Chord Symbol shorthand when lowering a bass note?

• Sep 3, 2019 - 00:39

Hi folks!

Often when adding chord symbols, they become the limiting factor in horizontal real estate. And the biggest offenders are chords with a non-standard bass note. But often they come right after the same chord with a normal bass note, as shown here:
Screenshot 2019-09-02 19.33.02.png
Is there a shortcut that can be used in such cases? I feel like I've seen something, but now I can't find any such examples. Eg, could I convert the first two chords to "Cm7 ./Bb" or something like that?

Attachment Size
Screenshot 2019-09-02 19.33.02.png 156.17 KB


"Whisper Not", Benny Golson :-)

You can write just "/Bb" and MuseScore will deal with it (including transposing it correctly, etc). I've done this occasionally in cases like this when there was really no other way. Here, though, my recommendation would be, live with this crowding in the score, and let it take care of itself in the parts as you will likely be adding line breaks anyhow. If this is meant to be a chart where you read it this way directly, I'd say, add the line breaks here. People should have to read a chart where the "A" section starts on the middle of a system and then contains three measures before the margin. Better to get the section to start on a new system, or if not, to have an even number of measures before the line break (eg, dd a line break after the second bar).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Damn! Marc never disappoints! I’m the one new to jazz standards, so Whisper Not is new to me, but I’m loving voicing these chords.

I may consider your suggestion. It’s meant to be mainly a piano arrangement doubling as a chart. So I was trying to minimize sprawl and page count. I actually added drums and bass but hid that when printing.

I think even with enough space I may find the simplified chord symbols easier to read. But here’s my entire score for your listening and viewing pleasure. See what you think after you open it for yourself!

Attachment Size
whisper_not.mscz 28.75 KB

In reply to by reggoboy

Nice job!

I'd say, if the goal is readability, then don't clutter the piano arrangement with the extra melody staff. Or at least make it small. Although here, the top piano staff seems empty, do you really need it? Eliminating that is another way to save space. But also, you could easily add the line breaks I suggested and it would not require any more lines than it does now, it would read easier.

Also, there are some backwards notes, looks like somehow some notes got flipped to the wrong side of the stem, and some stems are flipped in the wrong direction, both of which also impair readability.

BTW, if readability is not a concern, don't sweat the fact that the chords are cramped :-).

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.