Pickup Measure Coming in on Beat 2 of 4/4?

The title says it. I’m trying to chart a tune with a pickup measure that doesn’t start until beat 2. So it would be like │R Ch Ch Ch │ Ch Ch Ch Ch │ etc.

If I split the measure, or make a two half measures, the fx menu is grayed out. If I put a rest in first, and then split the measure or make it a half measure, a chord always appears first and again, the fx menu is grayed out.

Is doing this possible?

PS: the visual appearance is important because what I am doing is making charts for a substitute bass player.

I can make a pdf and cross out and put letters above etc., so I can get by, but I’d like to do it in Strum Machine.


So, per-beat effects are on the roadmap. I was hoping to include this as part of the big “Editor 3.0” update that is now in beta testing, but it caused a bunch of problems so I had to postpone that feature until I have time to think through all of the edge cases with enabling per-beat effects.

Normally I recommend not including a pickup measure in the chart, as any notes included should be part of the count-in or the previous repetition of the form, with the first chord coinciding with the first “main” downbeat of the song. It’s interesting to hear that your reason for wanting this is less about what you hear and more about how it looks, for sharing purposes. That is something that I think people are doing more and more (sharing charts/PDFs with Strum Machine) and is something I want to keep in mind for future development.

Anyway, per-beat effects may be coming later this year, but I can’t say for sure yet!

Sorry, the chart I shared had the pickup notes beginning on beat 3. I’ve deleted it.

I now understand the “per-beat” constraints Luke mentioned.

I have wondered about this, this and I run into it on crooked tunes. My pickup solution is to not include the pickup in the first beat as I think Luke was saying. “Never on Sunday” has 7 eight notes to start the tune. The sheet I had put a rest as the first of the 8 notes in the first measure. Just treated the measure as pickup and it worked out in the end; and it was fine on the repeat. But I have run into situations where I need that first beat rest, but play on anyways. One option is to use four cells for one measure in 4/4. Then you can rest the first (whole) cell.
So, often the original sheet music does not start at the correct place. (It is only an attempt to capture the music anyways, so I don’t take the sheet as a religion.)
A music theory buff could iron out the details regarding the goal and explanations. Some expert in community could follow me up!

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