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Strung online help page

Definitions - Fretboards - Graphic Equalizer - Main Menu - Pattern Generator - Play Parameters

Click for details   This is a right handed virtual fretboard showing the chord A major with the Open fingering diagram. Click on the diagram for detailed help.
Click for details   This is the Fretboard Button Bar. It provides a variety of functions that determine how the current fretboard operates and what is displayed within it. Click on the diagram for detailed help.
Click for details   This is the Play Parameters dialog. It provides a set of controls that determine how any chords or scales are played. The Strum and Arpeggio tabs control the playing of chords, the Scale tab controls how scales are played, and the Sequence tab allows you to create songs using the patterns displayed in any open fretboards. Click on the diagram for detailed help.
Click for details   The Pattern Generator dialog contains three tabs. The first two tabs create chords and scales in any key. The third tab shows a list of chords and scales that contain the notes in the currently displayed pattern. Click on the diagram for detailed help.
Piano display   This is the piano display, showing the C Major scale. Click View from the main menu and choose Piano from the sub menu (or press Ctrl+D). You can click on the piano display to add or delete notes just as you would on a virtual fretboard. All chords and scales will appear on the piano as they are played.
Notation display   This is the notation display, showing the C Major scale. Click View from the main menu and choose Notation from the sub menu (or press Ctrl+D). You can click to the left of the yellow line to add or delete notes.

Definitions used in Strung

These definitions are very basic. For detailed information, we have found Wikipedia to be a very useful online resource.

Enharmonic Equivalent - All sharp or flat notes can be called one of two different names. They have the same pitch, but music theory demands different names for them. Below is a chart of the common enharmonic equivalents.

A# = Bb, C# = Db, D# = Eb, F# = Gb, G# = Ab

Pitch - The pitch of a note is determined by its frequency in hertz (Hz). In standard concert tuning middle A = 440Hz. Doubling the pitch results in a one octave interval from the original note.

Key - From Wikipedia - In music theory, the key identifies the tonic triad, the chord, major or minor, which represents the final point of rest for a piece, or the focal point of a section. Although the key of a piece may be named in the title (e.g. Symphony in C), or inferred from the key signature, the establishment of key is brought about via functional harmony, a sequence of chords leading to one or more cadences.

Interval - An interval is the distance, in semitones, between two notes in a scale or chord.

Relative keys - The relative keys are derived from the Major or minor scale and are basically good chords to go to from the one currently selected. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relative_key for more detailed information.

Cappo - A cappo is a device that can be strapped around a fretboard to raise the pitch of the strings. For example a cappo at the 5th fret will change the tuning of the guitar from EADGBE to ADGCEA.

Mode - A scale that is formed using the notes of an existing scale, but starting from a note other that the original rootnote. This gives the mode a different tonality.

 
Fretboard window
 
a   This diagram shows a right handed fretboard set to display 7 frets. It contains the pattern 'A Major' and is showing the 'Open' fingering diagram from the perspective of the player, that is, how the fretboard looks as it is held by the player. All fretboards are fully re-sizeable, just move your cursor to the bottom right corner then left click and drag.
 

You can open a new fretboard at any time by clicking File in the Main Menu and choosing Open Fretboard from the sub-menu (alternatively, you could use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+F). A new fretboard will open below the current one, and have the same configuration (number of frets, perspective etc)

The status bar at the bottom of the fretboard shows the name of the pattern (Chord - A Major), the notes in the pattern (A C#E ) and the name of the fingering diagram (Open). By moving the cursor around the fretboard, you will also see the note corresponding to the fret and string under the cursor. The notes in red and yellow indicate the string and fret positions where the notes in the pattern occur. Yellow notes show the rootnote (the note the chord is named after) of the pattern.

The purple ovals show where to put your fingers to play the A major chord. You can see that they are numbered. 1 is your index finger and 4 is your little finger. 0 indicates an 'open' string, in other words the string is played without putting any fingers on the string. The yellow borders around some of the ovals indicate that the rootnote of the chord is played at that position. The blue notes at the end of the fretboard (to the left) show which notes are played on each string. When no diagram is displayed these notes show the tuning of the string. You can re-tune any string by left clicking on these tuning notes and picking a new note from the popup menu.

To add a note to the pattern or to delete an existing note, simply left click on the fret and string position you want. The relevant note will play.

 
a   You can change the Pan , Volume and Attack (How heavily the note is played) for any string by right clicking on a string and setting the parameter required with the sliders (see diagram left). If more than one fretboard is open you can apply any pan, volume and attack changes to all fretboards by checking the 'To all' checkbox. The diagram shows that string 6 is panned to the middle, is played at full volume and full attack.
 

You can re-tune any fretboard by clicking on the tuning notes at the left of the fretboard. A popup menu will appear containing the possible notes you can re-tune the string to. The chord diagrams available by pressing the Load Chord Diagram Button a on the Button Bar will still be available, but will play differently according to the new tuning.

You can alter the appearance of the fretboard using the Fretboard Configuration Button a on the Button Bar, or by pressing 'F' on your keypad.

a  

Graphic Equalizer.

It can be used to alter the tone of the virtual fretboards (or audio in the Editor) as they play. You can change the frequency affected by each slider by altering the values in the Cenre freq and Bandwidth controls. At their default settings, the first and last sliders will make no difference to the sound as the Centre frequencies of these bands are beyond the range of human hearing. They are included because each slider frequency can be adjusted and so can be brought within the hearing range.

 
a   By right clicking on any of the sliders, you will be presented with this popup menu. The Lock sliders option will allow you to move all the sliders simultaneously. The Reset option will reset the slider you clicked to the default position. The Reset all option will reset all the sliders to the default position. Click the Load preset option to load a pre-defined Eq setting from the popup menu. To save the slider positions, click the Save a preset option.
Main Menu - File menu

Open Fretboard (Ctrl+F) This option will open a new blank fretboard below the currently selected fretboard and with the same display parameters (Size, Number of frets etc).

Close All Fretboards Closes all the fretboards on your screen.

Settings menu -

Autoplay When clicking on a fretboard, the chosen string and fret will sound the note as you click. Un-check this option to disable this feature.

Autoload Checking this option will automatically load chord diagrams and photos (if available) when a new pattern is entered on a fretboard.

Show photos If this option is checked, photos of chords (if available) will be displayed when a fingering diagram is loaded.

Loop playback With this option checked and with a pattern loaded in a fretboard, clicking Play on the Button Bar will cause the chord or scale to play repeatedly until you click Stop. Un-check this option if you do not want the pattern to play repeatedly.

Midi interface is off/on Make sure this option is checked if you wish to enter patterns from a midi device. When not using midi to enter a pattern, make sure this option is un-checked otherwise you will be wasting system resources.

Open in new fretboard Many options in the Button Bar (Keys Including Button, Relative Keys Button, Alternative Names Button) and the 'Using' tab of the Pattern Generator derive new patterns from the pattern shown in the current fretboard. If you want these new patterns to be displayed in a new fretboard you should check this option. Otherwise the new pattern will replace the existing one in the fretboard.

Skinning This option turns on or off the grey metalized look and feel of Strung

Fretboards -

This menu is dynamically created and contains the fretboards created with the Save All Fretboards Button on the Button Bar.

Tools -

Guitar tuner Choose this tool to tune your guitar. Plug your guitar into the line-in socket of your sound card and make sure line-in is selected as the recording source. (See your Windows documentation or soundcard help if you don't know how to do this). Once you have your guitar connected, click 'Start' in the tuner and pluck each string close to the bridge (this eliminates transient harmonics). The pitch of the string will be displayed. When the display shows a green note, the string is in tune.

Metronome Left click on the metronome to start/stop it. Use the dials to alter the volume, tempo (BPM - Beats Per Minute), Beats Per Bar, and Swing (you can right click these dials to enter the required value manually). Right click the background of the metronome to bring up the parameters window which allows you to change the pan amount, pitch of the sound and the sound used.

View -

Piano Choose this option to view the piano keyboard display.

Notation Choose this menu option to show the notation display.

You can press Ctrl+D to display both of these windows simultaneously.

Lessons -

This menu contains a series of lessons for beginners.

Help -

Strung interface tour Brings up this help file.

Check for update This option will access our website and determine whether there is an update available. Users should check for updates every couple of months as we are constantly improving Strung.

How to register Information on how to register your 30 day trial version of Strung.

About Links to our website, e-mail and information about 3rd party software used in Strung.

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Pattern Generator
a  

This is the pattern generator dialog. It consists of three tabs containing Chords, Scales and a special tab that lists all the patterns containing the notes displayed in the current fretboard. The chords displayed in the Chords tab are split into three sections, 'Common', 'Advanced' and 'All'. Use the drop down menu in the top right of the dialog to choose the chords you want to show. To display a chord or scale, simply pick the key using the 'Key' drop down menu and then click on the chord or scale you wish to see. The third tab shows a list of chords and scales that varies according to the notes displayed in the current fretboard. Just click on any of the patterns in the list to display it. To show the original pattern, click the 'Revert' button. You can filter the list to show only chords or scales by right clicking it and choosing from the options in the popup menu. See also Open in new fretboard in the Main Menu. You can shrink the pattern generator to save space on your screen by clicking the pointing hand button in the top right of the dialog.

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Play Parameters dialog

a  

This is the Play Parameters dialog showing the 'Strum' tab and its associated controls. Move your mouse over the controls to see a brief description in the Info Bar. It enables you to alter the way chords are strummed. The strum direction, string range, speed, interval between strums and note length can all be altered from this dialog. Usually you will use all strings when playing a chord, but if you wish to only play a range of strings (5 to 2 for example) you can click the 'Range' button and enter the string range in the 'Hi' and 'Lo' input boxes. Alternatively you can left or right click on the fretboard diagram to the left. Left click to set the lowest string, and right click to set the highest. The play settings diagram above the Interval and Speed sliders shows the strings in the range, the interval between strums, and the pan of each string (see String parameters). To change the length of time each note in the chord is played, use the 'Note duration' button. If a scale is displayed in the current fretboard, this tab will be inaccessible. You can shrink the Play Parameters dialog to save space on your screen by clicking the pointing hand button in the top right of the dialog.

     
a  

The Arpeggio tab enables you to determine the order in which the strings are played. Move your mouse over the controls to see a brief description in the Info Bar. You can click the string required on the fretboard diagram to the left of the dialog (right click to insert a rest), or you can type the string order into the input box ( . = rest) - make sure that the numbers you type are within the guitars string range (1 - 6). You can save and load arpeggios using the buttons below the input area. To change the length of time each note in the arpeggio is played, use the 'Note duration' button. In this example, the play settings diagram shows that the strings have been panned left and right using the String parameters dialog which is available by right clicking on a string in the virtual fretboard. If a scale is displayed in the current fretboard, this tab will be inaccessible.

 
a  

If you choose a scale from the Pattern Generator or by clicking on the virtual fretboard, the Scale tab will display automatically. You cannot switch to this tab unless a scale is displayed on the current fretboard. You can alter the play direction, play modes, change the string that the rootnote of the scale is found on and change the length of time each note is played. Strung can also change the method it uses to generate a scale diagram. Usually, Method 1 will suffice but occasionally you may find the way Strung plays the scale to be difficult to emulate. If this is the case use the 'Method' dropdown menu to switch to Method 2. Sometimes, method 2 will be the same as method 1, this means Strung has already found the best way to play the scale. When playing a scale, the previous note will stop when the next note is played. To change the length of time the last note in the scale is played, use the 'Note duration' button.

 
a  

Use the Sequence tab to create songs from the scale, strum and arpeggio patterns in any open fretboards. The list on the left of the dialog shows the available patterns open in each fretboard and whether they are set to play a strum, arpeggio or scale. Double click on a pattern in this list to add it to the patterns used list on the right. To alter the number of repetitions of the pattern, change the value in the 'Repetitions' box just below the available patterns list (or right click the list and choose from the popup menu). If you change the pattern in any of the open fretboards they will be reflected in these lists. You can save and open sequences using the buttons provided. Example - Click the strum tab, move the 'Speed' slider to 395 and the 'Interval' slider to 800. Open 3 fretboards (
Main menu - File > Open fretboard, or Ctrl+F). In the first fretboard load an A Major chord using the Pattern Generator, in the second fretboard load an E Major chord, and in the third open a D major chord. Now click the sequence tab. The three patterns are listed on the left. Right click this list and choose 2 from the repetitions popup menu. Now double click each pattern in turn to add them to the patterns used list on the right. To complete the sequence double click 'A Major Strum' once more. Now click the play button. To erase the sequence, right click the patterns used list and choose 'Delete all' from the popup menu.

The Speed and Interval sliders alter the timing of the current fretboard only. To apply changes to all fretboards, right click the slider and choose from the popup menu.

The Play button has two modes. You can play the sequence in one fretboard, or by right clicking the play button and de-selecting 'Play in single fretboard' the sequence will play in each of the open fretboards in turn.

a  

The Button Bar contains options enabling you to alter the way the virtual fretboards operate. When moving the cursor over any of the buttons, the Info Bar will show a brief description of the button in question. The buttons are enabled or disabled according to the pattern displayed in the current fretboard.
You can alter the appearance of the current fretboard using the Fretboard Configuration Button a or by pressing 'F' on your keyboard. You will be presented with the menu below.

 
a  

The Notes option, if checked, will show the notes in the pattern wherever they occur on the fretboard. Un-checked, the fretboard will only show chord diagrams. If you don't want to know the names of the notes in the pattern, check the As dots option, the notes will appear as red and yellow ovals instead of the note names. The Harmonics option if checked will display the fretboard harmonics, colour coded to show which harmonics are contained in the current pattern. Harmonics not in the pattern are shown in blue. Left handed players can click the Right handed option (or press L) to re-configure a virtual fretboard. To see the fretboard as it would look from the audience's perspective click Players view (or press A). The Fret dots option switches the fret dots at frets 3,5,7,9,12,15 and 17 on or off. The Tuning option switches the tuning notes at the left of the fretboard on or off. To remove the status bar at the bottom of the fretboard, click the Info option. The fret numbers can be switched on or off using the Fret numbers option.

You can change the type of guitar displayed in the current fretboard by clicking the New Guitar Button a or by pressing G on your keyboard. Currently, Strung supports 6 string guitar (default), 5 string bass or 4 string bass. This menu will be extended in future releases..

The Playback Mode Button a currently only supports Pattern mode, allowing you to strum or arpeggiate chords and play scales. It is included in this release of Strung because our next release (in early 2008) will have a Tune playback mode, enabling you to create solo's, write melodies, harmonies etc..

The Sharp/Flat Button a alters the way the current fretboard shows sharp and flat notes. All sharp or flat notes have an enharmonic equivalent, the Sharp/Flat Button allows you to swap between them. In conventional music theory, you will encounter all sorts of rules that determine the names of notes, resulting in irrational notes like C flat, E sharp or G double flat. In Strung, notes like these are 'rationalised' to a more understandable form (C flat = B, E sharp = F and G double flat = F).

Use the Clear Fretboard Button a or press C on your keyboard to remove the pattern and chord diagram from the current fretboard, leaving it blank.

Click the Erase Diagram Button a or press E on your keyboard to remove the chord diagram from the current fretboard, leaving only the pattern information.

The Keys Including Button a has two functions depending upon whether the current fretboard has a chord or a scale displayed in it. If a chord is displayed, the popup menu will show keys containing that chord. If a scale is displayed, this button will present a popup menu showing the chords in that key. Clicking on the popup menu will display the chosen chord or scale in the current fretboard. See also Open in new fretboard in the Main Menu.

Use the Transpose Button a or press T on your keyboard, to convert the current pattern to another key. If more than one fretboard is open, you can right click the button and check the Transpose all open fretboards option to change the key of all the fretboards simultaneously. If you choose this, make sure that the fretboard containing the root chord (or first chord in the sequence) is the current fretboard. Eg:- Using the 'Random' example sequence, make sure the first fretboard (showing the E Major scale) is the current fretboard before transposing all the fretboards.

If you want to know which intervals are contained in the current pattern, click the Intervals Button a or press I on your keyboard. This will present a popup menu showing the intervals that make up the pattern. Click on any of the menu items to hear what the intervals sound like. The first item in the menu is the rootnote of the pattern, clicking this will play an octave.

Each chord or scale has a number of 'Relative keys', derived from the scale based on the rootnote. Use the Relative Keys Button a or press R on your keyboard to present a popup menu showing these keys. Basically, the relative keys are good chords to go to from the pattern in the current fretboard. This is useful for songwriters. See also Open in new fretboard in the Main Menu.

Many chords and scales use the same notes as other chords and scales. Click the Alternative Names Button a or press N on your keyboard for a popup menu showing these alternatives. When clicking on the fretboard to input a pattern, you may find that Strung will call the pattern something different to what you expected. Use this button to convert it to the one you want. See also Open in new fretboard in the Main Menu.

The Pattern Generator and Play Parameters Buttons a will open the Pattern Generator and Play Parameters dialogs. These are automatically shown when the program starts, but can be closed if you wish to create more space on your screen.

To open a pattern not shown in the Pattern Generator (ie. one you have created yourself), click the Open Pattern Buttona or press O on your keyboard. A popup menu containing the patterns you have saved will appear. See also Open in new fretboard in the Main Menu.

To save a pattern of your own, use the Save Pattern Button a or press S on your keyboard. A dialog will appear asking for the name of the pattern and the type (Chord or Scale). The pattern is saved in the 'Chords.gdf' file in the 'Data' subfolder of the Program files\Minstrel Software.folder.

To simultaneously save the more than one fretboard and the patterns they contain, click the Save All Fretboards Buttona . You will be asked for a unique name to save them under. The saved fretboards will be available from the Main Menu under the Fretboards option.

You can save a JPG image of the current fretboard by clicking the Save Image Button. a

You can add your own chord or scale diagrams by clicking the Add Diagram Button a. With the pattern displayed in the current fretboard, click the button and then left click on the finger positions required on the fretboard. Purple ovals will appear where you have clicked. If you make a mistake at this point, you can click the purple ovals again to remove them. When you are satisfied with the diagram, right click anywhere on the fretboard and click Add finger numbers from the popup menu. The Add Fingers dialog will appear. Type in the finger numbers (1-4) for each string and then click Ok. Make sure you input the finger numbers in the right order. String 1 (Highest pitch, thinnest) first, working down the dialog to string 6 (lowest pitch, thickest). You can now save the chord diagram by right clicking on the fretboard again and choosing Save diagram or transpose the diagram to all keys by right clicking and choosing Transpose to all keys. You will be asked for a name for the diagram, type one in and click Ok.

To display a fingering diagram, click the Load Chord Diagram Button aor press D on your keyboard. A menu will appear containing the diagrams appropriate for the current pattern. Some patterns only have one diagram in the database, in this case the menu will not apear and the diagram will display itself.

To hear a pattern click the Play Button a or press Ctrl+P on your keyboard. The pattern will play according to the settings in the Play Parameters dialog. You do not have to have a fingering diagram loaded when you click Play, Strung will make one up. However, it may be difficult or even impossible to get your fingers in the position of a made up chord diagram. It is recommended that you load a fingering diagram before playing it.

To pause a playing pattern click the Pause Button a or press Ctrl+P on your keyboard.

To stop playback click the Stop Button a or press Ctrl+S on your keyboard.

You can alter the tone of the playback using the Graphic Equaliser Button a. For detailed information see Graphic Equalizer.

To add a cappo to the current fretboard, alter the value of the Cappo Contol a. Only notes on frets above the cappo will be displayed and played.

To change the number of frets displayed in the current fretboard, use the Frets Displayed Control a. Set at 15 by default, you can choose any value between 2 and 20.

 

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