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 RhythmX 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 RhythmX #2.   You will see how to turn on automatic chord generation and use layers 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 “.”  (period).  The chord inverts.  Repeat.
  4. Type “,” (comma). The chord inverts in opposite direction.

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. Type “.”  (period).  The chord inverts.  Repeat.
  4. Type “,” (comma). The chord inverts in opposite direction.

 

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 RhythmX’s Refine part toolbar.

Load back in the snappet from the end of RhythmX #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 “.” (period)
  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 “.” (period).  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 RhythmX’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 “.” (period)
  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 RhythmX 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.

You’ll be using this icon for drawing out a box that populates with scale notes …

You’ll also be using the “Layers” widget to visually superimpose chords on top of the scale notes you captured in the box.

 

 

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. In the block of icons at the top of emuso, click on the icon fifth from the left (see above). This turns on the ability to draw out a box around the current anchor location on the guitar.
  6. 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 as you drag. Drag up to the 15th fret and release the mouse button.
  7. From the emuso menu (top left), choose “Layers…“.
  8. 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).
  9. Click on the “W” button to copy the visible notes on instrument into the inactive layer. Click “V” to makes these notes visible (but may be obscured by notes on the active layer).
  10. Click the Toolkit “Chord” button. This clears the instrument, in preparation for some chord selection. Scroll down to the bottom to select “Automatic“.
  11. The appropriate chord is generated at the anchor (which is currently located at the scale start note created at step 4)
  12. You now have a visual reference (from the inactive layer) for where the some of the scale notes are located on instrument, along the bass string.
  13. Try CTL-left-clicking on these different scale note locations, or left-drag the anchor along the bass string. The correct chord type is created at each clicked or dragged over location.

Choosing the chord complexity

  1. Click on the Essentials menu at the top left of emuso.
  2. Select “Generated Chord Complexity…”. Its dialogue appears. Move it if necessary so you can see the fretboard.
  3. Notice the label “chord complexity” in the dialogue. Click on the dropdown to its left and select “seventh”
  4. The chord on the guitar will change.
  5. Use the same dropdown and select “ninth”.
  6. The chord on the guitar will change,
  7. Close the dialogue (click the x at its top right corner)
  8. Try CTL-left-clicking on different scale notes, or left-drag the anchor alog the bass string. The correct chord type is created at each clicked or dragged over location.
  9. Make sure you listen to each one.

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 RhythmX 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 .
  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“.
  10. Type “]“. The selections for the pattern have all moved up (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 RhythmX. 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.