Chords, Keys and Modulations
Typing basic chords and chord qualities
Use the large numeric keys (or letter keys, if using chord letters) on the Chord Keyboard to type chords, and the smaller, gray keys for chord qualities.
Show Chords as Numbers or Letters
Go to the Chart Settings menu to choose whether you want to display chords as numbers or letters in your chart. You can toggle back and forth between these options at any time.
Changing Keys (and handling existing mods)
When using letter format, you can change the key in the chart’s header to automatically update all chords in your chart to reflect the new key. If you’re changing the key of a chart that already contains modulations (aka “mods”), you can choose whether or not to adjust those mods in relation to the key change:
- To leave the existing mods unchanged, make sure “Adjust existing mods relative this change” is toggled off when changing the header key. For example, if changing the header key from C to D, an existing “mod to F” would remain as is (as would any chords following the mod).
- To update existing mods in relation to the key change, toggle “Adjust existing mods relative this change” to the on position. For example, if changing the header key from C to D (up one step), an existing “mod to F” would also move up one step, to “mod to G.” Likewise, chords following the “mod to G” would be translated up one step.
Changing the key of a number chart will update the header, as well as any mods if you so choose, but it will have no visible effect on the number chords — since all is relative in the number system.
Adding modulations (“mods”)
Tap the “Mod” button (top right on all 1Chart keyboards) to add a modulation within your chart. If you’re inserting (or editing) a modulation in the middle of existing chart content, you’ll want to pay attention to how you toggle the “Adjust Downstream Chords and Modulations” option in the mod dialog. Following are a few scenarios to help explain this option.
- Letter-Format Chart, Scenario 1: The header key is C. You want to add a “mod to D” and would like the existing chords following the mod to stay as they are, because you have already typed them in to reflect the key of D. In this scenario, you’ll want to make sure “Adjust Downstream Chords and Modulations” is toggled off.
- Letter-Format Chart, Scenario 2: The header key is C. You’ve typed in an Outro section in the key of C with the chords C, G and F, but now decide you’d like to change that section to the key of D. Add a mod before the Outro and flip the “Adjust Downstream Chords and Modulations” to the on position. The Outro’s chords will be adjusted to D, A and G to reflect the modulation.
- Number-Format Chart, Scenario 1: The header key is C. You want to add a “mod to D” before the Outro section that you’ve already typed in using the correct relative number chords: 1, 4 and 5. In this case, you want to leave the “Adjust Downstream…” toggle in the off position, so that your number chords remain as 1, 4 and 5.
- Number-Format Chart, Scenario 2: The header key is C. You’ve typed in an Outro with the chords 4, b7 and 1, but now would prefer to think of that section as being in the key of F. In this scenario, you’ll want to add “mod to F” before the Outro and flip the “Adjust Downstream…” toggle to the on position. The Outro’s chords will be translated to 1, 4 and 5.
To edit a mod you’ve already added to a chart, double-tap it. You can once again select whether or not you want to impact the downstream content.
Accidentals are available in two formats, a larger style for chords and a smaller style for chord qualities.
- Chord accidentals are typed using the larger flat, sharp, natural keys.
- Chord Quality accidentals can be accessed via the smaller “flat/sharp/natural” key.
♭3 vs. 3♭— Toggling Chord Accidental Placement
By default, 1Chart is set up to let you place number chord accidentals before the chord number, as in “♭3.” If you prefer “3♭,” go to the Chart Settings menu and toggle the “Accidentals Format” setting to 3♭. This setting is chart-specific, so you’re able to use both styles and even create different versions of the same chart for those who have specific reading preferences. You can also toggle the same chart back and forth on the fly if you prefer.
Note that this setting does not affect how accidentals are used with letter chords, which always appear in the standard letter-followed-by-accidental format, e.g. C♭.
Typing chord inversions, aka slash chords
To create an inverted chord that specifies a bass note different from the chord root, type the chord root and any qualities, then type the “x/y” key. You can then type the bass note to complete the inversion.
You can choose between standard and “slash style” inversion formats in the Chart Settings menu.
Using “X” to indicate a rest
The “X” character on the Chord Keyboard is used to indicate a rest. In some cases, you may want to add rhythm notation to clarify the duration of the rest.
Using parentheses to indicate an implied chord
In a section where a singer or another band member is performing without accompaniment, it’s often a good idea to continue to show the flow of the chord progression, even if the chord itself isn’t played. In this case, you can wrap the chord in parentheses, indicating it’s an implied chord.