Software to make grilles

periclimenespericlimenes Santa Ana, CANew
edited February 2010 in Repertoire Posts: 140

It seems like everything I see from the real book to several websites I have seen uses the same handwriting-esque font for the charts. Is there some simple software to do this? I know I could just make tables and do it in Word, but that doesn't have the same mojo.

Any ideas?



  • JackJack western Massachusetts✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,752
    If you're just looking for the font, check out the Jazz Text and Jazz Text Extended fonts; I think you'll find them already loaded on most computers. If not, Google.

    For software: it's been talked about a lot here before; search the archives for Finale and Sibelius and you'll find a lot. There are also some blank chord charts people have made available for download.

  • djangologydjangology Portland, OregonModerator
    edited November 2020 Posts: 1,018

    Entirely just for fun, I am working on an app to make chord grids (grilles). (in the emicad altervista style or cosimini style) I know that exported PDF files from iReal are better charts, but I am just doing this as an experiment to see how it might evolve. The charts are simpler and generated just from some text (as you see below).

    If anyone else in the forum is a software developer (Angular/JavaScript), and wants to help out or help me with feature suggestions, then message me. I could use help with code refactoring/tweaking probably. When I am done, users will be able to keep their own set of chord charts saved on the site. Here is what I have so far.

    This post is only valid at the end of 2020. By January 2021, I may have abandoned this effort or perhaps it is evolving.


    Jon Thor

  • ChristopheCaringtonChristopheCarington San Francisco, CA USANew Dupont MD50, Stringphonic Favino, Altamira Chorus
    edited November 2020 Posts: 187

    Free and Basic: Musescore

    Charts only, but everyone uses it: iRealPro

    Expensive, but has everything you ever need: Sibelius

    Online and amazing: Soundslice, by our very own @adrian

  • KlausUSKlausUS AustriaNew Cholet Intuition, Gaffiero Original, AJL Q&P
    edited December 2020 Posts: 64 - also for free

  • djangologydjangology Portland, OregonModerator
    edited December 2020 Posts: 1,018

    Ok, initial version of my "grille creating" app is now online. Have fun:

  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,858

    Hey, Jon, it looks nice...

    ....more instructions on how to create a grille would be nice?

    Also, would a “transpose” function be possible?

    eg your grille for Nuages in the key of D... nobody plays this in D, so how would we transpose it to a key like G or F?

    But its a good start, anyway!

    Keep working!


    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • djangologydjangology Portland, OregonModerator
    edited December 2020 Posts: 1,018

    Yes, I think I could attempt a transpose function at some point. Thanks for the suggestion. :-)

    So, now, the ideas I have are:

    1. Transpose function
    2. Public browse list (finished)
    3. User setting to override all colors on all charts
    4. Gamify with voting options:
      1. General Votes: Like, Outside Genre, Funny, Dislike
      2. Editing Votes: Needs Work, Misleading, Simplify, Typo, Bad Voicings
    5. Shareable chart link (finished)
    6. Publish/private flag (finished)
    7. chord sub overlay
  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    Posts: 472

    How about overlay options, like chord substitutions, alternate turnarounds, alternate chord patterns?

  • V-dubV-dub San Francisco, CA✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2020 Posts: 325

    IMO iRealPro has pretty much solved charts, it does most of the things you're mentioning, already has the full downloadable gypsy jazz book, and I don't really know of a better solution. Is there a reason you all don't use it?

    Edit: never mind, I see iReal was already discussed. You know, @djangology one thing you might want to do is import the irealpro gypsy jazz book into your system. I know there is this new library to convert iReal's format to musicXML, and from there I imagine you could script it to put it into your custom format.

  • djangologydjangology Portland, OregonModerator
    edited December 2020 Posts: 1,018

    Yep, first thing I did was write my app to do iReal chart imports. Once I had the iReal format file, in human readable format, it turned out that it would be difficult to render that to a chart. So, I decided just to "keep it simple", and do it my own way. I think the way I did it is much easier than using iReal formatted files.

    And YES, obviously I prefer using iReal Pro for my gypsy jazz charts. But, that doesn't keep me from trying to write my own.

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