lead sheet chord placements.

• Sep 24, 2022 - 18:21

I wish that there were an option to place a chord on top of a bass that is not the root.
In the attached example you can see space savings. If I wanted to add a chord on the second beat in measure one, I would have to stretch the measure considerably in order to fit it. When a forward slash is introduced during notation of the chord and bass, there should be a pop up window asking if the writer wants to add the bass note on the bottom of the chord or follow a forward slash. Over a 3 - 4 page lead sheet, that could quite a space savings, maybe even an entire sheet. It all depends on the density of chords per measure. Most, if not all other available commercial programs already have that feature available.
Over the past 50+ years of playing I have never had a bass or guitar player, or any other musician complain about having to turn fewer pages. Your thoughts and comments are welcome.

Attachment Size
vertical chord notation.mscz 4.06 KB


Have you tried the jazz style?
I think it saves a bit more space.
Also: Writing the Bassnote below, could actually be interpreted as a hybrid-chord...


In reply to by oMrSmith

Thank you, I used to have a band for many years which had different members on different gigs. That is, I knew several horn players, several bass, guitar, drummers. All who have played with one another in varying combinations. Guitar was instructed to play the chords, bass was instructed to play the lower notes. (not poly chords) It all worked. Everything was by head arrangements and everyone improvised as needed. I was lucky to have found a superb pool of musicians to chose from, most of whom taught on a collegiate level, and played with one another at various gigs under different leaders. After 50+ years, I just got tired of the set ups/tear downs, (particularly during harsh Michigan winters), and sometimes the customers themselves. :) Now I play for friends on holidays.


You should not have to manually stretch the measure just because chords symbols are long - MuseScore does that automatically.

There are a number of other things going on in your example, that are getting in the way of proper handling. For one thing. you are using backslashes instead of standard slashes. That breaks the normal parsing and recognition of chord symbols, so everything is pretty messed up - the "b" doesn't turn into a flat, playback is wrong, etc. So, start by fixing the slashes. For another, you are including commas that aren't necessary at all and thus take up space unnecessarily. A plain "D-7b5/Ab" is sufficient.

When i reset the unnecessary extra stretch, and also fix the notation of the D-7b5, you'll find there isn't much difference in space required at all. And even less difference in the Jazz style, as mentioned. So I think you probably are overestimating - by a pretty large amount - the amount of space that is saved in practice in real world scores if you switch to a vertical arrangement. That said, if you still prefer it, you can create a custom chord description XML file to do that. It's not done by default because it's very non-standard in published music, but there has been work done to create more customization, so hopefully a future version of MsueScore will for that and other custom arrangements.

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