There really aren’t many annoyances in this program, but since we’re asked what bugs us, here’s one. When I make a new song and click to save it I get a dialog box asking if I want to “add my song to a list”. That seems redundant. Shouldn’t it just open the lists to choose which to add it to? Is there another place to put a song besides a list?

While I’m at it, the tune I’m saving this morning is one that would benefit by being able to select “5 chords” (no 3rd) so I’m still lobbying for that option to be added.

Good point! The latest version of the beta (v327.beta4) shows the list of lists right off the bat when saving a new song. Just saving the effort of one click, but hey, why not!

Yes, no-third/modal chords are very much on my short-term radar. The tricky part is that I want to have a way to specify “this is a modal song” somehow, which will automatically make the 1 chords into no-third chords, versus having to edit the song and manually make each chord a no-third chord. Plus it’s often a preference that varies – for example, I hear Cluck Old Hen played both major and modal all the time (not to mention in minor, occasionally). So I’d like to have some sort of toggle, maybe in the key chooser, for saying it’s a modal tune. Haven’t worked out all the details yet.

Thanks for sharing your annoyances! Anybody else got one? Bring it on. :smile:

Maybe it’s my shortcoming but all the modal tunes I can think of are in “A” though here must be some in “G” too because it’s easy to play a modal G on guitar. Not sure I have any ideas on how to present it in your format. I think you could make it an option when starting a new song or tune where you have “major” and “minor” it could also say “modal”, although modal means different things to different people. For instance I know people who call mixolydian tunes modal because of the flatted 7, etc. (I tend to write mixolydian tunes in the major key signature and use accidentals because it’s more intuitive to me). Anyway, calling “no 3rd”" tunes “modal” sounds like a good thing to me if there’s an explaination somewhere.

By the way, I’m curious what your main instrument is. If you’re a fiddler I have a free site of fiddle transcriptions you might like.

I’m a fan of Strum Machine. Best regards,

Brian Wood

Yeah, modal is a bit ambiguous. I guess it encompasses everything that isn’t major or minor, which is a lot! But since we’re not talking about the melody here but just the accompaniment, we needn’t worry about the actual mode, be it mixolydian, dorian, or what have you.

A modal is very common as a modal key in fiddle tunes, yes. But of course singing songs can be in any key. When modal mode is enabled, you’ll hear either a capoed G chord or a capoed D chord for the 1 chord on the guitar, I think.

I play all the bluegrass/old-time instruments, actually. I’m not much of a music-reader but that’s a great resource you’ve put together. Maybe I could add links to your transcriptions in the “References” in Strum Machine for the relevant tunes at some point.

Yes, I have a petty annoyance! But first, let me tell you how much I adore this app! You knocked it out of the park!
Ok, here goes. I put together a backing track for a waltz. Some measures should have two chord changes - I couldn’t figure out how to do that…but it would just provide a color change…maybe I was being too picky…But am I missing something? Then in the last line the tune moves into a hemiola which definitely needs the cord changes. I thought I could do a work around by changing the meter to 6/8 for 4 measures, but I couldn’t figure out how to do that either. Are these ideas in the works for the future?

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Hi Sally,

Please check out the beta version! It includes the ability to subdivide the beat, so that you can have each of the three beats of 3/4 time be a different chord if you want. (It’s got lots of other nifty editor improvements too!)

As for the hemiola (a term that I had to look up), I’m not sure if you’ll be able to accomplish that in Strum Machine yet. The subdivision may get you there, depending on what you want it to sound like. But per-measure time signatures are something I have planned for the future.

Nice to hear you like the app so much in general! :blush:

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Something I recently encountered didn’t make sense at the time - when I was editing and replacing a chord all the song chords in the would light up like Christmas, and even shift the window view.

@BrianWood: Did this happen on the new beta? I rewrote the chart renderer so it’s possible you found a new bug that I haven’t seen yet, especially if it happened in the last week or so. If you see it happen again or you know how to recreate the bug I would very much like to hear about it! You can send me a private message through the forum (click my name above) or just write me through the Help menu in Strum Machine. Thanks!

Yes, in the new beta. I just did a test song to replicate it. I typed 3 rows of different chords, then while still in “new song” mode I selected and changed a chord, and that’s when it happens. I only had 3 rows of chords so it didn’t shift the page…

I’m not certain if I discovered a bug or just don’t understand a feature…

I tried it again and it happens when I select the new chord from my keyboard, but apparently not when I select a new chord from the list with my mouse.

I tried to recreate this, and I didn’t have any glitches when I changed chords with the keyboard. I did, however, see things jump around a bit when deleting chords (glitch starts 25 seconds into the video):

I’m working on a fix for this issue now I’ve fixed this issue now, but I wonder if this is similar to what you saw when you changed chords with the keyboard, or a different phenomenon? You mentioned them “lighting up” – were they colored in with a color, like blue or yellow? Also, what browser/device are you using?

The jumping around is maybe similar. It was only a problem when the song I was working on was long enough that it took morre than the visible window, then it jumped and left me in a different place. The colors I get are lots of green and yellow and purple I think.

I am using Firefox on a mac pro. I tried to make a screen capture but in the time to do that the issue goes away (can’t get my screen capture to wait for the right moment). It lasts 5 or 6 seconds and then resolves itself. It seems to be lighting up all the other same chords in the song I am typing, but not necessarily with the same color.

Well, shoot, that sounds very annoying! If I could see it visually, that might help me diagnose the issue. But it works fine for me on Firefox on Mac. Perhaps you could record a video? Apparently it’s pretty easy on a Mac. Loom is a free and easy alternative, although you need to register and download a program in that case. Anyway, I’d love to get to the bottom of this for you and potentially others in the future!

Okay, I entered a random bunch of chords and copy pasted them a few times to have more than a full screen. I think you can see where I’m entering chords with the keyboard and from the screen. Tell me what you think.

I’m uploading it to YouTube.


I think I made it unlisted so you san see it. Hope so.

Going to practice now.


Thought I got it fixed last night but see I didn’t. Try it now.


Sorry to say that it still says “Video unavailable - This video is private.” Not sure what’s going on. If you still have the video file you could upload it here instead.

Okay, it’s uploading on the link you sent. I don’t know why I’m having trouble with YouTube. Hopefully with all the time this took to get to you it will show you what I’m talking about. If I knew it was going to be a hassle I might have re-made a more concise video. I’m happy to do that if you need. And for what it’s worth I know how to work around it now.

Did it complete? It never showed up in my Dropbox. :slightly_frowning_face:

Maybe you could try WeTransfer as an alternative? Free and no-signup… as long as the file is under 2 GB…

Sorry for all the hassle! No need to re-make a more concise video.

Seems like it should be simple… yes, the Dropbox window said complete, but the dialog box had a spinning icon stuck at 100% so I finally closed it thinking it was done. I have the link open you suggested I try. It asks for your email and I don’t know what to use. Let me know and I’ll load it there.

Happy holidays,