d. Are the arranged chords on QactusCore sound musically pleasing?

Actually, there are some discordance in QactusCore.
For example :


This chord diagram [B7] is already open in QactusCore.
It sounds kind of disturbing (kind of like a discordance).
Why is this discordance permitted on QactusCore?

Since it’s a good opportunity, let’s try to find particular notes to harmonize with [B7], which is a good example of a rare situation.

Let’s review how to find notes to harmonize with some chords at the same time.

First, properly divide [B7] into The Three Rooms: Yellow, Red, and Gray.


As you can see in the picture, [B] has settled in The Yellow Room. The Red Room should be vacant. Let’s find notes of the chord [B] based on this chart.


Notes that can harmonize with [B] are [B], [D#], and [F#].

You did it! Let’s move on to The Gray Room; it is used the same way as The Yellow Room and The Red Room.


We found that these notes which harmonize with [B7] are [B], [D#], [F#], and [A].

Review the fingerboard chart again.


Let’s pick all the positions that can harmonize with [B7], which are [B], [D#], [F#], and [A].


Let’s review what we learned in [2ndStage, 2] since it is very important.

  1. Try to find the notes of the chords in these open strings carefully. Once you’ve found it, leave those strings opened. (The more open strings the easier it is to play.)
  2. Press down all the strings except the open strings. You should choose frets near Qactus. You will be able to find particular forms of chords using the QactusCore-Method.

Anyone can find chord diagrams on the fingerboard as long as you follow the directions. First, like it says in the instruction #1, find the open strings which can harmonize with the chord [B7].


We can find the note [A] on 2nd and 5th open strings, so don’t press those two open strings down.

Next, we still have four strings left. Let’s choose frets near Qactus and press them down following the instructions #2.


It may be a bit hard to hold down all the necessary strings to make this chord, [B7]. These notes, [F#], [ A], [F#] and [ D#], meet the requirements in The Yellow Room and The Gray Room.

We have to try to decrease a beginner’s worry as much as possible because they should focus on their strumming rather than pressing strings down. Strumming is very important to play music!

Can you find another option to lessen the beginners’ struggle?
Clue: there’s another way to help beginners with the picture shown on this page.

Did you notice that Qactus has a function that can mute the 6th open string?


Yes, it’s the 6th open string.

We are allowed to leave the 6th open string like 2nd and 5th strings with Qactus' function, which will mute the note of 6th open string.
This action is called muting, which most beginners find the muting technique burdensome.

Anyway, the struggle has decreased because you now only have to press three strings down instead of four.

It looks much easier to do now than before, even if the difference is only a finger.


However, it’s still three fingers.
Unfortunately, some people give up even if it’s only three fingers.
Let’s try by leaving the 1st string open.


This note is [D], but the notes of [B7] don’t include [D].

Just try to make the sounds like this diagram.
Make sure you press only 3rd and 4th strings down properly with your two fingers following the finger numbers.


What does it sound like?
Does it sound messed up?
If it does, that’s exactly what discordance (the disturbing sounds) sounds like.
It's because it has a note which doesn’t harmonize with [B7].

[D] doesn’t harmonize with [B7].
There are these kinds of chord diagrams in QactusCore.

This is an extreme example and would not normally be common for QactusCore users.

Those of you who did not hear that disturbing sound, I am guessing, is a beginner. (Don’t worry, you will learn these things eventually with time and practice.)


Ok. Let me explain.

Put your index finger (1) and middle finger (2) in the proper positions, press down, and then strum all strings.

If you have some skills, the 1st string won’t make any sound.


In many cases, beginners cannot hold the strings correctly, so the base of the index finger touches the 1st string and mutes the note. (It’s kind of a beginner’s luck.) That is why this way of playing [B7] is allowed.
However, those who are experienced can hold the strings correctly, so they fail to mute the note on the 1st string.

You can suggest beginners to play with this chord’s sound. Try to press the 1st string on the 2nd fret and listen how it sounds.

QactusCore has a message column for beginners so we can give these kind of suggestions.

So you may think that this way won’t suit beginners who have already gotten used to practicing the guitar a little bit.

By the way, just in case we need to know that this chord form for [B7] is lacking some notes. [B] and [F#] are missing so it has only [A] and [D#] because we tried to cut some notes.

The harmony will be less or different if these notes of chord are lacking.
We should try to use those four notes if it’s possible because our goal is to make music.

Most Qactus users are still on their first step.
Their first step should be to practice as much as possible even if the harmony is not perfect. If they feel like playing music (not just being technical), they will be able to practice much longer and their finger movements will improve. Soon the time to remove Qactus from their guitars will come, and then they will be able to continue to enjoy practicing the guitar without any assisting tool.

In fact, some problems like the horrible harmony of [B7] is one of Qactus' characteristics.

If beginners feel some stress with the horrible harmony, it’s not a bad thing.
Focusing on the sound they make while playing guitar is not so easy for them.
Unfortunately, we have so many cases where players don't even notice they are playing the wrong tone when they make mistakes.

Some players make horrible harmonies but they say things like, "I’m just following the directions" or “What’s wrong?”

Eventually, they will begin to focus on their tone with their ears and then say things like "How is this harmony?"
They will need to check tones frequently because Qactus will make risky tones based on QactusCore.
Apparently, Qactus can foster their listening skills.

Feeling stressed or frustrated by some bad tones is an evidence that you are improving.
Let’s learn the way of changing that stress into an energy for improvement.

Let’s look at this picture again.
Make the sound [B7] following the picture like before with beginner’s luck.


As we have learned, it must be able to make a harmony as [B7] if you mute the 1st string properly because all these notes harmonize with [B7].

Does it sounds like [B7]?

You probably noticed that it doesn’t sound like [B7] even though these notes can harmonize [B7].

This “horrible” chord can harmonize with the original music track completely because other instruments can support the harmony as an ensemble.

This kind of unsual arrangement will be fine with an ensemble, but it may sound weird if you play it alone.

In this case, knowledge of music theory will help you a lot. If you are up to it, you should check out musical theory books to learn more.

If you feel overwhelmed by the thought of studying musical theory you don't have to, especially if you think this will make you give up on music.

We have some tips to go over with you.


As you know, this is The Yellow Room.
Check out what the red arrow shows in this chart.

If you are playing music with only a guitar, the most important notes among those notes of chords are in this line on the chart.

Chord tone will be unclear if the chord doesn't have the most important note.

The most important note of [B7] is [B] based on this chart, but is there [B] in the chord form?


It doesn’t.
That’s why it feels weird even though you hit the notes that can harmonize with the chord.

Then, try to find [B] again.


The most important note is here.
It’s going to sound exactly like [B7] this time.

Make sure you carefully judge using your ears.


Finally, it must absolutely sound like [B7] if the 1st string is muted well.

Stage-3『c. Does the song change key often or just sometimes?』
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