Category Archives: Music

Songwriting Inspiration for MacOS

Songwriting Inspiration – One users said it was a “Good song seed app.”

Our app was featured on one of the Premiere Logic Pro X Tutorial sites.

Stuck writing the same C-F-G, G-C-Dm songs over and over? Unsure which chords sound good in a progression? Uncomfortable composing in C sharp Lydian and A flat Locrian?

The most valuable part of Songwriting Inspiration is that it knows which chords usually sound best following other chords, so it shouldn’t give you any “duds” as far as progressions. It will randomly select chords that fit your criteria, so you should be able re-generate a new progression with similar criteria that is slightly different.

How it works:

First you select a key/scale/mode. Then you select the number of chords that you’d like in your progression. Finally you pick how you want your progression to end. Click the generate progression button, and it’s displayed on the screen. For example, say you want to write a song in F# Mixolydian, and would like a progression of 8 chords long, with the progression ending on the V Dominant chord. Select that criteria, click the generate button, and it should give you a decent sounding progression. Click the play button, and it’ll give you an audio preview of the progression using piano triads. If you don’t quite like it, but want to stick with that criteria, just click the generate button again, and it will give you a slight variation.

You can pick progressions that end with any chord (but still sound good in the progression,) or select a plagal cadence (IV-I) or a perfect cadence (V-I) as well as some “standard” progressions like 12 bar blues and the ii-V-I jazz progression.

Teachers and composers can print out the chord progressions to share with others. Additionally, if you are a bit weak on playing the chords on piano or guitar, chord charts can be substituted for the music staff.

Songwriting Inspiration not only assists you when feeling stuck or unsure of where to start, but can also save you time by transferring the chords to your DAW! Save your progression to a midi file, and import it into Logic Pro, Fruity Loops, Pro Tools, etc. Additionally, it saves to MusicXML format which can be imported to Sibelius or Logic.

If saving as MusicXML, it will create two tracks. The first is a “chords” track for the progression, already converted to inversions for you, so all chords are in the C3 range on the keyboard. The second is a bass track an octave lower that contains just the root note. This is a huge time saver if you are a Logic user! Imagine you want to write a 12 bar blues song. Just select the key and 12-bar blues, click generate, then save to MusicXML. Import into Logic, and you’ll have two 12 bar midi regions for piano and bass. Pick whatever 2 patches you want for those tracks, and voila, a song skeleton that took about a minute of your time!!! Of course you could pick a much more involved song structure, but even something “as simple” as a 12 bar blues song can be constructed much quicker with this method.

You can pick all of the standard modes that you’d expect Major (Ionian), Minor (Aeolian), Harmonic Minor, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, and Locrian. You can select progressions of 4,8,12,16 or 32. Your progression can end on Any chord, the Tonic, the Dominant, the Dominant to Tonic, the Subdominant to Tonic, and several others commonly used progressions.

You can also select to have the chords presented in standard (G Clef) staff format, as a guitar chord chart or a piano chord chart.

Another thing to try for inspiration is to select a 32 chord progression ending with Any chord, and rather than use the entire progression, listen to it and find that one little sub-progression that you find catchy.

Please note a minimum screen height of 1660 is required.


Songwriter’s Inspiration – Chord Progression Generation

icon256Find yourself using the same chord progressions over and over? Are you unsure what chords sound good together? Do you feel like you’ve mastered C and G Major, but are at a loss with what chords to use in B flat minor, let alone F sharp Mixolydian?

That’s exactly the problem that I was having, and this is an attempt to fix that.

The following scales/modes are covered (Major, Minor, Harmonic Minor, Dorian, Phrygian,Lydian, Mixolydian,Locrian) for all keys. The more standard key signatures are used (C sharp instead of D flat, B flat instead of A sharp, etc.)

First select a scale. Then select the number of chords that you want in your progression. Finally, select the type of ending that you want (end on the Tonic, a Dominant to Tonic, Subdominant to Tonic, just the Dominant, or any chord.) Click the generate progression button and the progression is printed to the screen. Chords are randomly generated to create a progression. But not any random chords, randomly only from the chords that should sound good next in the progression. If you’re unhappy with the progression, just click Generate again to create a new one!!!

Click the Play Progression button to hear what the progression sounds like.

The Roman Numeral is shown underneath each chord, to show you how it relates to the key. The Tonic chord is shown in yellow to draw your attention to it. The Dominant chord is in green, and the sub-Dominant in Blue.

There are also options for Guitar or Piano charts.
I designed this to have the window open over my DAW session so that I could play the chords on a soft-synth or guitar as I go through the chords. You can print the screen though so that you can take the progression with you.
The goal isn’t to have this spit out an entire song (although you could try and do that,) but to use it as inspiration to try chords that you wouldn’t normally choose.

For a pop or rock type of song you might want to select a 4 chord progression ending with IV-I for your verses and a different 4 chord progression ending with V-I for your chorus.

You may find blindly following a 32 chord pattern makes for a fun exercise and find just vamping on that leads to something creative. Maybe a few of the chords in the middle of the progression are ideal, which sparks a new idea.

There’s no right or wrong, this is meant to spark creativity, and it’s up to you (the artist) to decide what works for you.

Once you feel comfortable with some of the more common scales, you can then venture into some of the more challenging scales.

Roadmap for future releases –
-More chord variants
-More commonly used progressions

Our app was featured on one of the Premiere Logic Pro X Tutorial sites.

Open Chords for Beginner

Updated with Apple Watch Support.

Updated for iOS 8.
Added Watch support, allowing you to select a natural key, then swipe through a dozen chords for each key. Turn the watch around to see a chord while you play!

Open Chords Apple Watch Guitar App
Open Chords Apple Watch Guitar App

 

Open Chords Apple Watch Guitar App
Open Chords Apple Watch Guitar App

Existing features on iPhone and iPad:

Great for Beginners.

Over 200 chords.

If you’re not versed in Open Position Chords, then this is for you! Sometimes called Cowboy Chords, these are great intro chords to learn to play almost any song, or to strum along as you sing.

-First learn the chords!
Select the key.
You can tap the +/- to scroll through chords with that root note for the given string.

It’ll highlight the proper frets and strings, the proper fingering, as well as the location on the neck.

-Once you think you know the chords, test yourself in quiz mode!
You will be presented with a random chord and 4 choices.
You earn a point for a correct answer and lose a point for a wrong answer.

Perfect Pitch Ear Training

If you already have perfect pitch, test it!
If not, then practice with this!

Choose to display the notes in Music Notation or as letters if you aren’t versed in Music Notation.

Four instrument sound options are provided (Piano, Guitar, Trumpet, Violin.) If you play an instrument, this will allow you to best match the timbre of that instrument. (Most people find it easier to recognize the notes of the instrument that they play.)

Hit the play button to play a random note.
Then select what note you think it is. The note you select will be played for comparison’s sake.

The card will turn green if you’re correct and red if you’re wrong.
Your score will increase a point if you’re correct and decrease a point if you’re wrong.

 

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Bass Notes for Beginners

Learn the notes of the Bass Fretboard. Great for beginners or those that never learned the notes.

Select a string, and as you move up the fretboard, it will show the name of the note, the music notation of that note, and the position on the fretboard.

Or you can select a note, and it will show you where that note is on each of the four strings, and the music notation .

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Guitar Chords and Scales

An all-in-one app!
Great for Beginners!

Features:
Barre Chords for each key on the 5th and 6th Strings
Open Position Chords for each key
Triads for each key on the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Strings
Scales/Modes for each key, such as:
Ionian
Dorian
Phrygian
Lydian
Mixolydian
Aeolian
Locrian
Pentatonic Major
Pentatonic Minor
Blues Scale
Enigmatic Scale
Hungarian Minor
Harmonic Minor

Includes a quiz mode.

barre chords, open position chords, triads, and scale patterns all in one app

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Triad Chords for Beginners

Great for Beginners.
Learn Minor, Major, Augmented, Diminished, Suspended 2, Suspended 4, and all first and second inversions, on the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th strings.

Includes a quiz mode, once you’ve mastered the chords.

Also check out Barre Chords for Beginners.

If you’ve mastered Barre Chords, Triads will give you more options to add complexity to your playing.

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Open Chords for Beginners

Great for Beginners.

Over 200 chords.

If you’re not versed in Open Position Chords, then this is for you! Sometimes called Cowboy Chords, these are great intro chords to learn to play almost any song, or to strum along as you sing.

-First learn the chords!
Select the key.
You can tap the +/- to scroll through chords with that root note for the given string.

It’ll highlight the proper frets and strings, the proper fingering, as well as the location on the neck.

-Once you think you know the chords, test yourself in quiz mode!
You will be presented with a random chord and 4 choices.
You earn a point for a correct answer and lose a point for a wrong answer.

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Barre Chords for Beginners

If you’re not versed in Barre Chords, then this is for you!
Barre Chords are useful for beginners, and great if you just need to know enough guitar to accompany yourself while singing or playing rhythm guitar.

-First learn the chords!
Select if you want chords for the 5th or 6th string.
Then select the root note.
You can tap the +/- to scroll through chords with that root note for the given string.

It’ll highlight the proper frets and strings, the proper fingering, as well as the location on the neck.

You can also change the accent color to your liking.

-Once you think you know the chords, test yourself in quiz mode!
You will be presented with a random chord and 4 choices.
You earn a point for a correct answer and lose a point for a wrong answer.

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Thumb Drummer – Virtual Drum Kit

No recording, no midi, no frills, just simple virtual drums.
Pick from 10 kits to play:
Vintage 60s drum kit, hip hop kit, latin kit, dance kit, jazz kit, rock kit, vinyl scratch kit, and a few others.

Originally made to be played with your thumbs on the iPhone.
Even better on the iPad.500x500bb-80-12