A big Chord Substitution Panel / pad zone

it seems the idea is already floating around in some of the topics,

this is my ambitious take on it :wink:

i would need a panel (full pad page) of all chord substitution / “possible chords replacement” (in the B zone) for a current selected chord.

Zone C should be availiable so we can try these chord proposals “in context” right away.

to me this “substition panel” should be where we can THINK OUT OF THE BOX
either finding something fresh and interesting for a 4 chord progression, solving a weird modulation path, finding a crazy bridge….

Which means NOT a curated “ good sounding” ( read : too predictable ) selection of chord,
but a a really wide open minded way of looking at “chord sub”.

As this approach obviously generates a lot of candidates,
the trick is then to empower us by giving many option to filter the results ( see below “filters” )

it should gather at least :

  • suggested chords ( those in “edit chords” mode )
    with addition on “funk / jazz “ chords ( without 3rd or 5th or Tonic )
  • M & m variations of same chord
    substitutions :
  • common tones
  • modal interchange
  • tonic sub
  • tritonic sub
    V sub
    V/V sub
    II sub
    Dom V > Dim 7
    Chromatic mediant-ification ( M/m, bM/m & #M/m of chosen of chord)

Then filter those proposals, by

  • common note number ( … 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 )
  • voice leading ( notes closest to chord before / minimise leap with preceding chord )
    ( taking possible inversions of candidate chord into account )
  • “in context” voice leading ( notes closest to chord before and chord after )
  • bass note
  • top note
  • tension / dissonance ( inside candidate chord itself )

all filters should all be appliable in paralell ( at the same time )

what do you think ?


My first thought is that for it to work it should not confuse the appeal of what Scaler is to the masses - an easy way to write music by clicking around!
That said, whilst I like the idea and it could be of use it needs to be in an 'experienced user- section. We have this going forward in the modulation section. So we could have a preset which is called ‘Substitutions’ or ‘Borrowed Chords’ and have section C down the bottom and it replicated up the top so you can select a chord and it could show what you suggest with filters.
Make sense?


hi davide !

the appeal of what Scaler is to the masses - an easy way to write music by clicking around!

yes ! …and i suggested it with this mainly in mind :wink:
it can be another “page” like “modulation” in B section, exactly.

i may insist that for it to really work from a creative point of vue IMO, it has to be “transverse” : mixing all chapters of the theory book ( which are sometimes crossing themselves), and offering contextual musical choice making aid ( filters ).

This way we can leave theory on the side, just push buttons and make choices based on what we hear in our head.

We all know fresh music is 75% old / known pattern 25% surprise / rule-challenging stuff :wink:

In my experience the current separation ( Modulation / Chromatic Mediants … ) implemented in Scaler 2, is a very good help for writing linear music ( cinematic / classic ), to gain time previewing some theory patterns ( modulation paths ), etc…
But in the context of just 4 chord type pop progression writing it is a bit too partitioned :wink:


I agree, this would be huge. I actually was just looking around Scaler 2 yesterday trying to find the “substitutions” section and was totally surprised that it doesn’t exist. I did find a tiny menu item, but here there is no opportunity to preview the substitutions or hear them in context. To be honest, I was quite surprised this feature doesn’t exist.