Explore Chords, Melody Lines, Bass Lines on an iPad

What Can I Do With It?

Full size iPad or iPad Pro recommended

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Copyright 2016, 2018 Stephen Mugglin



What Do I Need to Get Started?

1 - An iPad   (The 9.7 inch screen size is recommended, or iPad Pro – running iOS 8 or later.)

2 - An app that plays sounds   (ThumbJam is a good choice. Also bs-16i, Nave, Cubasis, SampleTank... there are many others.

3 - ChordMaps2   (This app allows you to play chord progressions, melodies, and bass lines by tapping the screen with one or two fingers.)

1 - ChordMaps2 is a midi controller. It sends midi signals to other synthesizer apps on your iPad. The synthesizer apps then create the sound.

2 - ChordMaps2 allows you to explore chord progressions, melody lines, and bass lines all on one screen, most of the time using just one or two fingers.

Tutorial Video (22 min. - by TheSoundTestRoom)

How ChordMaps2 Works

ChordMaps2 works by being paired with one of your other music apps. In other words, it acts as a front end, or playing surface, for another app.

ChordMaps2 does not create the sound -- the other app creates the sound. ChordMaps2 sends midi signals to the other app, telling it which notes to play.

You can use ChordMaps2 as a go-anywhere musical sketch pad for exploring musical ideas. You can explore common chord progressions like I-IV-V-I, or I-V-vi-IV, or I-vi-IV-V, as well as more complicated progressions that include secondary chords, and you can transpose these progressions into any key.

Here are a few more audio examples.

If you are wondering about the cost...

Sometimes it's helpful to know how much a project will cost in advance.

If you have an iPad (running iOS 8.0 or later), getting started with one sound-generating app, plus ChordMaps2, costs about 20 dollars USD.

Here's the breakdown. The app we recommend for playing sounds, ThumbJam, was 8.99 USD at the time this page was made. ChordMaps2 is 9.99 USD. This adds up to 18.98 USD.

Some sound-generating apps (like SampleTank) have free versions, which would allow you to purchase only the ChordMaps2 app for 9.99 USD.

If you already have a sound-generating app (like ThumbJam, SampleTank, iM1, Nave, bs-16i...), you can add ChordMaps2 for 9.99 USD.

An example of a simple fingerstyle guitar progression,

using I-IV-V chords, played on ChordMaps2 (with 2 fingers).

The sound is ThumbJam's "Classical Guitar."

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An example of an improvised progression using power chords

(root and fifth) played on ChordMaps2 (with 2 fingers).

The sound is ThumbJam's "Electric Guitar."

An example of a pad sound using a slowly-evolving progression

played on ChordMaps2 (with just 1 finger).

The sound is Nave playing "Cold night."

An example of a brass line with notes played as octaves

followed by chord hits at the ends of the phrases,

played on ChordMaps2 (with just 1 finger).

The sound is ThumbJam's "Trombone."

An example of a brass progression with secondary dominants

played on ChordMaps2 (with just 1 finger).

The sound is ThumbJam's "Trombone."

Demonstration Video (6 min. - music begins at .16)