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Unread 02-08-2012, 11:42 PM   #1
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Making your own chord charts

Hey all,

I'm wondering if anyone has a good program for making chord charts to songs for live playing. Now I usually copy and paste the chords and lyrics from UG.com and open them in notepad or MS word however, word almost always screws up the formatting to where I usually type it out myself and notepad has no way of trying to keep it all on one page or the like. I always have that one song that prints everything but one line on the same page and the font always seems pretty small. So, If anyone has any ideas or suggestions let me know because it is pretty frustrating some times. Usually the CCLI ones are good but they don't always have the exact version I want and alot of stuff we do our own renditions of and it would be nice to finally get those onto print so we can teach newcomers easier.

Thanks,

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Unread 02-08-2012, 11:58 PM   #2
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I tend to copy/paste from different chord sites online, then just adjust the font, size, and format on my own. It takes a few minutes per song, but it's not that big of a deal if you do it over time and save your work to a worship folder for ease of use later on .
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Unread 02-09-2012, 07:26 AM   #3
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For whatever I can't get from CCLI or elsewhere (Song Discovery, etc...), I'll create on my own using Word and a style that's sort of known as chord charts 2.0, using keyboard symbols as staff markers.
For example:
||: | | :||
Three measures w/ repeat.
| G | C | D |2 D |4 G |
Five measures w/ a measure of 2/4.
| | [D] [D] | |
Three measures, the G is played and held for 4 beats while the D is held and released twice.
| G | C | D | D |
Four measures, first two are soft (non-bold) or played by limited instrumentation and next two are loud (bold) or played with all instruments in.
Granted, the spacing is a little squished in the above examples, so imagine them spread out over vocal lines.

AFAIK, there's no program that does this, but it doesn't take long to type it out if you have the lyrics in Word and the charts are much more useful than simple guitar-over-word charts.
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Unread 02-09-2012, 09:20 PM   #4
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I usually just type up my own. I hate how CCLI splits them on multiple pages, and I don't like their formatting. I just use Word, for maximum formatting power, I'm pretty OCD about how my sheets look
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Unread 02-09-2012, 09:28 PM   #5
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Yeah, I'm also not fond of how ccli sets it up so that's where this kind of all got started.

@gtrdave... I'd be interested in learning more of that chord chart 2.0 stuff. Do you know of anything that explains it in further detail? I'm gonna google it but I thought I'd ask.

I appreciate you help. I'm not against doing it in word but trying to do the chords over the word style in MS gets really funky with their formatting stuff. The 2.0 thing however would be fairly easy to type up and then I can just have my lyrics and roadmap all on the same page.
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Unread 02-09-2012, 10:36 PM   #6
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In terms of formatting getting screwed up, have you tried changing the font to a monospace font such as Courier New?

In terms of space saving, I have a setup something to the effect of:
Code:
Verse
lyrics lyrics lyrics                 G . . . | Em . . .
lyrics lyrics lyrics                 D . . . | . . . .

Chorus
lyrics lyrics lyrics                 G . . . | . . . . | . . . . | . . . . |
lyrics lyrics lyrics                 C . . . | . . . . | D . . . | . . . . |
I just do that in a table in OpenOffice (or Word if you'd rather), and for multiple verses I either write them out, or split the cells and put them next to it.

I find very few songs where spacing has been an issue (in terms of it still runs off the page). The only one that comes to mind is 'Rise' by Hillsong (it has five verses).
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Unread 02-10-2012, 11:29 AM   #7
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The more I read and think about this the more I am realizing that it really is user error. I'm just not that savvy with MS word or really any of the office products. I'm just going to have to spend more time with it and work my way through it all.

Thanks guys for all the suggestions. I appreciate all the help.
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Unread 02-10-2012, 11:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DropKick74 View Post
Yeah, I'm also not fond of how ccli sets it up so that's where this kind of all got started.

@gtrdave... I'd be interested in learning more of that chord chart 2.0 stuff. Do you know of anything that explains it in further detail? I'm gonna google it but I thought I'd ask.

I appreciate you help. I'm not against doing it in word but trying to do the chords over the word style in MS gets really funky with their formatting stuff. The 2.0 thing however would be fairly easy to type up and then I can just have my lyrics and roadmap all on the same page.
I learned about it at a worship leader conference a couple years ago.
Attached is the doc w/ all of the symbols that I use to create my charts.
I hope that it's helpful.
Attached Files
File Type: doc Chord Charts 2.doc (21.5 KB, 689 views)
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Unread 02-10-2012, 12:31 PM   #9
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Unread 02-11-2012, 12:41 PM   #10
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For chord charts, I right click / copy the chord chart, then use MS Word and paste them into the song sheet.
You can find the chords Here: printable guitar chord chart - chordie
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Unread 02-11-2012, 03:55 PM   #11
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I have a MS Word Chord Construction Page. But I don't know of any free file sharing sites that aren't a pain in the butt. Anyone use one?
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Unread 03-13-2012, 07:31 PM   #12
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Greetings DP74,

Sorry to resurrect this thread, but it's only on the 2nd page, so it can't be too bad.

On a Windows PC, I use Songsheet Generator — good editing and printing capabilities — and a fullscreen projector mode.

On an Android Phone/Tablet, I use [shhh] it's a secret.

Regards,
David
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Unread 03-14-2012, 07:42 AM   #13
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For odd chord shapes that we might use for arpeggios or middle register stuff I go here, make the chord shape, take a screen shot of it, and paste it in the word file for the chord chart. The result looks like the attachment.

This is helpful for guitarist who have trouble memorizing these shapes.
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File Type: pdf desertsong.pdf (26.9 KB, 306 views)
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Unread 03-14-2012, 11:48 AM   #14
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I'm doing that right now. I print the lyrics and then use this thing called a pencil to put the chords exactly where I want them. I learned that trick from an old blue grass player. Some times my chord sheets look like the Wreck of the '97 so that's kind of appropriate.

You can forget your picks, your tuner, even your cables, to one of my practices but if you don't have a pencil you're doomed.
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Unread 03-14-2012, 12:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepnstein View Post
I'm doing that right now. I print the lyrics and then use this thing called a pencil to put the chords exactly where I want them. I learned that trick from an old blue grass player. Some times my chord sheets look like the Wreck of the '97 so that's kind of appropriate.

You can forget your picks, your tuner, even your cables, to one of my practices but if you don't have a pencil you're doomed.
And then with a scanner or copier you're just as digitized and backed-up as those who keep files electronically.

Nice.
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