Charts

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Introduction

What is ChordLanes?

ChordLanes transforms your music playing experience by offering a one-stop hub to streamline the often overwhelming aspects of centralizing, organizing and teaming up on written music assets, jams, rehearsals, and gigs. Easily import and consolidate your lyrics and chords into a single platform, and access them from all your devices. Transpose your songs with a click, curate custom set lists, associate songs with bands and gigs, and better collaborate with your fellow musicians to make great music without the overhead.

Where Can I Use It?

Some common scenarios where ChordLanes can help:

  • You have piles of scattered printed music that you always wanted to organize.
  • You need to centralize all the chord sheets for your gig.
  • You seek inspiration and new song ideas for your bedroom or actual stage gigs.
  • You want to instantly move a song three steps up or five steps down :).
  • You need to share your latest song's chords and lyrics for band review.
  • You want your ensemble to collaborate on your set list songs and order.

ChordLanes is built by musicians for musicians, and strongly emphasizes collaboration and community. The ChordLanes platform is continuously growing to offer additional capabilities, and we would love to hear your feedback and suggestions - just email us at support@chordlanes.com.

Getting Started

ChordLanes is designed with ease of use in mind, and many of its flows are intuitive. However, here is a typical flow most new users will want to try:

  1. Not logged in yet? Login using your username, email, and password. Don't have an account? Sign up first.
  2. The Home page will show the charts, lists, bands and gigs (collectively known as entities) to which you have access.
  3. The Charts page will list all charts you can see - those you own (if you are on the pro plan) and those you can edit or view.
  4. If you are on the free plan, select any chart to open its full details including the chords and lyrics.
  5. If you are on the pro plan, add a new chart either manually, or by importing a file (that the system will decode to chords and lyrics).
  6. Create a new list and add some charts to it.

Plans

When you are not logged in, you can view the featured charts. These featured charts are charts that users made public, and that we thought are good to showcase to all site users and guests. You can select these charts to see their chords and lyrics, and you can transpose them. You can also check out the docs, FAQs, and our blog.

Most of the site's functionality however does require you to be logged in with your free or pro plan. When you initially sign up, you will be assigned to the free plan, but can upgrade later through your Account page.

The Free Plan

A free plan allows you to view and export all public entities (all the charts, lists, bands and gigs set to public visibility). It will also allow you to view and export (but not edit) all entities shared with you. Under a free plan, you cannot create, edit or delete charts, bands or gigs. You can however create lists and attach charts to them, and you can share your lists with others. You can also temporarily transpose charts.

The Pro Plan

A pro plan is a paid plan, and it offers the complete ChordLanes feature set. With a pro plan, you can create your own entities (charts, lists, bands and gigs), set other users as editors or viewers, or share for general public viewing if desired. You can import charts from different file formats and easily transpose them. You can attach an entity to another other entity to connect your charts, lists, bands and gigs in any way you want.

Plan Comparison

In general, the pro plan can add, edit, attach and share any entity, while the free plan can add lists and mostly view other entities.

The following table summarized the differences between the plans:

Capability Free Pro
Add Only lists Any entity (charts, list, band and gig)
View Entities you own, shared with you, or with public visibility Entities you own, shared with you, or with public visibility
Edit Only lists you own Any entity you own, or shared with you as editor
Duplicate Only lists you own Any entity you own
Attach Charts to lists you own

* Charts to lists you own

* Charts, lists and gigs to bands you own

* Charts and lists to gigs you own

Share

Visibility

* Set lists you own as private, restricted or public

Roles

* Set any user as a viewer on restricted lists you own

* Set any pro user as an editor on restricted lists you own

Visibility

* Set any entity you own as private, restricted or public

Roles

* Set any user as a viewer on restricted entities you own

* Set any pro user as an editor on restricted entities you own

Export Any entity you can view Any entity you can view
Delete Only lists you own Any entity you own
Price Free! $10/month

Entities

Entities are the collective name for charts, lists, bands and gigs. Entities can be attached to others entitites to build relationships. This way you can attach charts to a list or to a gig, attach lists and charts to a band, attach a gig to a band, etc.

Any entity has only one owner (the user who created it). As an owner, you can set the entity's visibility to control access, allowing you to keep private entities private and making others public, or make them restricted and share them with specific users for viewing or editing. Note that only users on the pro plan can be set as editors.

You and all other logged-in users can rate any entity on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. The cummulative rating for an entity is the average rating given by all users, and you can click on it to add your rating or change it.

Charts

Charts are the most important entity in the system. Each chart represents a song, with its chords and lyrics and with other metadata like artists, title, key, duration and genre. Charts are added by pro users and, as controlled by the owner, can be viewed by any user, specific users, or no other users.

Adding Charts

As a pro user, you can add a chart manually or by importing it from a file.

Editing Charts

As a chart owner or editor, you can edit any part of the chart - artists, title, key, content, etc. All chart field accept UTF-8 characters so you can enhance textual input with fun icons.

The content of the chart is where the chords and lyrics are. Each line will be colorized with a color that represents its type - chords, lyrics, annotations, or mixed. When editing a chart, you can use these markers at the beginning of every line to mark this line as follows:

  • : (colon) - this line is chords
  • ; (semicolon) - this line is lyrics
  • ^ (caret) - this line is an annotation
  • ~ (tilde) - this line is mixed

Even if no markers are provided, ChordLanes will automatically analyze the content when the chart is saved, and will add the markers and colors based on the auto-detected line type.

During editing, you can also use these hot keys:

  • Ctrl+Shift+Enter - split a line into two lines. Based on the musical context, the next or previous lines will also be automatically split as relevant.
  • Ctrl+Shift+S - open the simple replace dialog.
  • Ctrl+Shift+R - open the regex replace dialog.
  • Ctrl+Shift+E - reverse the chords in the current line (useful for right-to-left charts).
  • Ctrl+Shift+Up - transpose up a half step.
  • Ctrl+Shift+Down - transpose down a half step.

Editing Tips

  • If a chart is intended to be viewed on a phone screen in portrait mode, keep the lines short.

Playing Charts

Charts can be set to auto-scroll at different speeds. This is useful for practice and performances when you need the chart to roll automatically, saving you the need to scroll it down every few moments.

During scrolling, you can also use these hot keys:

  • Space - play and pause the scrolling.
  • Escape - exit the scrolling.

Lists

Lists are an orderded collection of charts. All registered users can create lists, even if they are on the free plan. Lists can be used to:

  • Create a set list for a gig.
  • Build a playlist of songs you want to try out in your next practice.
  • Create a list of song ideas for your band to collaborate on.

Adding Lists

Any registered user can create a new list. When creating a list, you can specify its name, and add notes and media links.

Attaching Charts

For lists of which you are an owner or editor, you can use the Attach screen to add to this list any chart you can see (any chart that is public, or any restricted chart of which you are an owner or an editor). You can use the Share screen to share your list with specific users or publicly. Note that these users may not see every chart you added - they will see in your list only the charts they can see - public charts, and restricted charts shared with them specifically.

Bands

A band represents a user or users that play and perform together. Bands can be attached to charts, lists, and gigs.

Any pro user can create bands. Like all other entities, a band has one owner, and the owner can set the band with a private, public, or restricted visibility. Bands with a restricted visibility can have specific users set as viewers or editors (only pro users can be set as editors).

Gigs

A gig is an event scheduled to a specific date and at a specific location. Gigs can be attached to charts and lists, and allow you to prepare and perform more easily.

Any pro user can create gigs. Like all other entities, a gig has one owner, and the owner can set the gig with a private, public, or restricted visibility. Gigs with a restricted visibility can have specific users set as viewers or editors (only pro users can be set as editors).

Import

Entities can be imported into ChordLanes from a file.

File Types

The following file types are supported for each entity type:

  • For charts: TXT, PDF, DOCX, PNG, JPG, JPEG, JSON, CSV
  • For lists, bands and gigs: JSON, CSV

All file types can be used to import a single entity. The CSV file type can also be used to import multiple entities, with each row representing one entity. The CSV file must have a "Type" column that specifies the type of the entity in each row - Chart, List, Band, or Gig. Each row must also specify the mandatory fields of its entity - a chart row must specify the chart title, and a list row must specify the list name. You can download these CSV templates as a starting point:

When importing a JSON file, the JSON content can specify any entity field. So for charts for example, the JSON can have the chart artists, title, content, and any other chart field. The exact JSON format for each entity is identical to the JSON format of an entity export.

For charts, when importing from any file type other than JSON and CSV, the chart part that will be imported is the chart content, and ChordLanes will be expecting the file to provide chords and lyrics in a standard chord chart format (chords above the lyrics). If the file is an image, ChordLanes will use OCR technology to convert the image to text.

OCR Tips

Optical character recognition is not a perfect technology and may produce inaccurate results. Here are some tips that can improve import results for images:

  • Make sure the text lines are horizontal and straight.
  • Use high-resolution images.
  • Maximize contrast between the text and the page background.

Attach

Entites can be attached to each other (added to each other) to create relationships. For example, and depending on your plan and role, you create a list by attaching (adding) charts to it, and you can attach a chart to different lists. You can attach charts and lists to a band or a gig, and you can attach gigs to a band.

Users on a free plan can only attach public charts to a list they own. Users on the pro plan can attach any entity they can see to any entity of which they are owners or editors.

Share

Sharing gives you the ability to collaborate with other users and work together on reviewing and editing charts, lists, bands and gigs. The entity owner can control the visibility of the entity (private, restricted or public), and for a restircted entity also decide which specific users can view or edit (only pro users can edit).

Sharing is useful in many scenarions:

  • Set a list as public to share it with all other users.
  • Set your chart as restricted and share with your band members to review and edit together.
  • Set a gig as public so all other users know when and where you perform.

Visibility

All entities - charts, lists, bands and gigs - have a visibility setting that you can set as the owner. This visibility has these options:

  • Private - only accessible to me, not visible to any other user under any circumstances.
  • Resticted - visible to only specific users you select, and you can specify their role - a viewer or an editor.
  • Public - seen (but not editable) by all registered users.

Some important notes:

  • Users on a free plan can create (and be owners) of only lists. They cannot create or edit charts, bands and gigs.
  • Entities set to public visibility cannot have editors set - they only have an owner, and all other registered users are viewers. The main reason for implementing it this way is that generally you don't want others to have editing rights to something your name is attahced to and seen by all other site users.
  • Entities set to public visibility can be attached to other entities. For example, any user can attach any public chart to a list they created, and any pro user can attach any public list to a gig they created.
  • For charts: public charts may be added by the ChordLanes team to the featured list of charts visible to all users (even not logged in).

Roles

Roles are specified by an entity owner, and control the permissions a specific user has for a specific entity. There are three roles avialable:

  • Owner - the user who created the entity is automatically set as the entity owner. The owner of an entity cannot be changed to a different user.
  • Editor - the owner of an entity can set any pro user as an editor. Editors can modify the entity fields, but cannot delete the entity or change its sharing settings.
  • Viewer - the owner of an entity can set any user as a viewer. Viewers can view the entity but not change it in any way.

Export

Registered users can export any entity to different file formats. These exports are useful in these scenarios:

  • Sharing your entities outside ChordLanes, as files.
  • Modifying charts using external editing tools (and then importing them back).
  • Re-formatting charts before printing them.
  • Backing up your entities to local files.

Entities can be exported to these file formats: plain text, PDF, DOCX, JSON, and CSV.

Entity exporting can be done from the entity list (by selecting the desired entityes - up to 5 - and exporting), or from the single entity view. In both cases, each entity will be exported to its own separate file.

Entities can also be "exported" to a print view that is printer-friendly and removes all elements not necessary for a printed copy. Many browsers will also allow you to save the printed view as a PDF.

Chats

All logged-in users can start a private chat with each other. Anywhere you see a username, just click on it to open the chats view, send a message, read an incoming message, and see the chat history.

Posting and Deletion

  • After sending a new message, you cannot edit its content. You will be able to delete the message content, but a record of it will still show.
  • If a user deletes their ChordLanes account, any message they created will be forever deleted.

Chat Rules

The chats are aimed at letting users communicate privatey and directly. Please follow these basic rules when chatting with other users:

  • Treat your peer with respect, avoid attacks, harassment, discriminatory and inflammatory comments.
  • Avoid repetitive, irrelevant, or promotional content, including unsolicited ads.
  • Verify the other user's authenticity before sharing personal information.
  • Offer constructive and respectful feedback.
  • Comply with laws and regulations.

Forums

The forums are a ChordLanes community feature that allows users to collaborate and communicate directly on any music-related topic, discuss songs and lyrics, advertise and request gigs, look for musicians, and buy and sell gear.

Forums are grouped by topic (e.g., "Bands", "Gigs", "Gear"). Each forum consists of threads. Each thread consists of posts (the initial thread and the replies), showing in a reverse chronological order. All forums are open to all registered users (on any plan), and all users can start new threads, view all posts, and post replies.

Posting and Deletion

  • After creating a new thread, you cannot edit its content. You will be able to delete the thread only if no posts were added to it already.
  • After adding a new post to a thread, you cannot edit its content. You will be able to delete the post content, but a record of your posting will still show. Any parts of your post quoted in other posts cannot be deleted unless these other posts are deleted by their poster.
  • Before starting a new thread, use the search function to see if the topic has already been addressed.
  • If a user deletes their ChordLanes account, any thread they created will be forever deleted together with all posts under it, and any post they added will be forever deleted as well from the thread it was under.

Forum Rules

The forums are aimed at creating a safe, positive and useful environment for all community members. Please follow these basic rules:

  • Treat all members with respect and courtesy. Avoid personal attacks, harassment, and inflammatory comments.
  • Keep discussions relevant to the community's purpose. Off-topic posts can disrupt the flow of conversation.
  • Refrain from posting repetitive, irrelevant, or promotional content. This includes unsolicited advertisements and self-promotion.
  • Do not share personal information about yourself or others. Respect the privacy of all community members.
  • Avoid using offensive, abusive, or discriminatory language. Maintain a tone that is friendly and inclusive.
  • Offer feedback in a constructive and respectful manner. Aim to help others improve rather than belittle them.
  • Do not engage in or promote illegal activities. Ensure that your contributions comply with relevant laws and regulations.
  • Do not post content that infringes on someone else's intellectual property rights. Always give credit where it's due.

Adviser

The Adviser provides AI-powered and context-sensitive assistance on general music domains and data within ChordLanes. Think of it as your personal know-it-all expert conveniently integrated into the ChordLanes interface. The Adviser is available to all users on the pro plan.

Some examples of how the Adviser can help:

  • Learn more about an artist ("What influenced Lady Gaga's music?")
  • Learn more about a song ("What is the story behind the song Hurricane?")
  • Build a playlist ("What songs go into an 80's R&B playlist?")
  • Check if a chord belongs in the song's key ("Does Am belong in a song in F key?")
  • Get help with writing a song ("Suggest a good name for a song with these lyrics...")
  • Translate lyrics to other languages ("Translate the song the river to French.")

Design

These are the site design guidelines we follow:

Although the site will generally work on the smaller phone screen, it is mostly designed for larger laptop and tablet screens.

By design, the UI is kept simple with quick access to core screens and actions. Our assumption is that you want the site to provide a streamlined and fun experience, so we tried to minimize any unnecessary distractions.

We tried to account for international audiences whose charts are not necessarily using English and not written left to right.

We tried to account for users used to keyboard shortcuts. You will still need to rely on the mouse a lot, but can use some keyboard shortcuts when editing, transposing and scrolling charts. Supported keyboard shortcuts are listed above in their relevant sections.