Carat grid while entering chord symbols?

hi there - just wondering, is there any way to see the carat grid while entering chord symbols? I know I can shift chord symbols by carat value, but I can’t actually see the carat grid while entering chord symbols… or when shifting them around… which is not really helpful when you’re trying to enter a chord changes but the melody has a whole note…

thank you!

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Hi Elljay.
If the system track is visible (alt-t to toggle that track) pressing alt key will reveal the grid. Make sure the grid’s definition is short enough (quarter or quaver) to make this useful.
Hope it helps

hmm – I’m on a Mac, I’ve just upgraded to 3.5.12, I do have System Track enabled, and I do see the grid when entering notes – but when I press Shift-Q to enter chords, the grid disappears. Is it different on PC? Thank you!

unrelated, but when I press “option” while the Chords popover is engaged, it gives me a weird icon of what looks like it could be a “personal” chord symbol –

how does that work? This seems to be some sort of Easter Egg feature, since I can’t actually enter chord symbols while holding down “option”, I get the extended character set instead (e.g. åbç∂)…

That represents local chord symbols, that is, chord symbols only for that player (rather than for everyone). You’ll find information about local/global chord symbols mentioned here, and instructions for how to use it here. You can “lock” local chord symbols but you can also press Alt as you discovered when confirming the popover (i.e. press Alt-Return).

Thanks, @Lillie_Harris ! Going back to the question about turning on the grid while inputting chord symbols, do you have any insight? When I enter notes, the grid holds; but when I press Shift-Q to input chords, the grid disappears…

(editing back to roughly what this post previously contained, for posterity and continuity of the thread!)

It’s quicker to put the caret in the right spot and then open the popover, rather than putting in a chord symbol and then moving it.

I think it’s partly also to do with the fact that the chord symbols popover has its own navigation system - unlike e.g. the dynamics popover, that opens up and closes once you input something; the chord symbols popover can remain open and advance to the next beat so you can keep inputting a stream of chord symbols. If both note input and chord symbol input were simultaneously active, that could get messy.

Here’s the problem - say I’m transcribing a groovy piece like this, where the bass line is somewhat syncopated from the melody. I’d like to enter chord symbols as I’m entering the melody, but without a grid on-screen, I have to count the number of semiquavers I’m advancing in my head. … that’s no fun at all. I could transcribe the bass line first, but that’s not always the optimal workflow… and even then, as on the last beat of the last bar, the chordal movement is independent of the bass…

If I’m understanding correctly, you’ve put your chords on the crotchet beats and now want to shift them.

You have two ways of seeing the grid.

  1. Select the chord symbol without opening the popover, and hold down the Alt key. If you’re showing the system track (see Marc’s post above) then you’ll see the grid appear on the system track, like so. Alt-left and Alt-right will then move the chord symbol along the grid.

Regardless of whether you’re showing the System Track (and I recognise that in ensemble situation it may be off the top of the screen),
2. You can select a chord symbol, then type Shift-N to show the caret, then use Alt-Left/Right to move the chord symbol by the grid.

I frequently need to input chord symbols in a similar syncopated fashion to your example.

I find a combination of the following works well enough for me, from within the chords popover:

  • Grid set to semiquavers (or the the smallest subdivision in use), which I can advance with left/right arrow keys
  • Hitting space to advance by a beat where that is the next smallest division
  • Hitting tab to jump to the next bar.

If, for example the chord change is on a semiquaver push, I don’t have to count 15 semiquavers from the first beat of a bar. I could hit space 3 times then Right 3 times. Or I could hit tab one, then Left once.

That works even if there’s no bassline/notated material yet. If there’s a bassline in place, even better as then you have the added option of selecting any note & bringing up the popover.

Thank you, @pianoleo , @stalkpiece and @Lillie_Harris ! Solved.