FAQs – Frequently asked questions

Please find answers to several FAQs below. If you still need help, feel free to reach out to us at info@smartChord.de for assistance. We welcome your questions and feedback.


Chord name

There is no known bug. In most cases the user forgot to mute the strings which are not part of the chord.

Category: Chord name

Chords

We decided to build the chord diagrams in the horizontal, as the guitar neck is also in the horizontal. We think it is easier to understand. In smartChord there are a lot of small chord diagrams and fretboard views. And we think it would look strange if the fretboard is shown in the vertical. That’s not a natural view. So we show both in the horizontal.

Category: Chords

Please go to the ‘Choose chord’ screen and change the filter to ‘All’ (funnel button beneath the table header ‘Type’). This will reveal all chord types defined in smartChord.

If you still miss a chord, create your own ‘custom chord’ in the ‘Choose chord’ screen or send a link where the missing chord is described to info@smartChord.de. We’ll add it within one week.

smartChord knows a lot of chord types. Sometimes the overview gets lost. To attain an overview you may use the ‘filter’ functionality to reduce the chord types to the most common or your favorite ones.

By assessing your individual skill-level (basic, intermediate, expert) a corresponding set of settings will be made. E.g. showing all chords and fingerings (expert) or just simple and most common ones (basic).

Please be aware, switching the skill level has an impact on the chord settings, because with a change of the skill level you also change the depending settings, e.g. number and difficulty of displayed chords and fingerings.

Category: Chords

Yes, you can. There is a menu item ‘Add custom chord’ in the ‘Choose chord’ screen. Alternatively, you could write us a mail and request a new chord type. We are happy to add missing chord types to smartChord if desired. Please send a link where the missing chord is described to info@smartChord.de.

Category: Chords

Circle of fifths

There is an option in the ‘Circle of fifths’ screen to simplify the chord names. If this ‘simplified mode’ is activated, the circle of fifths shows the musical symbols according to your settings in ‘General settings’-> ‘Symbols’ instead of the chords according to the music theory.
As the circle of fifths obeys the theory, it produces chords like ‘G##’. The ‘simplified mode’ shows them as ‘A’ instead.

Cloud

In most cases it is a problem with the browser. Please install and use Chrome for login. With Chrome, there are no known bugs.

Sometimes it helps to logout and login again.

Category: Cloud

1. Install Chrome
2. Clear your default browser app according this instructions: https://support.google.com/android/answer/6271667
3. Login again

Category: Cloud

General questions

There are colour schemes which will help you to distinguish the notes of different degrees in chords, arpeggios, scales and the circle of fifths at a glance. You can switch the colour scheme in the settings of the ‘Home’ screen.

smartChord does make backups automatically on the external storage.

In the ‘Backup’ feature, you can create a backup anytime. There you can also restore any backup. The backups are stored in the smartChord/backup folder of your device storage. You can reach the ‘Backup’ feature by the menu on the ‘Home’ screen.

From there you can copy a backup file to the smartChord/backup folder of another device and restore in the ‘Backup’ feature.

You can use the ‘Share’ functionality in the ‘Backup’ feature to send a backup to a save place or to another device where you can restore it.

smartChord also detects backups after an new installation and asks if it should be restored.

Yes. smartChord is available in different dark and light colour combinations (themes). Dark themes are more suitable to play on stage and to save your battery power. Just pick your favorite one on the ‘Home’ screen (button in the upper right).
There is also a ‘Dark screen’ option in the songbook, which is independent from the chosen theme.

You may hide features from the ‘Home’ screen using the menu popping up on a long-press. You can add all hidden features again by the ‘Add tools’ menu on the ‘Home’ screen.

You can add hidden features by the ‘Add tools’ menu item on the ‘Home’ screen. You may also hide features from the ‘Home’ screen again using the menu poping up on a long-press.

You can’t limit the access to the app folder in the cloud. This is because most users want to use another folder than the app folder as most of them have already a folder for their songs. This is the most flexible and convenient solution. Please use a network sniffer to check that we do NOT use or abuse your files.

The sound of the instrument is produced by your phone. Some phones have really bad sound. And no phone has really authentic sound, because it is produced by the phones MIDI producer.

Use the ‘Reorder’ menu on the ‘Home’ screen to reorder or remove the tools on the homescreen by drag’n’drop.

Normally the producer of your new device provides a tool to move the data from the old device to the new device (e.g. ‘Smart switch’ from Samsung). Also Google can do the job with the backup and restore feature.

And last but not least, smartChord has also different possibilities to synchronize data. If you want to do it with smartChord.

The best way is to copy a backup file
1. Go to smartChord on your old device
2. Send the backup file from the backup screen with the share
button to your new device. (You’ll get to the backup screen by the navigation menu in the left upper corner)
3. Copy a backup file to the folder \smartChord\backup on your new phone
4. Go to the the backup screen and restore the backup

Or you can use the synchronization:

1. Use the ‘Synchronize smartChord’ feature to store your content in the cloud
2. Add the Google Play account to the new phone. It’s the account with which you have bought smartChord or a s.mart app
3. Install smartChord on all s.mart apps you have bought on the new phone.
4. Use the ‘Synchronize smartChord’ feature on your new phone to restore your content from the cloud

Actually the products are detected immediately and the features are activated instantly.

If a bought product and its feature are not activated, please check the following:

Was your order successful? Is the amount debited?

Go to smartChord and check this: ‘Info’ -> ‘Your products’. It requests the latest information from Google and your purchased products are listed then.

Check the purchased products in the Google ‘Play Store’ -> ‘My Account’ -> ‘smartChord’ -> ‘Subscriptions’ or ‘Order History’

The screen overlay is originally a problem of Android 6. And it happens, if an app requests a permission. The tuner e.g. needs the audio permission.

The reason for this message:
This message appears when you’re running a floating app, and then start a newly installed one, which requests access rights. Floating apps include the chat heads of Facebook Messenger that can appear floating above other. One solution is to grand the permission before opening the tuner. Please go to ‘Info -> Permissions -> Permissions’ and grand the audio permission to smartChord.

smartChord allows individualized tone names and symbols. You can define your personal preferences in the general settings. These settings affect all of the smartChord features.

The chord diagrams shows the notes according the settings. But you can change the setting “Diagram info” to ‘Theory’ so the notes are displayed according the musical theory.

The songbook shows the chord names according your ‘Name settings’ in ‘Tone names’ and ‘Symbol’ settings. The intention is go see always the same chord names independent to the source of your song texts. So you’ll always get a C#, even if the original chord of the song is written as Db. But there is a songbook option to force the songbook to show the original chords. But keep in mind, that with this option activated, the transposing is deactivated!

There is also an interesting setting for the chord diagram info in the instruments ‘Chords’ settings. It allows to switch between the tone symbols, you have chosen in the general settings or the tone names according to the music theory.

We thought a lot about the help in smartChord. The handling of the app is described in the help, tips and the FAQ. And there is our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/smartChord.

The big open issue is the musical theory. But this is such a wide field with so much themes and topics. We skipped it as there are already so much good web sites where the musical theory is excellently explained.

The best advice would be to search the web for the topic you are interested in and use smartChord as a tool to support you.

There are a few tutorials about smartChord. It’s the best to search for smartChord on YouTube.

You can update smartChord in the Google Play Store. There should be an ‘Update’ button if you follow this link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.smartchord.droid

Please see also Googles help page for updating Android apps: https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/113412

A purchased version of smartChord can be easily reinstalled or used on multiple devices. You don’t have to pay twice. Just install it on your devices. It is important to use the same Google Play account with which you have bought smartChord. If it was an in-app payment, that’s enough. If it was a separate s.mart app, just install it on your device. You can find your bought apps in the order history: https://play.google.com/store/account/orderhistory

You can check if everything is installed correctly:
‘Info’ -> ‘Your products’.
Your purchased products are listed there.

You’ll get help and tips for each screen by the ‘…’ menu in the upper right corner. There is also a FAQ section in the ‘Info’ which clarifies frequently asked questions. And there is our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/smartChord. If there are still problems, please write an email to info@smartChord.de

We want to make smartChord the best and most popular music app worldwide. To achieve this great goal, we have to go new ways. We follow the concept of a huge toolbox where the tools are very well integrated into each other. We made smartChord the central app with all the functionality and all the data.

As not every user needs every functionality, we made smaller packages for various purposes. The packages are represented by our plugins – the s.mart apps like the s.mart Mandolin. The s.mart apps just unlock functionality – but they need smartChord.

Your benefits:
⭐ smartChord as the central app, contains every functionality and data
⭐ The UNLIMITED provides includes also future features and apps automatically. You’ll never get asked to buy a new app or feature.
⭐ smartChord and thus every s.mart app is improved at least two times a month
⭐ The tools complement each other or build on each other
⭐ Uniform concept and user interface
⭐ Share the data between the tools
⭐ No need to update multiple apps
⭐ Very small memory footprint on your device
⭐ Early access to new features
⭐ Quick bug-fixes

smartChord does make backups automatically on the external storage. This happens independent from the feature you are using and in regular periods. The permissions are also needed to make a great user experience, as they are essential to read and write settings, backups, music files, songs, …

Be insured that smartChord does access the files just to show it or make it audible in one of smartChords features. smartChord does NOT collect, store, send or distribute any personal or personal identifiable information or data about you.

smartChord does NOT need access to photos or to any personal information on your phone!
– The ‘audio record’ permission is essential for the tuner
– The ‘vibrate’ permission is needed to signal, that time is up (timer) or pitch is met (tuner)
– The ‘wake lock’ permission is needed to prevent sleep mode while the metronome is playing
– The ‘external storage’ permission is essential to read and write settings, backups, music files, songs
– The ‘network access’ permission is needed for the internet search for songs (and maybe ads in the future)

There is a possibility to withdraw permissions with Android 6 or higher. Please check: ‘Info’ -> ‘Permissions’ -> ‘Permissions’

Instrument

smartChort supports Viola Caipira. But it is not an independent instrument at the moment. But there are 18 tunings for Viola Caipira added to instrument Viola.

Category: Instrument

Metronome

Unfortunately there can be a lag. The timing of the metronome is bad on some devices (mostly Nexus). This is because we use the Android ‘SoundPool’, an Android
provided component for sound generation. It is quite unreliable and flawed on various on this very devices. Please see:
https://androidbycode.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/nexus-lollipop-soundpool-load-not-so-sweet

This has a negative effect on functions such as the metronome. We have planned to switch to a new solution to generate the sounds.

Category: Metronome

Other devices/systems

There are multiple possibilities. The two easiest ways are:

1. Use the s.mart Songbook Online Editor. There is a online edit mode, which allows you to edit your song comfortable in the browser of your computer. For more information see: http://www.smartchord.de/song/edit

2. Synchronize your songs with your cloud. During synchronization, the songs are stored as text files in your cloud. From your PC, you can access and edit these files in the cloud. With the next synchronization, the changes are imported into the songbook.

You can use smartChord on a Fire phone, but you have to install Google Play on a Fire phone. Please see how to do this:

https://techmogulchannel.com/tutorial-install-google-play-store-to-amazon-fire-phone

Unfortunately there is no version for the iPad or iPhone. It’s on our todo list, but with very low priority. Sorry.

Unfortunately there is no smartChord version for Mac or Windows. But there is a general solution to run Android apps on these operating systems:

https://www.androidauthority.com/best-android-emulators-for-pc-655308

Yes you can. Casting your Android screen lets you mirror your Android device to the TV so you can enjoy your content exactly as you see it on your mobile device – only bigger.

Please see: https://support.google.com/chromecast/answer/6059461?hl=en

Normally the producer of your new device provides a tool to move the data from the old device to the new device (e.g. ‘Smart switch’ from Samsung). Also Google can do the job with the backup and restore feature.

And last but not least, smartChord has also different possibilities to synchronize data. If you want to do it with smartChord.

The best way is to copy a backup file
1. Go to smartChord on your old device
2. Send the backup file from the backup screen with the share
button to your new device. (You’ll get to the backup screen by the navigation menu in the left upper corner)
3. Copy a backup file to the folder \smartChord\backup on your new phone
4. Go to the the backup screen and restore the backup

Or you can use the synchronization:

1. Use the ‘Synchronize smartChord’ feature to store your content in the cloud
2. Add the Google Play account to the new phone. It’s the account with which you have bought smartChord or a s.mart app
3. Install smartChord on all s.mart apps you have bought on the new phone.
4. Use the ‘Synchronize smartChord’ feature on your new phone to restore your content from the cloud

You can use the s.mart Songbook Online Viewer. This is the tool to sing with your audience and show them the lyrics. For more information see: http://www.smartchord.de/song

A purchased version of smartChord can be easily reinstalled or used on multiple devices. You don’t have to pay twice. Just install it on your devices. It is important to use the same Google Play account with which you have bought smartChord. If it was an in-app payment, that’s enough. If it was a separate s.mart app, just install it on your device. You can find your bought apps in the order history: https://play.google.com/store/account/orderhistory

You can check if everything is installed correctly:
‘Info’ -> ‘Your products’.
Your purchased products are listed there.

Payment

There are alternative payment methods listed on Googles support page. Also PayPal is possible:

https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/2651410

Category: Payment

Actually the products are detected immediately and the features are activated instantly.

If a bought product and its feature are not activated, please check the following:

Was your order successful? Is the amount debited?

Go to smartChord and check this: ‘Info’ -> ‘Your products’. It requests the latest information from Google and your purchased products are listed then.

Check the purchased products in the Google ‘Play Store’ -> ‘My Account’ -> ‘smartChord’ -> ‘Subscriptions’ or ‘Order History’

As you can imagine a lot of work was done in creating and developing smartChord. And it will need much more effort to improve and expand it.

Buying the s.mart PLUS UNLIMITED version is the best way to say thanks to the developers, to provide the basis for future development and to do something good to yourself. The PLUS UNLIMITED has got about 25 more instruments and it includes all future chargeable functions and s.mart apps for a lifetime.

Three of them are the s.mart Pattern, s.mart Drum Machine and the s.mart Fretboard Trainer. There is no need to buy another product anymore!

You can get the UNLIMITED in the Play Store:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.smartchord.droid.plus.unlimited

Category: Payment

Practice

The practice icon appears on the home screen, only if you have created at least one exercise. You can create exercises on the Arpeggio, Pattern and Scale screen.

If you have yourself removed the ‘Practice’ icon from the Home screen, you can restore it from the ‘All Tools’ screen which can be opened by the ‘All Tools’ menu on the home screen.

Category: Practice

Set list

The songbook can handle plain text files like .TAB, .TXT or .PRO files. If you want to use PDF files, please use the ‘Set list’ feature. There you can add your songs from the songbook, images and PDFs files.

Categories: Set list, Songbook

The procedure is the following:
– Add or import the songs in the songbook
– Go to the feature ‘Set list’
– In the folder up right you find ‘new’
– Use the ‘+’ button to add songs, breaks, image and PDF files
– Save the ‘Set list’

Category: Set list

Normally each Bluetooth pedal like ‘PageFlip’ should work as you can configure the pedal individually in the settings of the ‘Set list’

Category: Set list

Songbook

Create a custom chord with an alternative name in the ‘Choose chord’ screen and place your new chord type wherever you need the different fingering

Category: Songbook

There are multiple possibilities. The two easiest ways are:

1. Use the s.mart Songbook Online Editor. There is a online edit mode, which allows you to edit your song comfortable in the browser of your computer. For more information see: http://www.smartchord.de/song/edit

2. Synchronize your songs with your cloud. During synchronization, the songs are stored as text files in your cloud. From your PC, you can access and edit these files in the cloud. With the next synchronization, the changes are imported into the songbook.

The songbook can handle plain text files like .TAB, .TXT or .PRO files. If you want to use PDF files, please use the ‘Set list’ feature. There you can add your songs from the songbook, images and PDFs files.

Categories: Set list, Songbook

There is an import functionality in the songbook. By the ‘Folder menu’ -> ‘Open | Manage’ you’ll get to the ‘Table of Content’ screen. There you can import songs in form of text files or songtext via the browser on your PC. However, not PDF or Word files, just pure text files like .crd, .tab, …. Please see our video on how to import songs:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7L-p4UzZWo

Category: Songbook

The internet search for songs does work on most websites. But not all are supported. smartChord can’t detect a song in the following cases:
– a website does not provide songs or lyrics as plain text. PDF files or images are not supported.
– the song text isn’t distinguishable from the other text on that page. But in this case there is a workaround:
— Copy the text from the web page
— Go back to the songbook
— Create a new song
— Edit the song text
— Paste the copied text into the ‘Edit’ screen

Category: Songbook

You can use the ‘Set list’ to organize your songs and lyrics for performance or practice. Please see our video on YouTube:
https://youtu.be/WgMssWHg_9

The ‘Table of content’ has a full text search function. You can search für every information in the songs. The most comfortable way to maintain these information is by the menu ‘…’ -> ‘Edit’ -> ‘Edit song information’ in the Songbook.

Category: Songbook

It’s possible to synchronize your songs with your cloud (Google or DropBox). It allows to synchronize the songs between multiple Android devices or edit the songs text files conveniently from your desktop or notebook.

There are at least four ways to exchange songs between devices:

1. You can synchronize the content of smartChord between your devices. There is a menu item ‘Synchronize’ on the home screen. This is the most comfortable way.

2. You can synchronize your songs with your cloud (Google or DropBox). It allows to synchronize the songs between multiple Android devices. You can also take advantage of the possibility to edit the songs (these are just plain text files) conveniently on your desktop or notebook.

3. You can export your songs to single files. You can optionally edit these files and import them again on the same or another device.

4. You can share single songs or even multiple songs at once. This is possible in the songbook ‘Table of content’. There is a ‘Share’ button.

Category: Songbook

You can use the s.mart Songbook Online Viewer. This is the tool to sing with your audience and show them the lyrics. For more information see: http://www.smartchord.de/song

smartChord allows individualized tone names and symbols. You can define your personal preferences in the general settings. These settings affect all of the smartChord features.

The chord diagrams shows the notes according the settings. But you can change the setting “Diagram info” to ‘Theory’ so the notes are displayed according the musical theory.

The songbook shows the chord names according your ‘Name settings’ in ‘Tone names’ and ‘Symbol’ settings. The intention is go see always the same chord names independent to the source of your song texts. So you’ll always get a C#, even if the original chord of the song is written as Db. But there is a songbook option to force the songbook to show the original chords. But keep in mind, that with this option activated, the transposing is deactivated!

There is also an interesting setting for the chord diagram info in the instruments ‘Chords’ settings. It allows to switch between the tone symbols, you have chosen in the general settings or the tone names according to the music theory.

When option ‘Show original chord names’ is activated, transposing is disabled

Category: Songbook

When transposing, the original song (-text) is not changed, only the chords are transposed and the transposed chords are displayed. However, a ‘transpose’ directive (e.g. {x_sccrd_tr:2}) is added to the song text. So if you look at song in the editor or the smartChord Online Editor, you will see the song in its original key but with the ‘transpose’ directive. If you open the song with smartChord, it will appear transposed.

But there is a possibility to leave the song in transposed version and save it as it is visible. For a transposed song there is a menu item ‘Transpose -> Keep transposed’. It replaces the original text by the transposed text.

Category: Songbook

HTTP isn’t state of the art. We’ll switch to HTTPS in the future. But for the case it is foreseen, it is secure enough as the data is transferred completely within you local network. You can even turn the internet off. Thanks again!

Category: Songbook

The songbook is empty because of license issues and the question: which songs should the songbook contain! Everybody would expect different songs. The solution is the internet. There are excellent resources. smartChord finds your songs out there.

Just use ‘Folder’ menu -> ‘New’ -> ‘Internet search’.

You can also google for a tab file collection and import them. Please see also our video for the import: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGM0XnuwtC8

Category: Songbook

Transposer

Assume, that you have a song in ‘C’ and you need it two semitones higher:
– Move the lower ruler ‘C’ direct under the ‘C’ of the upper ruler
– Move the lower ruler two semitones to the left: Result is ‘D’
– Look at your song and replace the note of every chord by the note of the lower ruler direct below.
– If there is a Fm in your song, replace it by Gm

Category: Transposer

Tuner

The tuner has got different modes. One of it is the pitch pipe. To switch between tuner and pitch pipe, use the ‘Mode’ button in the left corner.

Category: Tuner

The tuner is always in chromatic mode. So you can tune every other instrument like a zither, a Chapman Stick, a autoharp or piano.

Category: Tuner

The screen overlay is originally a problem of Android 6. And it happens, if an app requests a permission. The tuner e.g. needs the audio permission.

The reason for this message:
This message appears when you’re running a floating app, and then start a newly installed one, which requests access rights. Floating apps include the chat heads of Facebook Messenger that can appear floating above other. One solution is to grand the permission before opening the tuner. Please go to ‘Info -> Permissions -> Permissions’ and grand the audio permission to smartChord.

Sometimes another app is using the microphone and blocks the access to the microphone for other apps. Please close this app or if it is not clear which app blocks the microphone, close them all. If this does not help, reboot your phone.

In rare cases it has to do with the permissions. The ‘audio record’ permission is needed for the tuner. Maybe the permission has been revoked. There is
the possibility to withdraw permissions with Android 6 or higher. Please check: ‘Info’ -> ‘Permissions’ -> ‘Permissions’

Category: Tuner

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