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To download ChordLab from the Mac App Store, you need a Mac with OS X 10.6.6 or later. Learn More.


By RoGame Software

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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®

Please make sure to contact us directly at the email address listed below with any issues or suggestions as we are not privy to comments in most countries. For more screenshots and several videos of the application in action, please visit the website indicated below.

What's New in Version 3.1.3

• This version fixes an issue that could lead to a stuck key on some configurations with Mac OS 10.9.2. Also, some convenience menus were updated.


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Customer Reviews

Perfect for advanced modal chord progressions

I purchased this app after looking at about 50 different apps. Admittedly my review is somewhat biased because the feature I was looking for is an app that could tell me what the chord intervals for the 7 Modes of C in both the key of C as well as in the other major and minor keys. I am a guitar player / musician studying the modes and need a reference for identifying chords appropriate for each mode. EG: if I want to improvise a song in F Aeolian - I need to be able to quickly determine which chords are appropriate for using the Aeolian mode in the key of F. This app has a circle of fifths feature that does exactly that. It is fast, easy, self explanatory (if you understand modal theory), and perfect for that purpose.

As for the chords that are highlighted on the fretboard - there is nothing wrong with the way it works except that it seems to be based primarily on triads which is somewhat basic and limited. I have other software that I use for chord fingerings. I simply needed the circle of fifths and this was the only place that I could find that feature.

If you are looking for a chord progression tool that works with modal theory this app has that capability. 14.00 for that single feature may be a little pricey - I would have bought the circle of fifths app by itself had it been available - but at the time this app was the only place I could find it.

View in Mac App Store
  • $14.99
  • Category: Music
  • Updated: Mar 14, 2014
  • Version: 3.1.3
  • Size: 13.3 MB
  • Languages: English, Chinese, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish
  • Seller: Arthur Roolfs

Compatibility: OS X 10.6.6 or later, 64-bit processor

Customer Ratings

We have not received enough ratings to display an average for the current version of this application.