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Thread: How to add a 13th line (system) to a chord chart.

  1. #1
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    Default How to add a 13th line (system) to a chord chart.

    I read somewhere—perhaps in an online manual—that you can get only up to 12 lines (systems) of chords in iReal Pro. Maybe some of you are already aware of this, but I stumbled on a way to get a 13th line if you need it. And I can't say that I notice any difference in readability between a 13-line score or a 12-line score, even with lyrics.

    I had to trick it a bit to get that 13th line. I "cut" out the 4th line of my 12-line tune. (The 4th line is exactly like the 2nd, so I knew I could replace it easily.) Cutting out line four left only 11 lines, ending with what really is line 12 of my arrangement of the tune. I added the 13th line (with lyrics under it) as line 12, then went back up and copied line two and pasted it in as line four again. This gave me a 13-line tune. To my eye, it looks the same as a 12-liner—I have to count the lines to see the difference. And I even have one line dropped-down a click; the line with the 1st and 2nd Ending boxes.

    It looks fine, saves fine, and plays fine in either portrait or landscape mode, so . . . why not try it, if you need 13 lines.

    JFTHOI, I tried adding a 14th line. It let me do that, but as soon as I played it back the 14th line disappeared permanently.

    Attached is the 13-line tune I made, without the lyrics except for the title. (You can't copyright a title.)

    C'est Si Bon - Henri Betti Bb André Hornez (1947)
    Last edited by nimbleswitch; 12-01-2013 at 10:11 PM.
    Jack

  2. #2

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    That's a useful tip. The 13th system, once written, is tucked down and hidden from view on the editor page when another system is pasted above it somewhere in the chart. (but it's still in there...)

    So, "begin with the end in mind" or "life is short, eat dessert first" = start with the coda.
    )BOB

    Hence, this 104 bar template: (chord letters only for ease in counting the systems)

    z-104 - Unknown Composer
    Last edited by pdxdjazz; 11-29-2013 at 02:13 PM.

  3. #3
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    use it with a little caution, anything is likely to happen if we update the song code or internal checks iReal Pro does (although hopefully I will remember this technique as things change). I am not sure how it will work on a smaller iPhone screen (I have not checked).

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by dflat View Post
    use it with a little caution, anything is likely to happen if we update the song code or internal checks iReal Pro does (although hopefully I will remember this technique as things change). I am not sure how it will work on a smaller iPhone screen (I have not checked).
    I looked at it on my iPod Touch. With the screen in portrait mode, it does squeeze all 13 lines into the display but, of course, it's smaller and harder to read than a "normal" chart. Generally, I'm all in favor of tricking the machine when possible AND when necessary. But I agree this particular trick should be used with caution. I'm guessing it's only necessary in this case because nimbleswitch texts the lyrics between the lines. (Otherwise, instead of writing out two full [A] sections, it could just have the standard repeat with a 2nd ending.) So good luck with that - hope 13 is a Lucky Number for ya.
    There's two kinds of mistakes you can play: The ones you notice, and the ones somebody else might notice.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaleMac View Post
    I looked at it on my iPod Touch.
    Thanks for this information, which gen is it?

  6. #6

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    Within the obvious constraints of the small (single) screen format and the player feature's conventions often lies a conflict of intention. Do you want a chart that "reads" easily, all the measures the same size, all the section marks lined up on the left, 1st and 2nd endings above/below...all neat and tidy; or a chart that the player feature will play top to bottom through the complicated form of a specific arrangement not easily accommodated by the rigid player feature rules (all squeezed onto the single page).

    In some situations, having the ability to sneak in another system may allow a more complicated yet still readable chart.
    Tablet users may find more benefit than those that prefer their phone or iPod.
    )BOB
    Last edited by pdxdjazz; 11-30-2013 at 02:20 AM.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by dflat View Post
    Thanks for this information, which gen is it?
    Oops, sorry: iPod Touch 4G iOS Version 6.1.5. And I still haven't updated to iRealPro yet, so I guess this info wasn't as helpful as I had hoped.

    Quote Originally Posted by pdxdjazz View Post
    Within the obvious constraints of the small (single) screen format and the player feature's conventions often lies a conflict of intention...
    All too true. 99% of the time, I just hit the Play button, occasionally glacing at the screen to remind me how many repeats are left. Long-time users will know the distinction between charts for playing only, for personal reading only, or for sharing with others - no matter what size the screen. I always shoot for a reasonable compromise on any files I post to the Forum but, iReal being first and foremost a "practice tool", readability usually takes precedence.
    There's two kinds of mistakes you can play: The ones you notice, and the ones somebody else might notice.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaleMac View Post
    But I agree this particular trick should be used with caution. I'm guessing it's only necessary in this case because nimbleswitch texts the lyrics between the lines. (Otherwise, instead of writing out two full [A] sections, it could just have the standard repeat with a 2nd ending.)
    Well, I actually it wasn't the lyrics that bothered me—I'm used to squeezing in two lines of lyrics between each system. I had to do that in the B and C sections, and I can read it okay—as long as I keep my glasses clean. But the problem I had was with the triple repeat of the B/C sections.

    I did try this tune with an A section that has a 1st and 2nd ending, which saves a line, so I only needed 12 lines, but iReal Pro refused to play it, giving me the don't-understand-the-form-of-the-tune message. So I figured it didn't like me using a 1st and 2nd ending down below with the Signa symbol (even though they don't overlap at all with those in the A section), so I substituted a forward repeat for the Signa symbol and made a clean-looking 1st, 2nd and 3rd ending down below, starting at the B section so, again, there were no overlaps with the repeats in the A. (I also removed the C section designation, which made the lower part one long B section and eliminated all the double bar lines down there, . . . but iReal Pro would not play the B section correctly. It played the 1st ending and went back up to the beginning of the B section, then it played through to the 2nd ending and went back up—so far so good. But instead of playing the 3rd ending, it played the 1st ending again, went back up, then came down and played the 2nd ending and the 3rd ending together to finish. Don't understand why it did that.

    So, so far, the 13-line chart is the only one that works for me with this particular AABBB (or AABCBCBC) arrangement.

    I should also mention that I don't like to use the external, global repeats. Just as a matter of personal preference, I like to see the whole chart of the tune I'm playing all at once. The global repeats are fine for practice session purposes, though.
    Last edited by nimbleswitch; 11-30-2013 at 09:36 AM.
    Jack

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdxdjazz View Post
    That's a useful tip. The 13th system, once written, is tucked down and hidden from view on the editor page when another system is pasted above it somewhere in the chart. (but it's still in there...)

    So, "begin with the end in mind" or "life is short, eat dessert first" = start with the coda.
    )BOB

    Hence, this 104 bar template: (chord letters only for ease in counting the systems)

    z-104 - Unknown Composer
    Ha! That's about right! But you can always cut a couple of lines out of the middle and put them back in after you do your work at the bottom.

    Nice super-long template file there! If you're interested in files of truly questionable value, try this Drum file I built.

    Drums (Jazz Brushes) - •
    Last edited by nimbleswitch; 12-01-2013 at 10:05 PM.
    Jack

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