Scale and Chord Generator

Basic use

  • there are 4 modes: chords, scales/modes, custom notes and custom degrees
  • select tuning (red tunings cause stress to the neck)
  • select type (chord, scale, custom notes or custom degrees)
  • select key (not necessary for custom notes/degrees)
  • select chord or scale/mode, or the custom notes/degrees you want
  • if you’re lefthanded – click lefty neck!
  • submit
  • a new tutorial is at Youtube

Options/tips

  • use show as to show dots or note letters or degree
  • use remember to display the last scale or chord again. Drag the upper image over the new one for comparison. You can also compare chords and scales.
  • use overlay for blue notes, red root notes or custom notes (not degrees!)
  • use overlay to add minor or major pentatonic scales
  • use custom notes for special notes
  • use custom tuning for special tunings or different number of strings (i.e. cigarbox guitars)
  • use scale/mode: chromatic scale and show: notes for fretboard scheme
  • use chords -> standard tuning for guitar tuning
  • use enable midi for sound example, select instrument from menu
  • use slide mode for slide playing (notes above frets)
  • click on image to display image only, right mouse click to save as .png image
  • for chords: O – open string, X – mute or don’t pick string
  • b: flat (halftone down)
  • # or s: sharp (halftone up)
  • for Internet Explorer, allow “Active-X” element for MIDI
  • fingersets are not included – they are too individual depending on your fingers
  • to print only the image, right click on it and choose view image, than print as usual, or use the hide menu link at the top
  • For the musical theory behind look at the basics
  • Finally: learning scale diagrams does not automatically make you a good Blues guitar player – Blues is more than pentatonic!
Name Half steps
(Semitones)
Example Shortcut Enharmonic(same interval, different name)
perfect unison 0 C – C P1, 1 diminished second
minor second 1 C – Db m2, 2b augmented unison
major second 2 C – D M2, 2 diminished third
minor third 3 C – Eb m3, 3b augmented second
major third 4 C – E M3, 3 diminished fourth
perfect fourth 5 C – F P4, 4 augmented third
diminished fifth (tritone) 6 C – Gb d5, 5b augmented fourth, diminished fifth, “blue note”
perfect fifth 7 C – G P5, 5 diminished sixth
minor sixth 8 C – Ab m6, 6b augmented fifth
major sixth 9 C – A M6, 6 diminished seventh
minor seventh 10 C – Bb m7, 7b augmented sixth
major seventh 11 C – B M7, 7 diminished octave
perfect octave 12 C – C P8, 8 augmented seventh

Technical background

scale_generator_imgFor those who are interested in php scripting:

There are many great scale and chord generators on the net. But this one is a bit different – it has special Blues extras like overlay of pentatonic scales, highlighting of Blue notes, slide mode or special tunings often used in Blues.
If you miss a chord, scale or tuning or find an error please email me!

The fretboard scheme is generated as an image using php. Scales and chords are stored as arrays containing the intervals. With an array containing all notes and an array containing the string notes all scale or chord positions on the fretboard are calculated and written as dot or note name. The php MIDI Class generates the midi files using the same arrays.