Instrument Configuration

In SongKit, an instrument defines the playground onto which many computations are based. By default, the app ships with two base instruments: a piano and a guitar with standard tuning, but you can define as many instruments as you like. Reverse search, voicing search, and diagrams will adapt to these instruments.

The app currently supports:

  • Piano
  • Guitar
  • Bass
  • Ukulele
  • Banjo
  • Mandolin
  • Bouzouki
  • Cavaquinho
  • Charango
  • Balalaika

For guitar-like instruments, you can specify any tuning you want. You can optionally also add a capo.

The app ships with hundred of configurations for basses, ukulele, banjos, etc., These configurations can be used as a base to define your custom instruments.

Editing a custom guitar configuration

How to create a new instrument configuration?

To create a custom instrument configuration, go to Settings/Music/Default¬†Instrument¬†. You can then manage your custom instruments, or create new ones. You can also duplicate an existing instrument by long-pressing it and selecting “Duplicate” on the menu that appears. This is especially useful to add a capo to an existing instrument.

You can create a new instrument based on the current selection by tapping the plus button at the top right of the screen.

For both kinds of instruments, you should give a name, and optionally a description.

Custom piano configuration

Piano configurations are really simple: you only need to specify the lowest and the highest pitch of the keyboard. You also name the instrument and can optionally add a description. More options may be available in future versions of the app.

Custom guitar-like configuration

You can directly seed a guitar-like configuration by scrolling toward the bottom of the screen and tapping the “Prefill from template” button. Any template you select here will be used to fill the “Name” and “Kind” fields, as well as the tuning of each string and their count. You can then change all these values if needed. You can select any of the other guitar-like instruments by tapping the “Kind” field.

You can adjust each string pitch by tapping it. To add or delete a string, slide-it to the left and tap the relevant button.

You can also add a straight capo with the selector at the bottom of the screen.

Remarks

Banjos with 5 strings automatically have their top string starting from the 5th fret and considered a drone. If the setting “Let instrument decide” is active in the generator parameters, any instrument that is not a guitar or bass allows chord voicings to have any note of the chord as a bass went no explicit bass is requested. Guitar and Basses will force the bass to be the root of the chord if the “Let instrument decide” setting is active.