Sound Thinking — Scenes

Chords and scales for guitar...
and any other stringed instrument


Sound Thinking Chord Finder and Scenes


This page introduces the concept "scenes" in Sound Thinking—a free online chord and scale finder for stringed instruments.

You'll find a long list of scenes located in the right hand column of this page; it provides an opportunity to instantly try out example scenes. This article also explains how to save, recall and share scenes that you create. Before delving "scenes" let's look a general description of Sound Thinking which covers how to launch it, and how to use it online, for free.

About Sound Thinking

Sound Thinking is a virtual chord and scale encyclopedia, a free online chord finder and scale wizard, available only at Theoretically Correct.

Sound Thinking simplifies difficult concepts with a interactive, visual presentation of music theory. Use it to explore chords, arpeggios, scales, modes (and the effect of capos and partial capos). It works for any stringed instrument, any tuning!

Launching Sound Thinking

There are a number of ways to launch Sound Thinking.

When launched directly Sound Thinking opens displaying:

Alternately you can launch Sound Thinking to a predefined state by clicking on a Scene Link, or by pasting a scene link into your browser's address bar. And that's where the fireworks begin. "Scenes" provide a way of sharing your explorations and insights with colleagues, students and friends. Create you own links, or use links that other have made.

No matter how you launch Sound Thinking exploration of any chord, scale and instrument requires just a few clicks.

Launching Sound Thinking to a Scene

When launched to a "scene" Sound Thinking shows a predefined setup, for instance: a specific instrument, displaying a specific chord or scale, perhaps with a particular chord voicing or scale fingering highlighted. A scene may show multiple instruments, or multiple views of the same instrument.

Once you've opened Sound Thinking to a scene, you're free to alter it as you wish. And you can save the changes to a new scene so you can return to it or share it with others. You can save any Sound Thinking configuration to a scene.

Scenes can be quite simple or relatively complex. A simple scene usually contains a single instrument displaying a chord map or scale map. Presently preference settings in the Preference window are not included in a scene. Complex scenes are described below.

Example Scenes

This page contains lots of example scene links. Each launches Sound Thinking to a predefined state. Anyone can capture and save a scene, and share it with others.

A simple guitar scene

Here's a simple guitar chord scene: Guitar chords in standard tuning (EADGBE). Upon opening the scene shows a guitar in standard tuning displaying an E chord overview map. You can explore from there by selecting a different root, chord type, or scale. Form there

In other words, a scene link allows you to recreate a specific scene without having to tedious reconfigure it from scratch. But a scene is just a starting point. You are free to alter it in any way, and if you want, save a new scene.

NOTE: If scroll bars inside an instrument window just resize the window; they'll disappear when the window is large enough. This little bug will be fixed soon.

A simple mandolin scene

Here's a simple scene for viewing scales on mandolin; it initially shows an A major scale displayed horizontally: Scales on Mandolin. By picking a different root you can view a scale overview for any other major scale. And you can pick another scale by selecting it from the Scale tab in the Chord/Scale picker.

Complex Scenes

A complex scene might include multiple instrument windows. Each instrument exists in its own window, and each instrument possesses a number of properties visible and editable in the Inspector window.

Each Instrument window has:

And instrument window may:

The scene stores all these properties, and it also stores the window size and positioning information. In other words, the scene remembers where you located your instruments and other windows such as the Inspector window.

Comparison Scenes

A "comparison" scene usually presents two or three instruments situated side by side, or one above the other. The purpose may be to contrast the differences or similarities between tunings. For instance, you can show chords and scales side by side, or illustrate the effect of a capo or partial capo.

Manually constructing a comparison scene can easily take a few minutes. Scene links like those found on this page save you effort trouble.

You can always create a scene from scratch within Sound Thinking, and the steps required are relatively simple, but it's simpler to use a predefined scene when one is available. Once you've created one you'll want to return to, be sure to save it.

Saving Scenes

You can save any exploration or configuration your create in Sound Thinking as a scene. Once in Sound Thinking you can use or alter any existing scene ... you can clear any or all existing instruments from an existing scene, or and create a scene from scratch.

To save a scene just click the "Get Link" button. This tells Sound Thinking to put a URL on the clipboard. You can paste the URL into an email, you can paste it into a browser's address field (and bookmark it for future reference), or place the URL in an online article on your web page, just like the links on this page.

Saving a scene is particularly handy if you've created a complex "comparison" scene that you know you'd like to return, or that you'd like someone else to view on their computer.


Coming soon

Presently there are only a small number of scene links on this page. They're interesting, useful, and should stir your imagination. They will definitely save you setup time.

A more extensive scene library is on the drawing board. The following list is under construction. Soon it will include links for popular guitar tunings like:


And there will be links for all these instruments:

Balalaika, Bandola, 5-string Banjo,Tenor banjo, Plectrum Banjo, Bouzouki, Charango, Cello, Chapman Stick, Cittern, Cuatro, Cumbus, Dobro, Domra, Dulcimer, Erhu, Fiddle, Guitar, Guitara, Guitaron, Harrana, Lute, Mandocello, Mandola, Mandolin, Octave Mandolin, Oud, Pedal Steel Guitar, Pipa, Requinto, Vihuela, Viola, Violin


Try out some of the scene links already available here
on this page, in the column on the right,
and enjoy Sound Thinking!

A single click may reveal or clarify music information or relationships that you may be new to you.



GDAD: a common Irish bouzouki tuning, and an extention to the DAD tuning Alec Finn uses.