Video Tutorials


What is Chordious?

Chordious is a free and open-source app for generating fretboard diagrams for fretted stringed instruments.

Why are you giving this away for free?

I enjoy making software. I especially enjoy making software that people find useful. I am also a strong supporter of the Free Culture Movement. All creative works are built on the shoulders of others, and no person can claim to have created anything without having been inspired, influenced, or taught by the work of those before them. My software benefits from my access to others’ code, and so that’s why I release all of my software for free and under Open Source Licenses.

Can I pay you something anyway?

I’m really not looking to make any money off of Chordious. But if you feel like spending some money, feel free to donate to a music-related charity like Hungry For Music.

What are SVG images?

Short answer: SVG images don’t get blurry when you resize them. You can take a single SVG, shrink it to a postage stamp, or blow it up to a poster, and the lines will be crisp, clean, and beautiful.

Long answer: SVG images are vector-graphics, unlike the raster image formats you’re probably used to dealing with like JPG, PNG, or GIF. The difference is in how they store a given picture: raster images save the picture as you see it, vector-graphics instead save the instructions for how to redraw it. JPGs are great for photos – SVGs are great for line-art, or really anything you could describe with simple shapes. In the case of Chordious, chord diagrams are very easy to describe in those terms – boxes with lines and circles on them with a little text.

That simplicity is really powerful, because it means if you want to scale an SVG, your computer can “do the math” and simply redraw the diagram at any size and still end up with a sharp, beautiful picture.

To see this in action, open one of the SVG chord diagrams with your favorite web browser. Now zoom in a ton, and you’ll see how sharp the lines remain, at any size. This makes it easy for you to say, use the images on a letter-sized handout, then blow those exact same images up to put on a wall poster and not have to worry about the images becoming all blurry.

Try that with your JPG, GIF, and PNGs!

And of course, if you really need your images in another format, Chordious can output to JPG and PNG too.

What’s the difference between “Official” and “Preview ” releases?

The primary goals for “Official” releases, or builds, of Chordious are stability and reliability. Official releases are meant for the general public and to be used confidently by all users. Official builds are updated infrequently, and then only:

  • To fix major bugs (ones that cause app crashes or break functionality for most users)
  • To add broad, new features (or make big changes to existing ones) after they’ve been through considerable testing in Preview

The primary goal for “Preview” releases is to get the latest code onto users’ hands as quickly as possible. Preview releases should be considered potentially unstable and only to be installed by users willing to risk things going wrong. New Preview builds may include:

  • All kinds of new bugs 😦
  • All kinds of new bug-fixes 🙂
  • New features that are only partially-implemented (buttons that don’t do anything, etc)
  • Major changes to how existing features work

Generally speaking, a series of Preview releases will need to be vetted by users in the wild before the new code will make it’s way into the Official builds.

Why do I get a security warning when trying to install Chordious?

If you’re running Windows 7 or greater, you may be blocked from installing Chordious by SmartScreen. If a dialog pops up about ChordiousSetup.msi not being safe, you have a couple options:

  • Windows 7: Uncheck the box labeled “Always ask before opening this file” and click “Run”.
  • Windows 8: Click on the “More Info” link and then click “Run anyway”.
  • Windows 10: Check the box labeled “I understand the risk and want to run this app” and then click “Run anyway”.

Read more about SmartScreen here:

Why can’t Chordious do XYZ?

If you have an idea for a feature that you’d like to see in Chordious, feel free to drop me a line. If it makes sense I’ll try to get it into the backlog.

Why do I keep getting an error message?

If you’re seeing an error message that doesn’t make sense or isn’t addressed elsewhere on this page, drop me a line. It’ll be even more helpful if you include the error details (click on the little “Details” arrow in the error dialog) in your email.

Can I migrate my work from Classic Chordious into Chordious 2.0?

Yes, if you have old Classic Chordious “ChordLine” files, you can import them into Chordious 2.0 in the Options window.

Why isn’t Chordious 2.0 available for Windows XP?

Unfortunately Windows XP doesn’t support .NET 4.5, which is what I’m using with Chordious 2.0. If you want the technical nitty-gritty, I recommend Why is XP Support for .NET 4.5 not happening?

Why isn’t Chordious 2.0 available for Mac OS X or Linux?

Developing in Windows, the quickest path to success was to build Chordious targeting Windows first. I do plan on eventually releasing Chordious on other platforms, including Mac OS X and Linux, but that isn’t the highest priority at the moment.