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Getting started with smartChord

We are happy that our app can support you in making music 🙂

smartChord offers a comprehensive suite of tools designed to make learning and playing music a truly enriching experience. 40 great tools for learning, composing and playing for students or professional musicians. Everything works equally well for guitar, ukulele, bass or many other stringed instruments. Expect THE reference for chords, scales and picking patterns for any tuning. Or THE songbook with access to the world’s largest catalogs of lyrics, chords and TABs.

The range of functions is initially overwhelming. But you’ll be glad about it later. Start with one tool and familiarize yourself with it. Then move on to the next one.

In order not to leave you alone with your questions, we have set ourselves the task of documenting our tools as well as possible. In case you need help, have a look at our help page.

Instrument selection

When using smartChord for the first time, you are asked to select an instrument. The selected instrument is used to start with smartChord. We recommend using your main instrument. But you are not bound to the choice. smartChord is designed to work with multiple instruments. Switching between instruments is correspondingly easy. If you are a multi-instrumentalist, please read our Instruments page, which explains the concept of handling instruments.

Skill level

As smartChord has a large set of instrument-specific ‘instrument and chord settings’, a useful preset is done for the different skill levels. If you change the skill level for the instrument, the settings will change accordingly. The Basic skill level for example provides a preselection of common chords. You will just see simple types of chords and fingerings. The Professional mode offers many more chords and fingerings for ambitious amateur musicians as well as for professionals.

Tone names

When you use smartChord for the first time, you will be asked for your preferred note names. smartChord supports beneath the common musical notation also Solfège and Nashville Number System.

You can change this at any time in the ‘Names’ settings. There you can also define your preferred accidentals. We recommend that you read our page describing the note-naming concept.


New users are asked which toolset they want to use regularly. Some tools are preselected. The preselection of the tools is based on the assessed skill level. Only some of the tools are preselected so as not to overwhelm a new user with tools. The selected tools are placed on the home screen for quick access. But you can change this selection at any time and add or remove any tool. Get an overview of the integrated tools.

Tips and help

There is individual help for each tool. You reach it by the ‘‘ menu in the upper right corner. However, tips can help you get started and often point out features and functions that are not obvious. They are mainly specific to a particular screen and fade in automatically when opening a screen. You may activate the list of tips within the general settings to display them again. Or just take a look at the particular help screen and our online help.

BTW, you can get tooltips for most of the buttons by a long press on the button.

User interface

  • Use the ‘Navigation‘ menu to switch between the tools. It also leads you back to the home screen
  • Use the ‘⁝’ menu (moreover-menu) to get screen-specific actions, settings and help
  • A lot of screens support swipe gestures e.g. swipe down to get the settings. The home screen for example also supports swipe up to add more tools and the swipe left gesture to go to the last tool.
  • Use the ‘Folder‘ menu to create, save, open, rename, share, … items like songs, drum patterns or exercises. It also leads you to the table of contents or your items
  • Use the ‘History‘ for quick access to your items. They are sorted in the order of their use. Recently saved items appear at the top of the list. But the list is searchable, so you can access any item
  • The bottom toolbar offers you the most frequently used functions. Probably less frequently used functions can be accessed via the menu
  • The upper toolbar is optional and available for most screens. It is customizable for quick access to your favorite functions
  • Press and hold a button to see its name and function
  • In general, the screens are very interactive. Many areas other than buttons and lists respond to the touch of a finger. The songbook for example shows the chord diagram when you touch a chord name or the tuner opens the list of tunings when you touch the instrument head

Table of Contents

Many tools like the Songbook or the Practice tool allow you to save your songs or exercises. There is a table of contents for all of them. Use it to find and organize your items.

Please note that there are two different ways in which the table of contents is integrated into the respective tool. You can choose one or the other way using the Table of Contents mode in its settings.

If the Table of Contents mode is active, the screen ‘Table of Contents’ is opened before the feature itself. There you can select one of the stored items to open the item with the feature. If we take the songbook as an example. With the ‘Table of contents’ mode activated, the ‘Table of Contents’ of the songbook is shown if you start the songbook. There you can select a song and the Songbook is started to show the song. If you go ‘Back’ from the songbook, the ‘Table of Contents’ is shown again. With the ‘Table of Contents’ mode deactivated, the songbook is started immediately with the last song. To open the ‘Table of Contents’, you have to use the ‘Folder’ menu.

Table of Contents