Newbie question: Can Scaler 2 create chord diagram sheets, detect chords and compose without a fixed progression?

I am a guitarist searching for a tool that offers a smart chord detection (also detects rootless chords like the 7 as bass note) by entering notes in a virtual fretboard with audio support, allows to copy these chord diagrams with my specific voicing into a sheet so I have the chord diagram sheet ready like a song that can be played. The whole thing without choosing a certain progression in advance so I can compose freely (even if I come up often with a pretty known progression ;-). I tried about everything in the ios app shop, Suggester + Chordshape, Oolimo, Song One, Guitartoolkit (now abandoned, sigh), Chord!, Chords, Chordai, Tonality, Gravitas and a few more. They offer parts of it, or a less capable chord detection etc. I can`t figure out if Scaler could be a way to go and I understand that the app is going into a different direction. But maybe I’m wrong. Any advice is welcome.

Hi @Heinrich and welcome to the forum, I have some thoughts but I am going to let our resident guitarist @Tristan answer this.

Hi @davide ,
that makes me curious. I hope resident guitarist @Tristan will share his thoughts before I lean over to Suggester II ;-).

Have you downloaded the trial to check out Scaler 2? Don’t know what you mean by Scaler going in a different direction. They are adding more guitar stuff all the time.

yep, II downloaded scaler 2 to try. By “different direction” I meant Scaler seems more oriented towards chord recognition via midi and suggesting progressions rather than letting me start from scratch and compose via chord diagrams as I exactly described in my 1st post. I cannot see if the guitar chords feature does what I need since it is part of the full version, I also checked the manual but did not find a hint if Scaler allows me what I want to do with it.
On my side I dont understand what you mean by “they add more guitar stuff all the time”. Can you be more specific if this is what I am looking for? Thank you.

Have you watched this? Some useful information from Tristan here:

You said you are a guitarist so I assumed from your post you were looking for it to do more guitar oriented stuff hence that answer.
You can start from scratch and not use any chords from Scaler and either detect or enter your own chords manually. You don’t have to use artist chords or suggest chords at all. If that’s what you mean.

It is convenient to enter your own chords into Scaler’s guitar fingerboard. Especially if you’re not entirely sure of the chord name, but Scaler tells you. Sometimes I use Scaler for this purpose.

Thank you guys, I bought Scaler II.
One last thing (for today): I miss an export function to generate a leadsheet. Can’t find it in the manual. Does a leadsheet feature exist?

Hi Hulkko, thanks for the hint, exactly what I was looking for to start with. How do you go about it?

I guess I found the chord detection.
But how about rootless chords? Like a 7 as bass note, or a third, often used by guitarists? Scaler does not seem to detect it or am I missing something?

I now tried Scaler II on my ipad for a bit, watched Tristans video, flipped through the manual to read the parts that I need. Scaler 2 is very deep no doubt and offers great features, but unfortunately the app is not for me. I recorded my acoustic guitar, but the scale and chords detection wasn‘t even close to what I played. This may have to do with the fact that I play a lot of rootless chords, eg. a jazzy blues (say D13 with a Seventh in the bass - A / 3d fret, D / 4th fret, G 4th fret, B / 3d fret - , D+/C , G9 with the third as bass note) Scaler was not able to recognise it, no matter which scale. I also find the interface of Scaler pretty difficult, like deleting a chord from the C section (ipad)? The manual says tap shift key and the chord. This did not work. Had to clear first in Section A, then it worked etc, and I didn‘t figure out any other way. All in all this app is a full blown Mercedes with loads of possibilities, but I want to drive a VW and keep it simpler. I also need a built in sheet generator that shows guitar diagrams. I will ask for a refund because I now know I need something different. Will get back from time to time to see how things (or I?) develop. Thanks again for your tipps guys.

Think you might be looking for something like Guitar Pro 8. Maybe even Muscore something more guitar notational.

As per @Jumbodude , it seems to me that all package software is a compromise. A product has to address the needs of a divers set of users, and hence there will generally be only a percentage match with the requirements of any particular user.

So I guess you just have to weigh up what Scaler offers vs alternatives, and pick the least worse.

Thank you, looked at both before. Guitar Pro on ipad has - understandably at that price - a much smaller feature set. Als checked Musescore but no dice.

Absolutely. Still on the search, but I am confident that I will find a good compromise. Maybe Scaler III? Or better „Guitar Scaler III“…

I-pad is App version I believe and it has some bad reviews i believe although I haven’t used it myself. I am confident that the Windows version is stable and is very useable. Desktop versions have advantages over apps normally (Apart from portability of course). You can write in full guitar notation(Tab) and add articulations. You can chord construct and print the chords into the progressions you make for reference. Pretty much anything is possible but there is alearning curve to negotiate which can be frustrating at first.

Hi Heinrich et al, thanks for posting your questions and bringing this forward. I have had a similar search for a guitar tool that would do many things, and none seems to provide. Yet, I don’t think it would be hard for a few of these tools, including Scaler2, to provide:

  1. Identify Chords from recordings or live analog input - even weird ones
  2. Chart them on on-screen and produce printable versions that are flexible in format - single chords and progressions (.pdf, .png. .jpg that can be exported/copied to insert in lead sheets)
  3. Be able to manually adjust the notes on the freetboard after initial ID
  4. Show variations and inversions of those chords
  5. Show keyboard versions and inversions
  6. Be able to transpose keys (for me, automatic Baritone guitar conversion or vice versa)
  7. Other instrument conversions

Yes, I have watched all videos including the Scaler2 course, and Scaler 2 is wonderful and a lot of fun but these additions above would be lovely!


Hi folks, just wanted to chime in with my thoughts on some of the guitar related questions here.

@Heinrich, whilst Scaler 2 does contain a wealth of guitar oriented features, it sounds like it many not quite satisfy all of your requirements the way a more guitar centric program may. We are of course always taking onboard feedback from all sorts of users with regards to future updates so the input is appreciated.

As far as detecting chords from an audio source such as guitar, I’ve always found Scaler 2 to be quite accurate, however it’s never going to perfect I’m afraid. I generally use it to quickly get an idea of a particular chord progression, as opposed to hoping for precise identification of the types of chords you’re talking about.

As Jamieh mentions you can turn the instrument panel into a guitar fretboard and create chords by clicking on the notes, and the fretboard tools menu lets you display chords as chord charts. There are however a limited number of chord charts available (these are all manually created), so charts will not be 100% accurate for every possible chord and permuation. New chord charts are often added with Scaler software updates so this is an area of continual improvement.

@SeamusMacD the fretboard view can be used to modify any chords, including detected chords, and chords can be transposed and inverted on the EDIT page, however this will not always be reflected in the guitar chord charts e.g. they may still show the original non-inverted chord. Again this is subject to improvement with future updates.

Whilst there are lots of instrument panel fretboard view variations e.g. baritone, bass, banjo etc. the chord charts are all for a six string guitar in standard tuning. I’m not sure how feasible this would be to improve upon in the immediate future, but an interesting consideration.

Also, currently no way to export lead sheets, however this is great idea that has come up before that we’d love to include at some point in the future.

Hope this helps. Happy to elaborate further is people have further questions.

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@Jumbodude , thank you for your thoughts. I agree that ipad versions are quite often less rich with features than the desktop versions (in my case macbook) which is logical considering the price they go for. Tabs are not the most important thing for me, rather chord diagrams (not only symbols) because of the voicings I use, and this is also pretty hard to find in desktop versions. I would prefer the ipad for portability reasons.