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Exploring Chords and String Instruments | Scale Tapper for iPad

Lately I have been working on scaletap.com, but one interesting capability of Scale Tapper for iOS is as a chord exploration tool.  Let’s take a look at a couple examples of working with chords, and soon you’ll be designing your own chords with custom fingerings that achieve the sound you have been searching for.

Scale Tapper Major Triad in C

Major Triad in Key of C

If we take a look at the C Major Triad we can interpret this chord as consisting of C-E-G. The major triad consists of the root note, and two notes four and seven semitones higher than the root. This is easy to visualize on the pitch constellation, as we can count 4 semitones from C to E and 7 semitones from C to G.

Tapping the guitar icon we can bring up the interactive fretboard. By default the fretboard is tuned to a classic guitar, E-A-D-G-B-E. We can see the classic C Major Triad indicated as well as many other possible fingerings. If you have a guitar available you can try out these alternative fingerings. If not you can play the notes directly one at a time or simultaneously on the fretboard in Scale Tapper.

C Major Triad Fretboard - Basic Guitar Tuning

C Major Triad Fretboard for Basic Guitar

As you can tell Scale Tapper does not limit you to specific fingerings or even specific tunings. Let’s take a look at the same C Major Triad with a drop D guitar tuning. Open Settings by tapping on the wheel icon. Here you can select the Number of Strings, String Tuning, and Number of Frets Per Screen. Let’s tap on the String Tuning button and the tuning wheel will appear. To change from the default guitar tuning to drop D simply tap twice on the -1/2 button. This will drop the tuning two semitones or one full note. When done simply tap the Update button to update the String Tuning and tap the Done button to leave Settings.

Scale Tapper Settings - Drop D Guitar Tuning

Drop D Guitar Tuning in Settings

Now let’s take a look at the fretboard again. As you can see with this tuning you can still play the classic C Major chord this time with a barre or capo on the second fret. You could also play it as you would a D Major chord on the classic E tuning. With Scale Tapper there is no limit to your originality.

C Major Triad - Drop D Tuning

Drop D guitar tuning – C Major Triad

As we have shown Scale Tapper can become any stringed instrument we can imagine. Let’s switch to iPhone mode and take a look at how we could find Ukulele tunings. Scale Tapper is Universal so the same version runs on all your iOS devices. First we will go straight to Settings and select Number of Strings: 4 and tap on the String Tuning button. Let’s tap on Presets and we see that concert/tenor ukulele is an option as G-C-E-A (The famous “Goats Can Eat Anything.”) Tap Update and Done and we’ll bring up the G Minor Triad chord from the list. Simply spin the wheel to change the key of the chord or scale. Then tap the guitar icon and we will see G Minor Triad highlighted along with some possible fingerings for this chord.

Scale Tapper as Ukulele on iPhone

iPhone as a Ukulele with Scale Tapper

So what have we learned? Scale Tapper is an extremely versatile app for learning and experimenting with scales and chords. For any string instrument you can imagine or invent you now have the power to take it to the next level with Scale Tapper. Scale Tapper is Available on the App Store as a Universal binary for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Rise above simply memorizing chords and scales and let your creativity guide you to a new dimension of music.