We’ve taken Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro to a whole new level. To the point where we feel it’s necessary to create a bunch of content, so that you guys can get the most out of Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro version 8.
How does Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro work?
Every song is always fully analyzed. That’s the way Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro stores a progression. Unlike other apps, that just store chord symbols, Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro stores songs functionally. So it knows a lot about the progression and therefore can create interesting voicings, better backing tracks, upper structures, target notes, reharmonizations and a lot more.
This offers a much more in-depth and detailed insight of what’s actually going on in the harmony. Also Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro has information on different styles. So it knows how to interpret the harmony based on the style of music that you’ve set the song to.
Now the current song is shown on the staff with several layers of analysis, which you can customize depending on your needs. It is also shown on an interactive harmony map where you can see and study the entire harmonic progression at one glance. So the map and the staff are showing two different perspectives of the same exact song.
This is Afternoon In Paris loaded in the chart and the map. As you can see, the map is only showing the chords present in Afternoon In Paris. Let’s play it…
Interacting with the play-along
So right off the bat, the play along sounds great. Let me give you the first tip: I like to resize the panels so that the third line of the score is barely showing. That way, when the app scrolls up I’ve already seen what’s coming.
So now, the app has changed to the solo section, and the accompaniment becomes more elaborate.
On the last head the accompaniment will go back to a more subdued groove, telling you it’s time to play the last head. The play along is set to repeat three times at the moment.
To change this setting we can open the play along panel here. The info pop-ups will probably get in the way of the demo, so i’m going to turn them off by tapping on this “i” button right here. You can switch them back on whenever you want to have them pop up again at any time. Let’s change the repeat form to four times and let’s increase the tempo to 226.
So, as you can hear the players have changed the way that they’re playing the song. They’re going to adapt the style accompaniment and swing according to the tempo. Let’s change it to 120…
Close enough… ah! now it’s a medium slow swing. What if we set it back to 173?
…and the groove has changed yet again.
A.I. Players in Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro
So far, the piano player has been “Duke”. But let’s load some other player. You can access all the player settings and the different players available using the players menu here.
There are plenty of useful parameters to tweak the way a player performs but I will show them to you on another tutorial. For now, let’s see how duke was creating his voicings. “Duke plays left hand voicings and bass with tensions. He always makes sure the guide tones are present, creating a very consistent sound.” Tap on change to open the players catalog. Now here are the players that can play jazz. If you’re working on another style, the players list will change completely. These players know how to play a nice jazz voicing. You probably wouldn’t want Ludwig or Wolfgang to play Afternoon In Paris. Let’s look at Bill.
“Bill likes upper structures and full voicings. He always plays all guide tones. Tensions are given a high priority.” We’ll load him up
and then press play…
Still sounds great! Bill uses more range and notes than Duke, creating a very different sound for the same exact song.
Try different players to see which one fits your needs. This ability to choose different players is essential because some players will be a better fit than others for different songs.
Let me show you what I mean. But first, I’m going to import the add-ons I’ve purchased on my iPhone with Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro version 7. So, just tap on the add-ons button and then on the restore purchases button. Once the app store has verified that I’ve already purchased the add-ons, the app will show you an ok button. You can now rebuild the song catalog to make sure all songs show up correctly. Cool! I have all the add-ons active.
By default, the app just shows the song as a standard lead sheet, but this file contains lots of cool information inside. If we change the staff preset, we can view the same song in many different ways. Let’s try this full analysis option.
There! Now you can see a complete analysis of the song with chord scales, arrows and brackets, and roman numerals. This is what makes Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro different than any other play along or music theory app out there. Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro knows music theory. It stores and processes information in a musical manner. If you want to add guitar diagrams, just choose a preset that includes them.
There you go. You can see all those layers I was referring to. Okay, so let’s load Equinox. This is a good song to show you how different players and grooves can give you a completely different take on the same exact song. If we choose Duke and play, you can hear the backing track is following the harmony, and Duke is playing left hand voicings making sure he includes the guide tones before considering adding tensions to the chords.
Grooves & Players
That’s Duke’s style comping. The groove is set to play as a standard jazz groove. So the bass player and the drummer adjust their style to it. Now let’s load McCoy and change the groove to a modern jazz style.
As you probably hear McCoy is using the dorian scale to create cool chordal voicings on top of the minor seventh chords.
And the bass player is also considering the chord chord scale pairing to create interesting bass line patterns. A totally different take on Equinox. Trying different players and styles to practice improvisation with different bands is essential. It’s going to improve your ability to hear harmonic progressions in different contexts, and help you to develop different types of swing. You can also change the instrument sounds if you want. Let me load Desafinado for example, and change the groove to bossa.
So now, I could load Duke and play.
He’s playing a piano but I can change it to a guitar sound, even if it’s Duke playing. The voicings
players and instruments are independent,
so now I can have duke playing a guitar. Of course guitar players will match the range better for a guitar sound.
If i choose Bill, for example, using a guitar sound, it will probably sound out of range because he likes using a wider range for the piano.
One thing you can try, is adjusting the
range. And now it plays more in range, or more consistent with what a guitar or guitar player might do. Be aware that these voicings might be impossible to play on the guitar. To make sure you have guitar friendly voicings, choose a guitar player like Joe.
You can adjust levels in the mixer… Maybe more reverb…
Keyboard & Guitar Panels
Here’s a cool feature for piano and guitar players. Let’s say you’re interested in learning the voicings McCoy was using in Equinox. I will load Equinox back, and McCoy as the player. The best way to investigate voicings in a song, is to tap on the chords in the chart and see them on a keyboard. So let’s open the panels menu. Load staff on the bottom. This will automatically load the voicings keyboard on top. Now tap on any cord in the chart and it will show you the voicing.
The cool thing is is that you can browse all the voicings McCoy knows for this C#m7 Dorian with these buttons here. I mean that’s a lot of voicings for just this one chord. Remember, these are voicings that assume there’s a bass player in the band. So the bass is playing this purple note here.
So consider adding the bass note if you want to practice any of these voicings on the piano.
Now, if you’re a guitar player you can load the fretboard. Now, this panel works slightly different than the voiceless keyboard panel. When you tap on a chord in the chart the current player is what you’re hearing now. We cannot guarantee that the voicing is possible on a guitar. So the fretboard will show a voicing that is similar and playable. Now
if you use the left right buttons, you can browse the actual guitar voicings available and hear them.
As you can see this is a great tool to learn voicings on piano or guitar. Remember these voicings are created using both the chord and the scale.
So these are voicings for a C#m; as it’s shown here. Other pairings will give you different voicings. This is very important when you’re comping, because some tensions might be available that are often not included in the song charts.
All right, so we’ve barely scratched the surface. But now you have a better idea on how to use the play along feature. To learn more, check out our other videos with more tutorials on Mapping Tonal Harmony Pro 8 for iOS