Create A Quick Chord Chart In Logic Pro

Creating chord charts needn't be a long, drawn-out, laborious process. In this quick tutorial we'll explore how to make a chord chart quickly leaving you more time to create your music in Logic Pro.  

Logic Pro has some pretty advanced scoring tools. In this quick tip I’ll run you through how to make a quick and dirty chord chart for a song. 


Step 1

There are two ways you can do this first step. You can either take an existing MIDI part from your song that outlines the basic chord structure (like a pad) or create a new part. Whichever method you choose the MIDI should be dead simple.

All you want are the basic chord voicings, no frilly bits! Below you can see some basic chords that I’ve played in. I’ve also quantized them too the grid. When using this technique, simple is best.


Step 2

Once you have a simple MIDI part Control-click on Global Tracks. Make sure that ‘Chord’ is ticked.


Step 3

With your MIDI part selected open up the Chord lane and press 'Analyze'. Logic will work out and show the names of the chords in the Chord lane. This is why you should keep the part as simple as possible, otherwise this Analysis will become a bit of a mess!


Step 4

With your part still selected open up the Score Editor and enable ‘Page’ view (the blue button). In the part parameters box change the format to Lead Sheet. This is the common format for charts which normally has vocal melody and chords (like a Real Book).


Step 5

Now in the local menu, choose Functions > Insert Chords From Global Chord Track


Step 6

Your chords will now magically appear on the chart.


Step 7

At this point you’ll now need to clean things up. We don’t need the notes from the chords on the stave so go in and delete them from the MIDI part. You’ll end up with a nice clean chord chart.


Step 8

Now we just need to add a title. Let’s format the page a bit. Open the global Score settings. You can do this two ways. Settings > Score > Global (tab) or from the Score window choose Layout > Global Settings.

I’m going to add some top margin to the page so I can insert a title:


Step 9

Then in the score window I’ll open Text > Text Styles and double click the ‘Plain Text’ example and increase the font size and weight.


Step 10

In the Part Box select the Text icon (the big A) and drag the text label to the header.


Step 11

Give the song a name.


All that’s left to do is print out your masterpiece.

You can make make charts as simple (like this one) or as complex as you like. I do this all the time for quick chord charts for gigs, etc... and it’s great as it literally take a couple of minutes to do in Logic Pro.


For the past 20 years Toby has worked as a professional guitarist, programmer and producer. Clients include Sir Paul McCartney, George Michael, Shirley Bassey, Yusuf Islam, Giles Martin as well as the London 2012 Olympic Ceremonies. He has also worked extensively in TV, Advertising and Film. As well as composing himself he has also ... Read More

Discussion

jadoo
This is great... except step 7. When the notes are removed, so are the chords. What am I doing wrong?

Thanks in advance.
tobypitman
Hey Jadoo,

Open the part in the piano roll and select all the notes in there with Command+A and then delete.

The reason the chords are disappearing is your probably deleting the Meta events that hold the chord names as well.

Hope that works out for you.

Cheers

Tob
jadoo
That works like a charm. Wow. By the way, thank you for the lightning fast response!!! What was that, like an hour??!

Up til two nights ago, I didn't even know that Logic was displaying chord names. I've been wracking my brain trying to name a bunch of jazz chords, and suddenly, everything is better. Now, with this, it's just a great day.

Thank you. My next experiment is to see if I can play in a couple of important phrases without screwing up the chords, so I'm back to the lab.

Macprovideo is one hell of a bargain. So is Logic.
Erik Huber
Toby, this was awesomely helpful for me this morning. Thanks for a great article & site!
sam wise
Hi!
you where very helpful with this discussion you wrote about creating chords...
but how can i make Logic should catch up also all the rhythmic notation that i made??
marcustwinsmn
hey! i am using logix pro x. i cannot find the feature to add "chord". It has all the other options such as tempo, marker, etc...but I can't find the "chord" option. Please let me know if you can help. thanks!
tobypitman
Unfortunately the Chord track was removed in Logic Pro X so you have to do it manually in the Score editor using the Chord tool. Just drag it to the position you want and enter the text for the chord. Repeat 20-50 times! :)

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