new note or deletes note” from edit dropdown
- You can now click an existing note to just delete it. Or click an empty location to just add that note
- You can select individual notes (right-click) and then invert the selections as usual.
This lets you investigate the interval made from the anchor to wherever the mouse is located. It shows all possible locations for that same pitch. By changing the pitch and interval labelling, you will see the interval or semitones from the anchor to that pitch. Below, “Move the mouse” means literally move the mouse, with no buttons held down, and no clicks involved.
- Enter the Toolkit if needed
- Click the “Pitch” button.
- Drag the anchor to fret 0 on the 6th string
- Move the mouse along fret 0, to the 3rd string. Keep typing the character “i” until you see 15 appear in the note there. This is showing this note makes an interval of 15 semitones with the anchor. Notice the pitch on the 15th fret on the 6th string.
- Move the mouse along fret 0 to the 1st string (treble string). This is 24 semitones (2 octaves) above the anchor. So it will belong to same pitch class as well.
We can use this tool to look at intervals from any string/fret to any other string/fret. Once you have learned about intervals, this is yet another way of reminding yourself. For example, let’s use it to see what the “minor 3rd” interval shape is on adjacent pairs of strings. “Minor 3rd” is music theory’s name for 3 semitones.
- Drag the anchor to fret 7 (arbitrary choice) on the 2nd string
- Move to mouse to fret 7 on the 1st string. If needed, keep typing the character “i” until you see 5 appear in the note there. This is showing this note makes an interval of 5 semitones with the anchor.
- Move the mouse back one fret to fret 6 on the 1st string. The label has reduced by one to 4. This is showing this note makes an interval of 4 semitones with the anchor.
- Move the mouse back one fret to fret 5 on the 1st string. The label has reduced by one to 3. This is showing this note makes an interval of 3 semitones with the anchor. Remember this shape.
- Drag the anchor to fret 7 on the 3rd string, and then move the mouse to fret 7 on the 2nd string. Notice its label. What mouse move is needed to change it to 3? Remember this shape.
- Repeat this, dragging the anchor to each of other strings at fret 7 in turn, and then moving the mouse to the adjacent more treble string, and moving the mouse until the label shows 3 (3 semitones).
How many different shapes did you see for 3 semitones across adjacent strings doing the above? You should have seen just two different shapes.
Now let’s look at the guitar tuning. By default, the guitar is in standard tuning.
- With the anchor at fret 0 on the 6th string, move the mouse along fret 0 to the 5th string. The note there shows 5 … meaning it is 5 semitones higher than the anchor.
- Change the anchor to fret 1 on the 6th string. Move the mouse along fret 1 to the 5th string. The note again shows 5 semitones.
- Change the anchor to fret 1 on the 5th string. Move the mouse along fret 1 to the 4th string. The note again shows 5 semitones.
- Change the anchor to fret 1 on the 3rd string. Move the mouse along fret 1 to the 2nd string. The note shows 4 semitones.
- Finally, change the anchor to fret 1 on the 2nd string. Move the mouse along fret 1 to the 1st string. The note again shows 5 semitones.
So … every adjacent pair of strings create pitches that are 5 semitones apart, at the same (any) fret, apart from the the 3rd and 2nd strings, where it is 4 semitones.
Fill box with pitch classes, Layers
You’ll be using the “layouts” dropdown to select a layout where you draw out a box on-instruement that populates with chord notes …
You’ll also be using the “Layers” tool to visually superimpose a chord on top of scale notes you captured in the box. You can drag this chord around and watch how it coincides withe the notes in the box.
- Enter the Toolkit
- Drag the anchor to fret 3 on the 6th string
- Click on Scale> Major. If necessary, keep typing “i” until you only the numbers 1 to 7. Make sure the mouse is in the same pane as the instrument.
- Select “draw box around anchor” from the “layouts” dropdown. This turns on the ability to draw out a box around the current anchor location on the guitar.
- Move the mouse to fret 0 of the bass string (i.e. just to the left of the left-most vertical line on the guitar. Now left-drag the mouse, along the bass string. An outline of box appears, and you will see notes appearing in the box as you drag. Drag up to the 14th fret on the 3rd string and release the mouse button. This shows the major scale notes within the area of the box.
- Click the “Layers” button in the Toolkit. It turns green.
- Emuso has two layers: an active layer (which is interactive so you can create notes, drag them around and so on), and an inactive layer (which is not interactive, purely visual and audible). Usually, the active layer is visual and its notes can be heard. Normally the inactive layer is invisible and inaudible. If the active and inactive layer are both visible, then if there’s a note at the same location in both layers, you only see the note from the active layer. If there is no note at the same location in both layers, then the note from the lower layer can be seen (dimmed down). All visible notes on the active layer can be copied to the inactive layer, and read back out from the inactive layer to the active layer. We won’t worry about making either layer inaudible (which is what the ‘A’ button does).
- Click the “w” button of the layer tool to copy the visible notes on instrument into the inactive layer. Click “V” (next to “w”) to make these notes visible (but may be obscured by notes on the active layer).
- Click Chord> Min Triad and drag it along the bass string and watch where it coincides with the notes in the inactive layer. This shows that this minor chord exists in the major scale, rooted at the second, third, and sixth scale note
- Click the “l” button of the layer tool (the leftmost button of the inactive layer). This locks the layer from being cleared when Toolkit > Clear is used.
- Click Toolkit > Clear. The active layer’s contents are cleared, leaving an empty anchor (white circle).
- Click the “r” button to read back the inactive layer’s content into the active layer.
- Click the “l” button to unlock the inactive layer.
- Click Toolkit > Clear. The active layer’s contents are cleared, leaving an empty anchor (white circle). The inactive layer is also cleared. The “layouts” has reverted to “usual shape” as there are no notes. You can always use “layouts” and choose “usual shape” yourself (or another layout).
Anything on-instrument can be “boxed” and written into the inactive layer, and read back out (no longer “boxed”)
You can also add related content, such as several chord voicings using the same anchor note (and octaves), using the “+” button for each piece of related content. This is useful if you want to create an image showing several inversions at the same time. Let’s try it…
- Move the anchor to fret 0, on the 6th string
- Use Toolkit>Chord and select “Maj Triad”.
- Select (right-click) the notes on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd strings
- Click “w” to copy this to the inactive layer
- Invert right (inverter gadget). A new version of the chord appears
- Click “+” to add this to the inactive layer
- Invert right. A new version of the chord appears
- Click “+” to add this to the inactive layer
- Click “r”. These all get copied to the active layer
- Type “y”. You are prompted to save an image of what is on the active layer (the “guitar”)
- Save if you like.
Hide the Layers widget (Click “Layers” button in toolkit again. The button turns grey again).
Changing the guitar tuning
We’ll use a chord so you can see the effect on its shape, when the tuning changes.
Here is a picture of the guitar tuner gadget.
There are 6 rows of buttons, corresponding to the 1st string at the top, and the 6th string at the bottom.
The left button in a row raises that string’s tuning by one semitone with each click. The right button drops the tuning by one semitone with each click. Changing the tuning means that notes will shift towards the nut (raising the tuning) or towards the body (dropping the tuning), to maintain their correct pitch. As the tuning is raised, notes on that string shift towards the nut by one fret per click. As the tuning is dropped, notes on that string shift towards the guitar body by one fret per click.
- Enter the Toolkit if needed.
- Click “Clear”
- Set the anchor at fret 5 on the 6th string
- Click the “Chord” button, and select “Major Triad”
- Click the “Tuning” button, and select “Unlock Tuning Heads”. The tuning widget appears.
- Drag it below the guitar, so you can clearly see the chord
- Click + on the 1st row. The note shifts towards the nut
- Click – on that same row. The note shifts towards the guitar body
- Click the “Tuning” button, and select “Open E”. The shape becomes a straight vertical line.
- Click the “Tuning” button, and select “Standard”. The shape reverts to its original.
- Click the “x” at the top right of the tuner widget to close it.
If you close the tuning gadget while a non-standard tuning is active, the Tuning button remains green. It will revert to grey once you have reverted to standard tuning.
This lets you invent your own shapes, which can be inverted. As you click in notes, or delete them, emuso is analysing what’s visible, to try and recognise a chord or scale. As a result, you may see the shape get relabelled, with the anchor reassigned to one of the notes, but without the shape changing … the intervals in the shape are labelled accordingly from wherever the anchor has been reassigned to.
- Enter the Toolkit if needed
- Click the Invent button. The guitar is cleared,and just an empty anchor shows
- As an example, move the anchor to the 3rd fret on the 5th string
- Left-click (NOT CTL-left click!) on the anchor, and on fret 5 on the 4th string, and fret 4 on the 3rd string, and fret 3 on the 2nd string. Emuso analyses each click, and finally reassigns the anchor to the note at the 5th fret in the 4th string, as the root of the chord
- Invert this chord. If nothing happens, move the mouse right, out of the quick start guide
Exit the Toolkit.
Changing between left-handed and right-handed guitar and bass
- Click on the “Instruments” menu, at the top left of emuso.
- Select “Left handed” to change to left handed guitar or bass.
- Select it again to revert to right handed.
The next quick start starts looking at emuso’s features for exploring and practicing rhythmic concepts and time keeping.