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Chord Symbols in Drum Part

Posted: Tue Jun 15, 2021 2:44 pm
by marinsubasic1
Hi guys,

is it possible to hide the chord symbols in the drums part?

Couldn´t find anything in the manual and here..

thanks in advance..

Re: Chord Symbols in Drum Part

Posted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 9:51 pm
by Surf.Whammy
I did a few experiments, and there appears to be a hard rule for hiding chord symbols . . . :roll:


I do everything on the Mac, so my experiments determine only what happens when NOTION is running in macOS, but it should be the same on a Windows machine . . .

I did a series of experiments with three staves:

(1) a ReWire MIDI staff used to play Addictive Drums (XLN Audio) as a VSTi virtual instrument in Studio One Professional

(2) a native NOTION drumset staff

(3) a native NOTION electric piano staff

The electric piano had chord symbols in each measure, but the native NOTION drumset had chord symbols only when it had actual notes or rests, not when the measure(s) were empty.

This also was the way the ReWire MIDI staff was configured for playing Addictive Drums, where only measures with notes or rests had chord symbols . . .

What I discovered is that there is a particular behavior which is problematic, which specifically is that chord symbols from other staves will appear in measures when viewing a part rather than the full score . . .

I call them "ghost chords" . . .

I think it's a combination of (a) a presumption and (b) a program design mistake based on (a) . . .


After doing experiments for a few hours, I think the first part of the presumption is that chord symbols will appear in a score only on one instrument, probably a keyboard, guitar, or melody instrument for purposes of creating a lead sheet for a vocalist . . .

The second part of the presumption is that chord symbols will not appear on other instruments . . .

Once you know the presumptions, there is a workaround rule which provides a solution . . .

RULE: Put chord symbols only on one instrument, preferably an instrument which can play proper chords. Another option is to put chord symbols only on a melody instrument staff which you plan to use with lyrics for a lead sheet.

I removed the chord symbols I had added to the native NOTION drumkit staff and the separate set of chord symbols I added to the ReWire MIDI staff that plays the Addictive Drums VSTi virtual instruments hosted in Studio One Professional . . .

With chord symbols only on the native NOTION electric piano staff, everything worked as expected with no problems . . .


I think it could be logical to have a different set of chords for a piano and a guitar or any two instruments that play chords . . .

George Harrison and John Lennon often played different chords at the same time on a song, which is more of a voicing and texture strategy; so I don't think it's unreasonable to do this . . .

As you can hear and see in this song, I have several guitars playing different chords in alternating patterns, but none of them are done with chord symbols . . .

Instead, they are done with stacked notes . . .

phpBB [video]

It's sonically elegant . . . :+1

In my experiments, I had what one might call (a) instruments with no leading chords and (b) instruments with trailing chords, where for example the native NOTION drum set had chord symbols for the beginning measures but no chord symbols afterward, while the Addictive Drums staff had no leading chord symbols but had trailing chord symbols; and this combination behaved badly . . .

[NOTE: In this context, "leading chords" are chord symbols that appear in the measures before actual notes start appearing; and "trailing chords" appear when the actual notes occur. For example, if there are no notes in measures 1 through 10, then chord symbols appearing in those measures are what I call "leading", while if the actual notes start in measure 11 and continue for a while, chord symbols that begin in measure 11 and continue through subsequent measures are what I call "trailing" chords . . . ]


[TIP: If you are following the rule (see above) and you have have chord symbols on the drum staff but nowhere else, then uncheck the Show Hidden Items option on the View menu so you do not see grayed chords. These types of grayed chords are not ghost chords, because they are specified chords which were hidden but via the Show Hidden Items option being checked are shown in gray. Ghost chords are chords from another staff, and they appear gray, too; but you cannot hide them or delete them from a part staff, because they are virtual. The only way to delete them is from the staff where they were specified . . . ]

This reminds me of the way programmers defined various terms in mainframe computer days . . .

Code: Select all
If it's there but you can't see it, then it's transparent. 

If it's not there but you can see it, then it's virtual.

If it's there and you can see it, then it's real.

If it's not there and you can't see it, then it's gone.


I think it should be possible to put chord symbols on every staff and when done this way only the chord symbols on the staff for the part should show or be hidden and not shown . . .

Having "ghost chords" appear is a bit odd, and there is a bit of consistency in the inconsistency . . .

Lots of FUN! :)

P. S. This is the type of odd behavior that occurs with Object-Oriented Programming System (OOPS) code, and it can make one a bit crazy trying to determine the rule(s) and how to make them logical . . .

If I do a few more experiments, I might be able to determine all the rules, which then might be helpful in making the behaviors logical; but after a few hours of doing experiments, I decided to go with the simple rule (see above), which is fabulous . . .


Re: Chord Symbols in Drum Part

Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 9:06 am
by marinsubasic1
Hey man,

thanks for the super detailed answer!!

Well the thing is, I created all the midi parts in studio one, as well as the chord track.
Then I sent everything over to Notion to make the layout.
As I´m writing for a 7 peace band, Bass, Drums, Guitar, keys and 3 Horns,
only the Keyboardistm guitarist and maybe the bassist need chord symbols.

So when I sent everything over to Notion it made a sheet with all the instruments.

And then I started to do the layout of the individual parts, i.e drums, and the drumpart showed all the chord symbols, and I naively thought that there must be a preference to just switch off the chords where they are not needed, but NOO!

So in the end I had to shift click all of thme and then press hide items, but´s super tedious.

In my opinion this should be just a click on a button to do this..

thanks again!

Re: Chord Symbols in Drum Part

Posted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 5:29 pm
by Surf.Whammy
There is a way to select all the chord symbols and then to hide them, but whether it works universally depends on a few rules . . . :)


This YouTube video will explain how to hide, show, and delete chord symbols in just a few clicks . . .

phpBB [video]

Lots of FUN! :)

Re: Chord Symbols in Drum Part

Posted: Fri Jun 18, 2021 4:58 am
by marinsubasic1
hey man,

thanks again, you´ve been a tremendous help!