Classic Computer Magazine Archive ANTIC VOL. 4, NO. 2 / JUNE 1985


Learn and play guitar chords on your Atari


A program that diagrams and plays simulated guitar chords. The BASIC listing works on all Atari computers of any memory configuration.

My great new Program In The Works wasn't working at all. Rather than break my new 800XL, (which was a serious consideration at this point), I reached for my guitar. I played a song or two while staring at the screen, and the idea for Guitar Tutor was born. Why not create a program to generate, diagram, and play guitar chords: major, minor, seventh and minor seventh chord combinations?
   To use the program, first type in the BASIC listing. Check it with TYPO, and save an extra copy as a backup.
   A music background is not necessary to understand or play with "Tutor"! The first thing you will see is "Pick a note to build a chord on." Take your pick from the list given, A through G. Then you will be asked to pick a natural, flat, or sharp. After you do that, you can pick whether you want your chord to be a major, minor, seventh, or minor seventh.
   Now the screen will diagram the chord for you! These are standard guitar chord diagrams used in music books. Vertical lines represent the six strings of the guitar. Horizontal strings represent the frets. Dots represent where you press your fingers. X's represent strings that are not strummed, and O's represent strings that are strummed "open", with no finger pressing on the string. If two dots are on the same fret, "bar" with your finger-press more than one string down with the flat of your finger.
   If you press "S" at this point, you will hear the four individual tones which make up the chord you have chosen. To the right of the diagram you will see a vertical line of eight numbers, the eighth reading REST. By pressing a number from one through seven, you can put the chord on the screen into a "memory." Now press [P] and you can play your chords by pressing the numbers you have assigned them. Play chords in any order and of any duration you want! Press [8] and you get no sound.
   So as you see, you can also use Guitar Tutor to play a simple chord accompaniment if you feel like taking a break to sing a song while you're programming.

FRET$ Graphic patterns to draw box
PATTERN(20)-Array holds DATA line numbers and is later used for sound numbers
K-value returned from keyboard
X-GOSUB 600 returns with X as a DATA line number
TONIC-adjusted note (i.e., B# reads data from C natural)
ACC-Accidental:0 if natural, 1 if flat, 2 if sharp
CHORD-a if major, 1 if minor, 2 if seventh, 3 if minor seventh
LINE-saves iine number to get sound numbers from
F-counting loop
A-current data
FRET-vertical position while writing dots
I-counting loop
TIME-loop to allow notes to sound individually
TONES(63)-array holds sound numbers and names in seven chord "memory"
TONE-current iocation in the array TONES
ONE-root of chord being put into "memory"
THREE-major third of chord being put into "memory"
FIVE-major fifth of chord
SEV-seventh of chord
MINTHREE-minor third of chord

Frank Imburgio and Grace Barry are the founders of Homespun Software in Setauket, New York.
The company's stated aim is to produce home applications software that is easy to use, but not
limited by its easiness.

Listing 1:   TUTOR.BAS Download