Harmony is a difficult and complex part of music theory with chord spelling and construction at its very basis. What is a chord? Is it C - E - G# or C - E - Ab? You like the sound of those four notes on your guitar, but is it a chord? And if so, what is it called? These are typical issues facing the creative musician when trying to bring a new song to paper. Music theory is often complex and correctly spelling a chord that may have sharps and flats, double flats or double sharps is not always easy. This is where the traditional chord books and apps become useless and ChordLab steps in.

ChordLab differs in its top to bottom approach that begins with a basic chord form which can then be put through permutations like inversions and different voicings. It features all the standard voicings commonly used in Jazz, Rock, Pop, and elsewhere. In that sense it serves as a color palette or sounding board that automatically generates valid fingerings for the piano and guitar in addition to the correct music notation. The result is a much deeper and better understanding of the underlying principles of harmony.

The chord finder feature in ChordLab allows you to input 3 or 4 notes to determine their harmonic quality. ChordLab will always find the enharmonically simplest solution and does not require you do know whether a note is called G# or an Ab. C-Gb-Bb-D for example will resolve to a D aug7 chord with a correct spelling of C-F#-A#-D. This is especially useful for guitarists that seldomly encounter chords in root position due to the tuning of the instrument.

Another essential tool found in ChordLab is the Circle of Fifths which is implemented interactively. It not only allows to look up key signatures for major and minor, but all major modes like dorian, phrygian, etc. Additionally ChordLab displays degree structures for a key in standard Roman numerals. This is extremely useful when putting together chord progressions.

ChordLab addresses the needs of a somewhat advanced audience with a sharp focus on elementary areas like chord spelling, voice leading, four-part reduction and similar topics that are so essential to many modern music styles. By simultaneously addressing both main harmony instruments in modern music it also becomes an invaluable tool to the composer/arranger of today that needs to evaluate the playability of certain voicings. In short, ChordLab goes far beyond the generic chord app that only aims to show a diagram or two. While providing valuable fingering information - albeit in a context firmly based in theory - with its included interactive circle of fifths, chord finder, rating system, history, tunings adaptation and so many other features, ChordLab is the one harmony tool one finds oneself coming back to again and again.

• supports all common chords
• chord finder finds correct chord descriptions for triads and seventh chords
• music notation and textual representation of chord tones
• American or European chord notation
• fingering display for piano and guitar
• alternate fingerings for guitar where available
• adjustable tuning for guitar instrument
• alto, bass, tenor, treble clefs, TAB and grand staff
• all possible inversions
• all standard voicings
• automatic reduction to 3 or 4 voices
• automatic root and fifth substitution
• key signatures for all major modes (circle of fifths)
• degree structure in Roman numerals for all major modes (circle of fifths)
• high quality guitar and piano samples
• arpeggiated playback
• support for left-handed players
• ready for Retina®

App Support: We cannot respond to comments and feedback on the App Store. If you face any issues with ChordLab, please email them to We assure you it will be taken care of immediately.

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What's New

Version 3.2.6

Version 3.2.6 fixes some potential alignment issues on macOS 10.13.

Ratings and Reviews

What is that I want in a Chord Finder App?


This app looks promising when you read the description of what it can do.
What am I looking for?
a) An app where I can input my fingering directly on the fretboard, look up the chord by note or by position (1,3,5). Hear it, copy, export, paste and print. None ofthese capabilities are present on this version. If you’re just looking to practice and find chords you porbably already know this is your app.
It felt short of my expectations.

Extremely Rudimentary

Jurgen B

Agree with another reviewer. Promising by the description, but once installed is lacking in so many areas it is utterly useless for anyone needing to go beyond the basics in theory. This app may be for an absolute beginner in music theory, but if you are hoping for more, pass it up and look elsewhere.

A digital chord book, not a tool

munchero ryan

I was under the impression from the screenshots and verbose feature list that this application would allow you to construct chord progressions--that is, a sequence of chords that you could cycle through. However, the musical staff you see only contains a single set of notes across multiple inversions. Most of the screen hardware seems to be dedicated the displaying these different inversions and their fingerings for guitar or piano.

My main complaint is that you can only really work with one chord at a time. Sure, you can change the root or the chord type, but if you wanted to hear how several chords played in sequence sound, you are out of luck. Each chord must basically be dialed in manually. I was hoping for something that could construct even the most basic of chord progressions.

Other negatives:

-Extensive use of drop-down menus, yet no interactivity with the musical staff
-The history feature only stores the notes of the chord and not even the inversions. It is also unclear what one must do to commit a chord to the history window, which it turns out only stores 16 recent chords.
-The chord finder is cumbersome, helpful if you know the notes of a chord and want to know the name of it, but does not inspire chord discovery as I hoped it would
-Circle of fifths is not very interactive-- clicking on other chords relative to your current chord only changes the root note of the chord. So say you have C minor selected and you see F Major is your IV chord. When you move the wheel to F, it selects F minor instead of F major, since all it does is shift the root note. There is definitely a lot of wasted potential here.

I realize now that this application is really just a chord lookup app, but I was mislead by the description's emphasis on 'harmony'. Though the overly verbose description would have you believe that this is an incredible creative tool, it is really little more than a very expensive (at $12!) and simple chord-finder, with no more features than you could find on any old chord-finding java applet web site. I wish i wasn't the first person to review this :P


Arthur Roolfs
12.3 MB
English, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Swedish
Age Rating
Rated 4+
© 2013 RoGame Software


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