Request: display time signature

Luke, any chance the song’s time signature can be added near the key information at the top of the page? I guess I could add the signature to my titles as a cheap workaround, but thought I would ask.

Thanks…loving the new version!!

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Yes, I agree it would be good to have an indication of the time signature. Thinking of adding another button or two next to the key button/display (section-arrangement and instrument-style buttons, basically) so I’m hesitant to put it up there. My thought was to have it to the left of the first measure, like in sheet music. Small and unobtrusive, but easy to spot all the same.

Of course, the devil’s in the details:

  • “Standard time” in Strum Machine covers 4/4, 2/2, and 2/4, so I don’t really want to show a time signature in that case to avoid confusion/complaints. But maybe that’s OK, no time signature will just mean it’s in standard time.

  • Waltzes are in 3/4 time, but are displayed as pairs of 3/4 measures with bar lines separating them. Adding a time signature would only make things more confusing in this case, perhaps. But this is also a point of confusion I would like to address… somehow. I could add bar lines between every measure, but then there’s no visual grouping at all (which is useful since waltzes are heard as pairs of 3/4 measures). Haven’t found a good solution; maybe one doesn’t exist.

One of the few cases where jigs (6/8 time) are the simplest to implement. :slight_smile:

Just thinking out in the open here. Input is welcome!


I would have to agree that there is no reason to add any extra notation for the default case. And small and unobtrusive to the left of the first measure should work great.

You tried to explain your layout decisions in a previous post. I still don’t fully understand your layout (and tempo) reasoning, but recall that you were following some sort of bluegrass convention. I am dealing with it, but for sure it still throws me at times - as it did the other day when I dialed up a previously saved 3/4 piece and tried to use it as a guide for laying down my own backing track. Just took me a few seconds to straighten out what I was dealing with. Admittedly, there is still much for me to learn.

Here are four examples of how others notate 3/4 and it seems like all would work well in your app. All use the 4 measures to a line convention that I really like. The latter two come for backing track software similar to yours (Chordpulse and iRealPro).

Wanted to reiterate that I find your program to be nicer, cleaner, and more enjoyable to use than the other apps that are out there…at least for my purposes. Also, your customer service department is fantastic!

Thanks again!

Thanks for the comparison screenshots. I do like how Strum Machine fits twice as many bars per line for waltzes – keeps the page from getting too long, which is another issue I want to address somehow but that’s another story. Anyway, maybe it’ll be a preference setting in the future… we’ll see. :slight_smile:

One of my favorite things about Strummachine is that every song I have entered so far fits perfectly across my phone’s display! I am sure I can get used to your 3/4 convention (probably already have, now that I am aware of it). One possible semi-workaround might be to allow different chord display options for different time signatures. My preference for 4/4 is the option your offer for showing one chord per measure. But if I turn that off just for 3/4 then I can just think of the displayed chords as a single measure. Just a thought and no big deal!

I don’t see any reason to clutter the title area with a time signature. If anything was added, I’d suggest in the bar with the tempo information.
You can edit your song title to add a time signature in cases where you feel you need it. Most songs are played in a conventional time signature. There are some songs that could be either, and you can note that in your edited title if you want.

Soon after hitting play, you know the time signature of the track.

There are songs that have multiple time signatures in them. “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” is an example.
That would require posting the time signature at the beginning of the song, and also wherever the signature changes. That would look like standard notation in written music.
That would be nice to see, and not too cluttered.

Luke, that may be a nice thing to have as an option. A menu item that says, “Show time signatures”, or alternately, “Hide time signatures”. That way a fiddle player would not be bothered by the extra visual information. But someone with more complicated songs needs could see that time signature information if they choose.

Cheers, John

Room for improvement here for sure. I’ll bookmark this thread and come back to it when I’m ready to tackle time-signature improvements! Thanks. (And if anyone else has ideas don’t hesitate to add them below.)

I went back and add 3/4 and 6/8 to my song titles and that is a perfectly good workaround. Also, I was please to see that your search function works for time signatures. Very nice!

I just released a new beta version of Strum Machine, and along with a brand-new song editing interface and various other improvements, I added a time signature indicator to the beginning of the chord chart!

This only appears in 3/4, 6/8, or 9/8 time; no indicator means it’s in standard time (i.e., 4/4).

You’ll also notice that I’ve changed how 3/4 time is displayed; there are now bar lines between each measure, with some slightly thicker lines between pairs of measures. Curious to hear what people think of this change.

Mid-song time signature changes did not make it into this update, due to some issues I ran across. But they’re still on the plan and I’ve laid a ton of groundwork for them, so I expect we’ll have them at some point this year.