I am not sure if there is a handy tool Music Theory type of plugin or some kind of Composer Toolkit to help out and make some good decisions
so I thought I ask any out there that worth getting ?
I hear Scaler2 is good. My DAW is Reaper and there is a free on for that called Chord Gun, but there are more.
I confirm what Geoff said about Scaler 2, it’s a wonderful plugin that in its simplest usage can help you to build a sequence of chords that just sounds “right” in harmony terms, and at the same time gives you an ultra-wide range of choices and variations to choose from.
It’s a very sophisticated tool indeed: it manages countless scales and modes, chord positions, tensions and voicings, typical chords sequences by music style, and there’s also a whole section dedicated to modulations that deals with advanced harmony concepts like mediants/sub-mediants and even neo-riemannian theory.
My only advice would be to develop first a bit of familiarity with harmony to master this tool (Youtube is full of videos explaining the basic and advanced harmony theory) but as I said Scaler 2 can still be used “blindly” by a music novice, still giving you the chance to build a whole song structure.
Thank You for very good explanation of the Scaler do You use it ?
I am in the process in learning music theory and basic harmony and thought this tool would be great as a tool for not a replacement but a very useful tool
You mentioned about tensions and voicings
Voicing I understand what are tensions?
That’s definitely the best use you can do of that tool, and I usually just use it in that way, that is as a learning tool and a visual support to composition.
The strength of Scaler is that it doesn’t just limit to suggest you the next right chords to go on with your song, but also gives you an hint of the whole process, letting you to experiment, do any change you want and study what’s going on under the hood.
For example, you could start from a few free chords you like - maybe a music sketch you have in mind, or from a song you want to analyze - put them in into the interface, and you’ll be given a list of scales (and all their modes) where those chords fit, in order of proximity. From there, you could pick a scale-mode you never thought of, and go on with your song.
You could vary your song’s key playing around with modulations, just to hear the differences between the various techniques used by the plugin, then you could deepen the theory behind them having a clearer understanding.
Tensions are notes that doesn’t belong to a chord in its basic form, and they’re added just to “spice” it, without changing its harmonic function in a progression.
For example, let’s say you’re dealing with a classic II-V-I progression, like Dm7 G7 C. You could vary this progression in Dm9 G13(no11) Cmaj9, and the added notes will act like decorations, without changing the original chords’ harmony role (G13 is still a dominant chord, Cmaj9 remains a tonic).
In my example the tensions are diatonic to the key of C (“all white piano keys”), but you could also properly choose them out of the scale, so in the new extended chords you’ll have stuff like #11, b13 and so on.
Thank You Riccardo if I have any questions I post them here for others to learn
Second Scaler - excellent tool and they just keep adding to it. Really good for sketching out ideas with chord progressions.