Codas? How can I indicate “Skip this section and go to Outro?”

Is there a way to mark a section such that it goes to the coda (or Outro) the final time through?

My workaround has been to write out the chord charts for every section a whole second time, substituting the Outro/coda the final time through. But this means that I cannot loop the tune to play as many times as I like before heading to the Outro/coda.

The song format is:
AA BB CC D D-da capo
AA BB CC D D-fin

I need to learn the tune correctly so that I can automate the fills, runs, and position shifts. Being able to control the roadmap of the tune would be a huge help.

My other workaround is to notate the tune in notation software, but then I can’t utilize the lovely simplicity of Strum Machine. I love being able to see the chord changes made by my Robot Backup Band.

You can make a section an “outro” with the three-dots menu in the section heading in edit mode. That will make it so that the section is only played if Auto-Finish is enabled and is on the last rep. This doesn’t handle all cases where a coda is used – I may add a true coda feature in the future. But hopefully that helps in the meantime.

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Many tunes have Part A repeated twice, Part B repeated twice and then jump back to Par A and repeat… a “Da capo” in music score. It would also be valuable to be able to set a repeat count… Is this feature on the wish list?

Seems to me that “da capo” isn’t really needed, since that’s the default behavior of Strum Machine: to go back to the beginning when it reaches the end of the chart. What’s missing is a “stop here on the last go-around” which you’d put at the end of the A part… or a way to say that a section should be played “every time but the last time” (the inverse of an outro). You’d use Auto-Finish to specify how many times to repeat the form.

I’m also planning to add a feature that lets you specify an arbitrary “roadmap” for the tune, where you could (figuratively) type out “A part twice, B part twice, A part twice, outro” and it would play through the corresponding parts of the chart. Would be especially useful for vocal tunes, I think.


Yup, been wanting this since I first starting using Strummie. A common progress in Old Time music on banjo and fiddle is:

A, A, B1, B1, A, A, B2, B2. Where Part B2 can me different, including chord-wise, from Part B1. The only way to do this now is to create the whole this is one big block.

Another pattern you’ll find is A, A, B, B, A, A, C, C or even A, A, B, B, A, A, B, B, A, A, C, C

Maybe you could implement a playlist feature like TablEdit where the user enters in a list of sections in the order to be played.

I was about to reply regarding the count-in repeating, but then I thought… maybe I can turn count-in repeat off… which I found! So that solves the simple case of going back to the beginning and repeating all sections!

Some of my tunes with more complex structure are solved with volta brackets, which avoids creation of a new section when there is a change in one line (usually the last line for me).

An aberration on my tune list is “Cold on the Shoulder” - Intro - Verse - Bridge - Verse - Verse Verse - etc. I guess I could bring the Bridge into the verse and add volta brackets around the Bridge section to only play the first time through…

Yep - That worked for “Cold on the Shoulder”

Sounds exactly like what I was planning on. Sounds like I should check out TablEdit for inspiration.

The “list sections in the order to be played” planned feature will probably be the best solution here in the long run… but I’m glad you found a good workaround for now!

Edit: Just clicked through to your chart. So clever!

I used to use TablEdit for backup tracks. The control over how it plays measure with the playlist feature is great and lets you really fine tune how sections are played. But it does show you where you are in a repetition the way StrumMachine does. Not does it have any built in automatic speed up after each repetition. So, a toss up :wink: Now I only use TablEdit to create tabs.

Luke, I was thinking another option might be to treat Sections similarly to Voltas - designating the iteration numbers in which the section is to be played.

In @RobertBiggs example (A, A, B, B, A, A, B, B, A, A, C, C), the iterations would be
1 - A, A, B, B
2 - A, A, B, B
3 - A, A, C, C

Each Section would be designated to play twice, so the iteration “Flags” applied to the Sections would be:
A - 1,2,3
B - 1,2
C - 3

I like that idea too, and have thought of it before. The issue that came up for me is this: what happens if Auto-Finish is changed to something else? In your example, if Auto-Finish is set to 2, is the C part never played? If it’s set to 4…??? That’s why I ended up favoring a more explicit “play these sections in this order” approach, which (when enabled) would bypass Auto-Finish entirely.

Thanks or mentioning Auto-Finish… I had never explored that feature, and it’s immediately useful! The iteration flags I mentioned would replace Auto-Finish… Auto-Finish would be turned off for complex songs, and the iteration flags would function the same as the “play these sections in this order” approach… I think… For example, to play the song twice through in my previous example, the iteration “Flags” would be:

A - 1,2,3,4,5,6
B - 1,2,4,5
C - 3,6

An outro section might be:
D - 7

The equivalent “play these sections in this order” approach for this would be:

I may be missing something, but is seems either approach would work… just a question of which one is more user friendly.

The second approach seems less mentally taxing for me to figure out, but I’m open to input from anyone who is reading this thread!

The other reason I might go with the second approach is so that I can also offer other options like adding “filler” measures between certain parts and not others (as you find in some singing songs) and other special arranging features.

If all you could do is the second approach, viz. A,A,B,B,A,A.B,B,A.A.C.C etc., that would be fine. I think that’s easy for most users to grok what the intention is. You could always explore improving on that down the road.

I’m thinking that the playlist should work with auto finish. So, say you ha playlist of whatever order you need with the three sections. And then tell StrumMachine through auto finish how many times to play the playlist. where or not the user entered the intro and outro in the playlist, StrumMachine should now they need to be played because they are in the original graph of the tune. The playlist is more specifically and instruction to StrumMachine as to how to play the 3 main sections of the graph.

I use different endings, you’ll find them in Charts - Ending Brackets. Works great for codas

Well… the version of Cold on the Shoulder I linked above was wrong. :upside_down_face:
The breaks are actually 1/2 Verse + Chorus; therefore, the structure of this song is fairly complex:
A & B are the Verse parts
C is the Chorus
D is the Bridge
The structure is: AC (intro break),ABC,D,C,AC,ABC,AC,ABC,C(outro)
The ending brackets help, but there is really no way to code this one efficiently - requires “brute force.”

Luke, I hope this feature is high on your list!

It’s still high on the list, yes! Problem is, so are some other big features! :joy: So much to do, and everything takes so long… but I haven’t forgotten about this by a long shot.

Auto-finish. Always seems funny. If I have to repeat the tune sections to get a minor ending change, that the tune plays twice.
If you really only want to play it once, theoretically you could type auto-finish to be zero and it could play intro and outro sections. but maybe the iteration section ordering is more general. The zero auto-finish would still produce two times played for auto-finish one. However, it might help make practice easier if I want to play the thing only once.
PS I often ad (+1) in the title so I don’t get confused when playing out. I use my laptop to connect to a system.