Qactus

QactusCore-method

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STAGE-3

d. Do the arranged chord forms on QactusCore sound pleasing musically?

Actually, there are some discordance in QactusCore.
For example :

【QactusCore-Method】B7

This chord diagram「B7」is already open in QactusCore.
As you can hear, it makes it seem like there is a clash of sounds (kind of like a discordance).
Why is such a discordance permitted on QactusCore?

Since it’s a good opportunity, let’s try to find particular notes to harmonize with「B7」.  

This case is a good example of a rare situation.

We are going to review with you how to find notes to harmonize with some chords at the same time.

First, divide「B7」into the three rooms: Yellow, Red,  and Gray properly...

【QactusCore-Method】B7コード構成音

As you can see in the picture, 「B」has settled in the Yellow Room. The Red Room should be vacant. Let’s find notes of the chord「B」 based on this chart.

【QactusCore-Method】B7コード解読表

Notes that can harmonize with「B」 are 「B」「D#」「F#」.

You've done it!  Let’s move on to The Gray Room, it is used the same way as the Yellow Room and the Red Room.

【QactusCore-Method】B7グレーの部屋

We found that these notes which harmonize with「B7」are 「B」「D#」「F#」[A]..
It’s exactly「B7」without anything compromised.

Review the fingerboard chart again.

【QactusCore-Method】セッティング音程比較

Let’s pick all the positions which can harmonize with「B7」. It means these notes: [B]「D#」「F#」 and「A」on the fingerboard.

【QactusCore-Method】セッティング音程比較1

Go back to「2ndStage, 2」in your mind before heading on.
Review what we have learned so far,  as it is very important.

  1. Try to find the notes of the chords in these open strings carefully. Once you've found it, leave the string open. (The more open strings, the easier it is to play)
  2. You need to press down on all strings except for the open strings which you have to leave open. Try to choose frets near Qactus.

Anyone can find chord diagrams on the fingerboard as long as you follow the directions. At first, find open strings which can harmonize with the chord「B7」(following the direction in "1").

【QactusCore-Method】B7セッティング音程比較2

We can find the note「A」on 2nd and 5th open strings, so  don’t press those two open strings down.


Next, we still have four strings left. Let’s choose frets near Qactus and press them down following the instructions in「"2"」

【QactusCore-Method】B7セッティング音程比較3

It may be a bit hard for people without any previous experience on any musical instrument to hold down all the necessary strings to make this chord, [B7]. These notes, [F#],[ A], [F#] and [ D#] meet the requirements in the Yellow Room and Gray Room.


It will be fine if it’s only this chord in a song.  We still have more. Hang in there!
We have to try to decrease a beginner’s worry as much as possible because they should focus on their strumming rather than pressing strings down. Strumming is so important for the goal of  playing music!

Can you find another option to lessen their (beginners) struggle?

Challenge: There’s another answer to help beginners with the picture shown on this page.


We have some tips.
Did you notice that Qactus has a function which can mute the 6th open string?

【QactusCore-Method】B7セッティング音程比較4

Yes, it’s the 6th open string.

We are allowed to leave the 6th open string like 2nd and 5th strings because of Qactus' function (which will mute the note of 6th open string).

We are supposed to mute the 6th string by ourselves but fortunately we have QactusCore which can do this function for us.
This action is called muting, most beginners find the muting technique burdensome.


Anyway, the beginners' struggle has lessened because they now only have to press three strings down instead of four.

It looks much easier to do now than before (even if the difference is only a finger).

【QactusCore-Method】B7セッティング音程比較3

However,  it’s still three fingers.
Unfortunately, beginners give up even if it’s only three fingers.

What can we do to assist beginner’s learning even more?

We are going to try to help them out no matter what.
Let’s try to leave the 1st string open.

【QactusCore-Method】B7セッティング音程比較5

This note is「D」but these notes of「B7」don’t have「D」.

Just try to make sounds with this diagram.
Make sure you press strings(only 3rd and 4th)down properly with your two fingers following the finger numbers.

【QactusCore-Method】B7セッティング音程比較6

What does it sound like?
It’s messed up, isn’t it?
That’s exactly a kind of discordance (clash of sounds).


No wonder!  It's because it has a note which doesn’t harmonize with 「B7」. [D] does not harmonize with [B7].

There are these kinds of chord diagrams in QactusCore.

Of course this is an extreme example and would not normally be an example found for QactusCore users. However, sometimes if it’s not an extreme choice, it will be ok .

We will have great discordance in harmony and a horrible clash in sound.
In this case, it’s not ok because no one feels good hearing this.

Beginners will make this type of chord formation because they do not know better, however experts know better from years of playing. Don’t worry, you will learn these things too with time and practice.

【QactusCore-Method】

Ok. Let's see.

Beginners put their index finger(=1) and middle finger(=2) in the proper positions, press those strings down, and then strum all strings.

If a beginner has some skills, it’s expected that the 1st string won’t make any sound.
Sometimes, there are some beginners who can sound the 1st string properly even if it’s their first time playing the guitar.

【QactusCore-Method】B7セッティング音程比較7

In many cases, the beginner might get lucky and the base of the index finger will touch the 1st string, muting the note. We call this beginner’s luck. This  way of playing [B7] is supposed to be rejected but it’s accepted because of beginner’s luck.
Many beginners can make it happen but when experts try the same chord form, they fail to mute the note on the 1st string.


Let’s play with this chord’s sound. Why don’t you try to press the 1st string on the 2nd fret if you’d like. And listen to how it sounds.

QactusCore has a message column for beginners so we can give suggestions.

You may think that this way won’t suit beginners who have already gotten used to practicing the guitar a little bit.

By the way, just in case we need to know that this chord form for「B7」is in a state of lacking some notes. It means 「B」and「F#」are missing so it has only「A」and「D#」because we tried to cut some notes.

The harmony will be less or different if these notes of chord are lacking.
We should try to use those four notes if it’s possible because our goal is to make music.

Most Qactus users are still on their first step (many just can’t seem to pass the first step) even if it’s not so hard to play.
As you already know, many beginners give up and a lot of guitars are left somewhere because of that.

Their first step should be to practice as much as possible even if the harmony is not perfect rather than quitting. If they feel like playing music (not just being technical), they will be able to practice much longer and their finger’s movement will improve.  Soon there will come the time to remove Qactus from their guitars and then they will be able to continue to enjoy practicing the guitar without any assisting tool.

Actually, some problems like the horrible harmony of「B7」 is one of Qactus' characteristics.

If beginners feel some stress with the horrible harmony it’s actually not a bad thing.
Focussing on the sound they make while playing guitar is not so easy for them.
Unfortunately, we have so many cases where players don't even notice they are playing the wrong tone when they make mistakes.With time and much practice they will improve.

Some players strum and make horrible harmonies but they say things like, "I’m doing this properly based on the directions." or "Uh? Is something wrong?" and so on.
In the long run, they will begin to focus on their tone (with their ears) and then say things like "How is this harmony?" or  "Ah! It’s not so cool." or  "Ok, anyway, how about this one?"  Sometimes,  they may need to check any tone frequently because Qactus will make risky tones based on QactusCore.
Qactus can foster their listening skills.

To feel stress or frustration caused by some bad tones is an evidence that you are in a state of  improving in your playing of music.
On a final note, we are going to learn the way of changing that stress into an energy for improvement.


Let’s look at this picture again.
Make the sound「B7」following the picture like before with beginner’s luck.

【QactusCore-Method】B7セッティング音程比較7

As we have learned, it must be able to make a harmony as「B7」if you mute the 1st string properly because all these notes harmonize with「B7」.


Does it sounds like「B7」?

You must have noticed that it doesn’t sound like「B7」even though these notes can harmonize「B7」.


This horrible chord can harmonize with the original music track completely because other instruments can support the harmony as an ensemble.

This kind of extreme arrangement will be fine with an ensemble but it may sound weird if you play it alone.

In this case, knowledge of music theory will help you a lot. If possible, you should check out musical theory books to learn more.


If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of studying musical theory you don't have to, especially if you think this will make you give up on music.

We have some tips to go over with you.

【QactusCore-Method】コード解読表

As we already know, this is the Yellow Room.
Check out what the red arrow shows in this chart.


In the case of playing music with only a guitar, the most important notes among those notes of chords are in this line on the chart.

Chord tone will be unclear if the chord doesn't have the most important note.


The most important note of [B7] is [B] based on this chart. But is there 「B」 in the chord form?

【QactusCore-Method】B7セッティング音程比較5

Right, it doesn’t have any.
That’s why you felt weird even though you hit the notes that can harmonize with the chord.

Then, try to find 「B」again.

【QactusCore-Method】B7セッティング音程比較1

The most important note is here.
It’s going to sound exactly like「B7」this time.

Make sure you carefully judge using your ears.

【QactusCore-Method】B7

Finally, it must absolutely sound like「B7」 if the 1st string is muted well.


Stage-3『c. Does the song change key often or just sometimes?』
A message from the author

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