Scale and Chord Tone Fretboard Printer
Print scales, chord tones, and harmonic notes for any stringed instrument in any tuning.
Notes on Version 2.0 Beta of the Fretboard Printer
Fixes and Improvements
- Now scale tones can be overlapped with chord tones. And, harmonics can be added on top of that.
- Scale degrees can be used rather than note names.
- You no longer need to adjust your print settings for landscape or portrait. It automatically adjusts to print exactly what's on the page.
- Improved, more intuitive interface. I had a lot of people confused in 1.0.
- You can show all notes or all harmonics in either sharps or flats. Toggle by clicking the 'show all' button again.
Description of the Scale and Chord Tone Fretboard Printer
The Scale and Chord Tone Fretboard Printer is a free fretboard generator for any stringed instrument. I designed it for my bass students and for you to use.
This free scale and chord generator allows you to view and print out the fretboard notes or fingerboard charts to most any scale, chord, or arpeggio on any stringed instrument in any tuning. The default tuning displays a bass fretboard, but don't be fooled. It supports all stringed instruments like guitar, bass guitar, violin, cello, mandolin for any number of strings in any standard tuning, dropped tuning or alternate tuning you can think of. It's a very powerful fretboard diagramming application...
Some things you can do with the scale and chord tone diagram printer:
- Generate guitar scales or bass scales on the fretboard.
- View and print scales for drop-D tuning on a guitar or bass fretboard.
- Display the notes to guitar chords on the fret board.
- Find your own guitar chord voicings by assembling the arpeggio notes of chords in various ways.
- Print out all the guitar notes on the guitar fretboard or bass notes on the bass fretboard.
- Create printable blank fretboard diagrams for any number of strings in any shape or size.
- Create and print scales for violin, cello, double bass and other fretless string instruments.
- Show the notes of natural harmonics on the guitar, bass guitar or any other stringed instrument.
- Generate diagrams for almost all scales and chords from the vast scale and chord dictionary.
- Make left-handed guitar fretboard diagrams.
I tried to make the scale diagrams and chord diagrams as simple and neat as possible. Most musicians can't afford those color ink cartridges so all diagrams are in printer-friendly greyscale.
The way the fretboard charts are displayed can be changed in a number of ways including the number of frets, starting fret, the width and height of the fretboard, etc. It is very customizable.
Play around with the program; you should figure out how it works pretty easily. Good luck memorizing all of your scales, modes and chord tones!
If you have questions about using the program, help for the Scale and Chord Tone Fretboard Printer follows...
Using the Scale and Chord Tone Fretboard Printer
Note: you must have cookies enabled and Flash 7 or higher installed and working in your browser to use the Scale and Chord Tone Printer!
The fretboard printer is laid out with a piece of paper for printing at the top and a user interface at the bottom. Using the controls you can make just about any note diagram you want.
I'll explain each tab and what the various controls, options, and settings do.
The Instrument Tab
On this tab you can set the number of strings and tuning note for each string for your diagram. Many of the most popular and common tunings for popular instruments are already listed under the presets. You can also quickly create a custom instrument for any number of strings in any tuning.
To select from the preset tunings, first choose an instrument. A list of preset instruments from which to choose will drop down. Click an instrument to select it.
Here is a table of instruments for which you'll find presets:
|4-string bass||5-string bass||6-string bass|
|6-string guitar||7-string guitar||acoustic guitar|
|6-string lute||8-string lute||oud|
Once you've selected an instrument, if you don't want the standard tuning it loaded, click to select a new tuning. A menu of preset tunings for that instrument will drop down. Click to select a tuning.
A lot of people are using non-standard tunings. One reason I created this software was to help people properly learn scales and chords in alternate tunings. Since scale and chord books can't be printed for every possible tuning, many people end up not learning their instrument when they use these altered tunings.
You can easily create a custom instrument by simply typing in the tuning note for each string seperated by commas. For example, if you type in E,A,D,G# and click set, you will create a 4-string instrument tuned from lowest-pitched string to highest E,A,D,G#. You can use any number of valid notes (natural, single sharp, or flat) you like: A, A#, Bb, B, C, C#, Db, D, D#, Eb, E, F, F#, Gb, G, G#, and Ab.
When you click the set button a new diagram is generated with the new tuning and correct number of strings. It is also saved on your computer into your own personal list of custom tunings. To access these saved custom tunings, select custom from the instrument menu, then click to select the custom tuning saved in memory.
Save as Default Tuning
If you have a preferred tuning, you can set it as your default tuning for each time you return to the fretboard diagram generator. When you have the tuning you want, click the save button. It will be stored as your default tuning on this computer.
The Fretboard Diagram Settings Tab
Note: most of these can be adjusted with a scale or chord diagrammed on the page. But, some adjustments (like number of frets and starting fret) will overwrite the existing diagram.
Number of Frets and Starting Fret
On the diagram tab you can adjust the fretboard layout in a number of different ways.
To adjust the number of positions or frets displayed, select the number of frets you want to display from the drop-down menu.
To select the starting position or fret of the note chart, select from the drop-down list of position numbers.
Note: each time you adjust the number of frets or starting position, you will overwrite the diagram.
Save as Default Diagram Settings
When you click the save button you will save all current diagram settings found on the diagram tab as your default display. That includes the fretboard width and height, note size, whether the chart is fretless, shows scale degrees, etc. (See below.) Each time you click save it will overwrite the previous settings and apply the current ones.
Fretboard Layout Adjustments
Diagram Height - Increase or decrease the height of your fretboard diagram.
Diagram Width - Increase or decrease the width of your fretboard diagram.
Note Size - Increase or decrease the size of the notes on the fretboard.
Show All Notes - You can view all the notes on the fretboard by clicking show all. To toggle between sharps and flats, just click show all again.
Clear - You can clear all the notes from the note diagram by clicking this button.
There are several toogle switches for fretboard adjustments:
Fretless - select between a fretted or a fretless note diagram.
Left-Handed - switches between a right-handed and left-handed fretboard diagram.
Show Fret Markers - shows the fret position markers on the fretboard.
Fret Numbers - show or hide the fret numbers at the bottom of the fret map
Scale Degrees - toggle between the notes on the fretboard written as letter names (C, D, Eb, F,...) or scale degrees (R,2,b3,4,...)
Page Settings Tab
On this tab you can toggle between landscape view and portrait view. Your fret board chart will print out precisely as it is displayed. You may need to adjust the size of your diagram to fit the page.
The page orientation will aslo be saved as part of your default settings set on the diagram tab.
Scale Settings Tab
On this tab of the interface you can select scales to display on the fretboard chart. You can display one scale at a time.
Overwrite Diagram - when enabled selecting a scale diagram will overwrite the notes of any selected chord diagram under the chord settings tab. If not enabled the scale you select will be combined with the selected chord.
Select Root Note - choose a root note for the scale diagram you want to generate.
Select Scale - choose a scale or mode to show on the fret board.
Here is a list of currently available scale diagrams from which to choose:
|major scale||ionian mode|
|dorian mode||phrygian mode|
|lydian mode||mixolydian mode|
|aeolian mode||natural minor scale|
|locrian mode||major pentatonic scale|
|minor pentatonic scale||minor blues scale|
|diminished wh scale||diminished hw scale|
|wholetone scale||harmonic major scale|
|harmonic minor scale||melodic minor scale|
|chromatic scale||lydian augmented scale|
|lydian dominant scale||Hindu scale|
|locrian #2 scale (locrian natural 2)||super locrian scale|
|phrgian dominant scale||Hungarian minor scale|
|Arabic scale||more to come...|
Chord Settings Tab
On this tab you can select a chord / arpeggio diagram.
Overwrite Diagram - when enabled selecting a chord diagram will overwrite the notes of any selected scale diagram under the scale settings tab. If not enabled the chord you select will be combined with the selected scale.
Select Root Note - choose a root note for the chord diagram you want to generate.
Select Chord - choose a chord / arpeggio to display on the fretboard.
Here is a list of currently available chord diagrams from which to choose:
|major triad||minor triad|
|augmented triad||diminished triad|
|major 7th chord||dominant 7th chord|
|minor 7th chord||minor 7th (b5) chord|
|diminished 7th chord||major 6th chord|
|minor 6th chord||major 9th chord|
|dominant 9th chord||minor 9th chord|
|more to come...|
Harmonics Settings Tab
On the harmonics settings tab you can choose to display or hide the natural harmonics on the fretboard. The harmonics will overlap any chord or scale diagrams already drawn on the fretboard.
To toggle the harmonics view between sharps and flats, click show all again.
On the print tab you can print out your fretboard diagram.
Click the print button and your page will go to your printer exactly as it is shown on the page. If you've used version 1.0 make note that the program now adjusts automatically to your printer settings. Don't adjust your printer settings for landscape.
Fretboard Printer FAQ
Is the fretboard note printer available in an offline format? Can I download it?
No. The fretboard printer is for online use only at studybass.com. It won't work offline.
Can I put the fretboard diagram printer on my website?
No. Why not just post a link pointing to this tool? The internet doesn't need duplicate content. Plus, I did all the work! :)
When will you add more scales and chords?
I'll add them as I have time. I bet if you really know the scales and chords already posted, you probably don't need any other scale and chord diagrams. :)
Eventually I will add some more unusual scales and chords.
Fretboard Diagram Printer Summary
I hope you enjoy the Fretboard Diagram Printer and find it useful! You can learn a lot from studying the note charts of the scales and chords. Most of all, don't forget these are patterns of sound, not "finger patterns". Always listen to what you are playing. Music isn't about how many geometric shapes your fingers can zip through at 200 bpm. Find music on the fretboard!
You might check out my bass lessons and music theory lessons (even if you're not a bass player!). I'm adding more lessons all the time.