Chord Grib

I would love to have a track for guitar chord display in a grid. Cakewalk used to have it way back then.

The goals is to be able to explain the voicing of the guitar chord, with what finger on what string. For most of my songs it is crutial, as the positionning gives the right emotion. A “Em” is just any “Em” without a cleaverly chosen voicing.

Thanks and keep up the good work !


You mean such as this, in this graphic from Cubase? :wink:


My fave character in Das Rheingold. :smiley:

Unfortunately (unless I’m missing something, always a good bet) this is a case of being useful in concept but not in the execution - especially in light of the OP concern with voicings. The library of chords provided all are down at the nut end of the fretboard, which often is not where you’d want the chord played.

The attached shows 2 chord grids for a G chord. The first one, which is generally the first G chord folks learn, isn’t even the one you get default in the library. But you could easily add a note in Cubase to get it. However the 2nd diagram as far as I can figure out is impossible to show because there doesn’t seem any way to move the grid up the fretboard. Hopefully I’m missing something.

yes, I noticed. It is completely manual.

While the manual aspect is annoying, the inability to show the majority of different chord shapes that guitarists actually use is the show-stopper.

In a perfect world :unamused: Steinberg would re-do all of their chord stuff. These diagrams should be integrated with the Chord Track and all elements should allow the ability to add user defined chords, voicings, diagrams, and scaqles. Imagine being able to show Chord Track chords in the score, like you can now, but also having the ability to display it as a name (like now), a diagram, or both - and the chord could be anything from a vanilla C major to the nastiest cluster of notes that someone can come up with.

The shame is that the framework is already there to make this work great, but the developers keep stopping just short of making that possible.

One workaround for the OP, although not a very satisfactory one, would be to use tablature to show the chords. At least the tab implementation allows you to specify the string and fret for the note. Not as good as a diagram, but at least you could show your voicings and if you enter the chords on the Chord Track you can display the names above the tab so whoever is using it would only need to look at the tab to see how you intend the chord to be played.

Yes. real-life chord shapes could be useful.

The thing is… I’ve seen several Kontakt libs of guitar and bass emulations (Scarbee comes to mind) and they actually ‘get it’. ie. when a keyboard player hits one note, the scripting magically moves from one chord to the next using fairly realistic voicing and voice-leading.

So it should be quite possible to convert idiomatic ‘MIDI guitar’ notes to a realistic chord diagram.

In Cakewalk 9 (v. 1998) we had the attached reprentation of chords, with the grid in case I wanted a specific voicing. This was in the “View / Staff” menu option. It was of a great help.

I found something interesting in Cubase 8 in “MIDI / Partition Editor” (free translation from my French menu). In “Other / Guitar Symbol”, we can have a grid. I don’t see how the show at which fret the chord start, as it is important. But that can be useful, still. The Cakewalk style would just be magic.

By the way raino, your “chord grids.jpg” would be perfect in Cubase ! How did you do it ?

Yeah that’s the same grid Steve initially showed. And the problem is you can’t adjust the fret position.

Regarding the image, I just scanned a page from a guitar chord book and edited the image to show the 2 diagrams I wanted to use as an example.

Yeah the Scarbee implementation is really smart. For the basses you can set it to primarily play at different places on the fretboard. It’s also cool that when you play the same note twice in succession it will use samples from different fingers picking the string.

Try clicking at the upper left just outside the grid for that. Also there is the insert note functions, which (surprise :wink: ) inserts the notes the grid displays into the staff at the grid’s position.

OK, then here it is.

I suggest to have a “Grid Track” the way raino printed it in his “chord grids.jpg”.

Ah, got it now, although it does have a bit of a secret handshake feel to it - primarily because in Help & the manual they use the term “capodaster number.” To me this implies setting where a capo should be placed rather than just the fret number of the first fret displayed at the top of the grid.

To summarize in one spot how this works.

  1. In the Score Editor Inspector the the Guitar Symbols tab displays a set of common chords/shapes. You may have to right-click on the tabs and select the Guitar Symbols tab in order to see it. You might also want to right-click on the symbols themselves and open it as a pallet (on my display the chords go past the bottom of the screen with no scroll so you can’t see the chords at the bottom).

  2. Clicking outside the grid on the upper left increments the fret shown at the top of the grid.

  3. Clicking inside the grid toggles notes on/off.

  4. Setting the Capo String number places a capo at that fret relative to the top fret shown on the grid (shouldn’t that more properly be called Capo Fret instead of String since it specifies a fret position :question: ).

  5. Library lets you change the chord/shape.

  6. Insert notes will place them on a staff in the score .

And of course once you’ve created a symbol for that F#m7 up in the middle of the fretboard you can not save it; because that would be nice and we can’t have anything nice. :confused:

OK thanks raino, I can live with that. Your “chord grids.jpg” shows also the finger number, which is very useful in jazz as the transitions can be tricky. Maybe in a further Cubase version ! :sunglasses: :bulb:


Well they’re not really mine. The images come from 12,000+ Chords for the Guitar by Don Comanda which is a very comprehensive collection showing many different ways to play the same chord (e.g. 55 for a D major, 7 for D13b9). Also the diagrams are big making them easy to read.