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Topic: Adding chord names to sheet music (for guitar, piano, bass, or improv music) (Read 38979 times) previous topic - next topic

Adding chord names to sheet music (for guitar, piano, bass, or improv music)
Ok, so I know it's quite likely someone's posted this before and that evey single one of you know this trick, but I think it's cool and want to tell the world what I'v discovered!

My dad and I were working on a song together one night, and we realized how easy it is to do this, even though it was never obvious to us before.

In order to insert chords with using the tab notation, you should:

1) add a new staff titled "Guitar" or "Bass" or something like that.
2) mute the staff
3) position it above the staff that you want to have chords (usually the vocal line, if no vocal line then the top piano line)
4) layer the chord staff with the next staff
5) edit the lyrics for that line
6) there should be one lyric line, and here you should type the chord names with spaces in between (i.e., "D Gsus4 E#m" (sorry I don't know my chords!))
note: I find that it helps to hit enter every two to four measures, like you would with standard lyrics...otherwise you'll get lost later when you try to go back and change a chord!
7) make sure the lyrics are set to display above the staff.
8) on the staff, insert rests of appropriate length where there is no chord change (or insert a note if the chord is N.C.), and insert notes of appropriate length wherever chord notation should appear.
tip: I find it helps me (since I don't know my chords) to place the notes for the chords on the chord's base note (that way if I want I can unmute the staff and add a bass to check to see if the chords seem to work okay)

Re: Adding chord names to sheet music (for guitar, piano, bass, or improv music)
Reply #1
The problem is that the chords end up with the same Staff Position across the entire piece.

It is good to put them on their own layered staff (as text). Then you can select an entire line of them and change the Staff Position without affecting dynamic and tempo markings.
Registered user since 1996

Re: Adding chord names to sheet music (for guitar, piano, bass, or improv music)
Reply #2
Glad you thought of that Rick. I have had to move chord names up on a couple of songs and it is really quite a pain to move each one seperately. Thanks.

Re: Adding chord names to sheet music (for guitar, piano, bass, or improv music)
Reply #3
I copy/pasted the melody line to a new staff and added the Chord names as lyrics. That way you get the same positions for the chords as you have the notes. Thanks for the tips, guys!
  • Last Edit: 2007-02-20 09:01 pm by Kameliontti

Re: Adding chord names to sheet music (for guitar, piano, bass, or improv music)
Reply #4
Have I missed something - which font do you use?  I find that I can't mix sharps and flats with normal text.

Re: Adding chord names to sheet music (for guitar, piano, bass, or improv music)
Reply #5
They're using one of Lawrie Pardy's fonts, either ...Text or ...Chord.
Available at http://nwc-scriptorium.org/helpful.html#Fonts (for free)
For instance, in SwingChord, F% would appear as F 6/9
I recommend if you use these, you look at the pdf.

  • tmon
  • NWC2 User
Re: Adding chord names to sheet music (for guitar, piano, bass, or improv music)
Reply #6
I've been whacking away with the "techniques" listed here. (What is the best way, text entry or lyrics entry  - both are mentioned here?)  

I just want to create a simple "Real Book" style jazz lead sheet (Chord symbols above a single staff) and frankly, this has been the most aggravating task I've run into yet.  Text entry is hopelessly clumsy and sloppy.  If I create a new staff above the one with the melody notes and choose to layer it, it overlays with the staff below it.  I cannot get the "lyrics" to show up at all after entering them and clicking on OK!

It begs the question, is it this difficult to do in other notation software programs, or am I just missing some really simple, obvious things here?



  • Last Edit: 2009-12-21 09:53 am by tmon

Re: Adding chord names to sheet music (for guitar, piano, bass, or improv music)
Reply #7
Quote
It begs the question, is it this difficult to do in other notation software programs,

No this is simple in other programs.

Re: Adding chord names to sheet music (for guitar, piano, bass, or improv music)
Reply #8
G'day tmon,
welcome to the forum.
I cannot get the "lyrics" to show up at all after entering them and clicking on OK!

Umm, have you put any notes for the "lyrics" to position against?  Lyrics will not show unless there is a note (or lyric enabled rest) to "activate" each syllable.

See the attachment - turn layering on and off.  Remove the notes in the top staff and check again - is this the problem you're having?

Personally, I prefer to use text entry for my chords.
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Adding chord names to sheet music (for guitar, piano, bass, or improv music)
Reply #9
What is the best way, text entry or lyrics entry
text entry.
  • Last Edit: 2009-12-21 11:11 am by Rick G.
Registered user since 1996

Re: Adding chord names to sheet music (for guitar, piano, bass, or improv music)
Reply #10
G'day again tmon,
I've been whacking away with the "techniques" listed here. (What is the best way, text entry or lyrics entry  - both are mentioned here?)  

I just want to create a simple "Real Book" style jazz lead sheet (Chord symbols above a single staff) and frankly, this has been the most aggravating task I've run into yet.

I do this all the time.  There is no doubt in my mind that entering chord symbols as text is the best option.  However, in order for you to have easy access to accidentals and other commonly used symbols you will find it most convenient to use one of my *Dings font suites.

If you have purchased the NWC2 new on CD then they are on the CD.  Otherwise, they are available from Noteworthy Software:
http://www.noteworthysoftware.com/uc/pardypack/
or the Scripto:
http://nwc-scriptorium.org/helpful.html#Fonts

Set a user font to the *Chord font of your choice and away you go.  View a sample charts here:
SwingDings - http://zoundz.pardyline.com.au/SupportFiles/Fonts/SwingDings-SampleChart.pdf
MusikDingsSerif - http://zoundz.pardyline.com.au/SupportFiles/Fonts/MusikDingsSerif-SampleChart.pdf
MusikDingsSans - http://zoundz.pardyline.com.au/SupportFiles/Fonts/MusikDingsSans-SampleChart.pdf

I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

  • tmon
  • NWC2 User
Re: Adding chord names to sheet music (for guitar, piano, bass, or improv music)
Reply #11
Thanks all. 

The notion of the "lyrics" entry for chords was appealing, but since couldn't figure it out, I have now returned to text entry, doing only 2-3 measures at a time, manually re-entering the "Expression Placement/Staff Position" each and every time (kind of tedious).

I'll try out the other fonts too. 

BTW, the confusion about "Layering" was due, in part to how this is "available" both as an option in "Staff Properties/Visual" as well as "Allow Layering."   These appear to behave differently, and I didn't quite understand how either option was related to the task.

Re: Adding chord names to sheet music (for guitar, piano, bass, or improv music)
Reply #12
G'day tmon,
<snip> I have now returned to text entry, doing only 2-3 measures at a time, manually re-entering the "Expression Placement/Staff Position" each and every time (kind of tedious).
You shouldn't need to re-enter "Expression Placement/Staff Position" every time.  Place the insertion point/cursor at the vertical position you want the text to appear, choose the font, enter the text, go to the "Expression Placement" tab and set alignment - I use centre justify at next note bar, return to the "Text Expression" tab and press <Enter>.  For every subsequent entry you should ONLY need to enter the text expression itself, all the rest of the details will remain unchanged until either the next time you start NWC OR you create a text entry with different parameters.

Quote
I'll try out the other fonts too. 
I hope you like 'em.

Quote
BTW, the confusion about "Layering" was due, in part to how this is "available" both as an option in "Staff Properties/Visual" as well as "Allow Layering."   These appear to behave differently, and I didn't quite understand how either option was related to the task.

Glad you got that sorted.
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Adding chord names to sheet music (for guitar, piano, bass, or improv music)
Reply #13
manually re-entering the "Expression Placement/Staff Position" each and every time (kind of tedious).
Just put one in manually. Copy it, and paste it everywhere a chord is needed.
Then go back and edit the text in each one.
   --- or ---
Copy the entire staff to the clipbord and paste it into a text editor. Make all your changes and copy it back to NWC2.

A tip: don't attach chord text to whole rests. They don't align well.

Registered user since 1996

Re: Adding chord names to sheet music (for guitar, piano, bass, or improv music)
Reply #14
Having entered chords in NWC for probably several hundred songs (jazz lead sheets, irish dances, you name it) I agree with Rick, Lawrie &ct that text is clearly the best way to go. One hint I haven't noticed here yet; do the chords in name order rather than in the order they appear in the music. That is, enter a text symbol for a chord (say, Dm7) just once; copy it; and paste it everywhere else in the song a Dm7 occurs. Then go back and do the next chord. I find that this speeds up chord entry considerably, especially in tunes with complicated or unusual chords (think Thelonius Monk).

Cheers,

Bill

Re: Adding chord names to sheet music (for guitar, piano, bass, or improv music)
Reply #15
Please see:
https://forum.noteworthycomposer.com/?topic=7065.0
for a detailed methodology that works for me...
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

Re: Adding chord names to sheet music (for guitar, piano, bass, or improv music)
Reply #16
Please see:
https://forum.noteworthycomposer.com/?topic=7152.0
for info about entering chords (and chord name) and pasting it back to the song you are working on.
Since 1998

Re: Adding chord names to sheet music (for guitar, piano, bass, or improv music)
Reply #17
We've been down this road a few times over the years, I think, but I find the easiest way to write chords is with the Lyricd editor.  Try copying this into the lyric for a new staff that has no notes yet:


Bb F9 Bb Gm7 Ebm6 F7

Bb Bb7 Eb
Ebm Bb F7 Bb C7 F7 Bb Bb7
Eb Ebm Bb F7 Bb Eb Bb7 Gb9 Eb
Ebm Bb Bb Gb9 Eb Ebm Bb C7 F7+
Bb Bb7 Eb Ebm Bb F7 Bb Eb7
Bb

F7 Bb D7 Gm Bb7 Eb Edim
Bb/F G7 C7 F7 F7 Bb D7 Gm Bb7
Eb Edim Bb/F G7 C7 F7 Bb F7



(When copying the chords from a score, I use a line break to show me where the staff wraps on the score - makes it easier to check for and fix errors.  The piece is usually broken into segments indicated by a rehearsal letter, so I begin each song segment in a new paragraph, preceded by extra white space.)  

Then, enter something like this in your staff:





!NoteWorthyComposerClip(2.0,Single)
|Clef|Type:Treble
|Key|Signature:Bb,Eb
|Tempo|Tempo:165|Pos:14|Visibility:TopStaff
|TimeSig|Signature:4/4
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:1
|Bar
|Note|Dur:Whole|Pos:1
|Bar
|Note|Dur:Half|Pos:1
|Text|Text:"/"|Font:User3|Pos:-3|Justify:Center|Placement:AtNextNote
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:1z|Opts:StemLength=0,Muted
|Text|Text:"/"|Font:User3|Pos:-3|Justify:Center|Placement:AtNextNote
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:1z|Opts:Lyric=Never,StemLength=0,Muted
|Bar
|Text|Text:"/"|Font:User3|Pos:-3|Justify:Center|Placement:AtNextNote
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:1z|Opts:StemLength=0,Muted
|Text|Text:"/"|Font:User3|Pos:-3|Justify:Center|Placement:AtNextNote
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:1z|Opts:Lyric=Never,StemLength=0,Muted
|Text|Text:"/"|Font:User3|Pos:-3|Justify:Center|Placement:AtNextNote
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:1z|Opts:StemLength=0,Muted
|Text|Text:"/"|Font:User3|Pos:-3|Justify:Center|Placement:AtNextNote
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:1z|Opts:Lyric=Never,StemLength=0,Muted
|Bar|Style:Double
|Text|Text:"A"|Font:User3|Pos:10|Justify:Right|Visibility:TopStaff
|Text|Text:"/"|Font:User3|Pos:-3|Justify:Center|Placement:AtNextNote
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:1z|Opts:StemLength=0,Muted
|Text|Text:"/"|Font:User3|Pos:-3|Justify:Center|Placement:AtNextNote
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:1z|Opts:Lyric=Never,StemLength=0,Muted
|Text|Text:"/"|Font:User3|Pos:-3|Justify:Center|Placement:AtNextNote
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:1z|Opts:Lyric=Never,StemLength=0,Muted
|Text|Text:"/"|Font:User3|Pos:-3|Justify:Center|Placement:AtNextNote
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:1z|Opts:Lyric=Never,StemLength=0,Muted
|Bar
|Text|Text:"/"|Font:User3|Pos:-3|Justify:Center|Placement:AtNextNote
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:1z|Opts:StemLength=0,Muted
|Text|Text:"/"|Font:User3|Pos:-3|Justify:Center|Placement:AtNextNote
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:1z|Opts:Lyric=Never,StemLength=0,Muted
|Text|Text:"/"|Font:User3|Pos:-3|Justify:Center|Placement:AtNextNote
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:1z|Opts:Lyric=Never,StemLength=0,Muted
|Text|Text:"/"|Font:User3|Pos:-3|Justify:Center|Placement:AtNextNote
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:1z|Opts:Lyric=Never,StemLength=0,Muted
|Bar
|Text|Text:"/"|Font:User3|Pos:-3|Justify:Center|Placement:AtNextNote
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:1z|Opts:StemLength=0,Muted
|Text|Text:"/"|Font:User3|Pos:-3|Justify:Center|Placement:AtNextNote
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:1z|Opts:Lyric=Never,StemLength=0,Muted
|Text|Text:"/"|Font:User3|Pos:-3|Justify:Center|Placement:AtNextNote
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:1z|Opts:Lyric=Never,StemLength=0,Muted
|Text|Text:"/"|Font:User3|Pos:-3|Justify:Center|Placement:AtNextNote
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:1z|Opts:Lyric=Never,StemLength=0,Muted
|Bar
|Text|Text:"/"|Font:User3|Pos:-3|Justify:Center|Placement:AtNextNote
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:1z|Opts:StemLength=0,Muted
|Text|Text:"/"|Font:User3|Pos:-3|Justify:Center|Placement:AtNextNote
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:1z|Opts:Lyric=Never,StemLength=0,Muted
|Text|Text:"/"|Font:User3|Pos:-3|Justify:Center|Placement:AtNextNote
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:1z|Opts:Lyric=Never,StemLength=0,Muted
|Text|Text:"/"|Font:User3|Pos:-3|Justify:Center|Placement:AtNextNote
|Note|Dur:4th|Pos:1z|Opts:Lyric=Never,StemLength=0,Muted
|Bar
!NoteWorthyComposerClip-End 




(paste more bars as needed)

User font 3 is set to Swingdings, usually size 16.

The lyric editor is set to display the lyric above the staff.