How do I get chords to sound on the off-beat, or create syncopation in my music?

Posted by: Alyssa - PG Music

How do I get chords to sound on the off-beat, or create syncopation in my music? - 09/08/18 11:22 AM

20. How do I get chords to sound on the off-beat, or create syncopation in my music?

This can be done by pushing the chords when you enter them into the Band-in-a-Box® chordsheet. To push chords, enter one caret (^) to play the chord an eighth note early and two carets (^^) to play it sixteenth note early.

You are allowed to enter 4 chords per bar in Band-in-a-Box®, that is, one on every beat in 4/4 time. If you were 'counting' the timing for the downbeats only, it would of course be 1 - 2 - 3 - 4. If you were counting the timing for the upbeats AND downbeats, it would be 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & (the "&" being the upbeat). You can enter a "^" (caret) sign before any of the chords in the 4 positions of the bar, and have that chord 'pushed', or played on the "&" count (that is, the upbeat). However, if you change the chord on the upbeat, it will play for a duration of a dotted quarter note. You cannot change it to something else on the NEXT downbeat. In other words it won't play an eighth note by itself.

Try this example: Open a new song and set the style to Country 4/4 (it's under the S menu). For the first bar of the song enter these 4 chords: C,C and C,^F (all 4 chords in the first bar, remember the caret before the F chord). In the second bar, enter F,F and F,F. Now use Ctrl-W to get to the notation display and press Play. Click on the B at the bottom right of the menu bar to display the Bass notes. You will see that there are 3 C notes, being 2 quarter notes, one eighth note and then a dotted quarter F note. The second bar has 4 quarter notes of F - the chord changes from C to F after counting 1 & 2 & 3 (that is, it changes on the & or the upbeat after the 3). Because you have used up the 4th beat in the first bar with your ^F designation, you cannot change the chord to anything else on beat 4

Posted by: Stu-eez

Re: How do I get chords to sound on the off-beat, or create syncopation in my music? - 01/17/21 10:00 PM

Can I do this for just one instrument? For example. I have a track where all is good, except that the guitar plays on all four beats of the bars. For one section I would like the guitar just to hit on the 1 and the 3.
Posted by: Peters Garage

Re: How do I get chords to sound on the off-beat, or create syncopation in my music? - 01/29/21 04:06 PM

There is a way - though cumbersome:

Create a copy of your songfile - remove all instruments apart from the guitar, and create the syncopation or tweaks to your guitar. Save the file with the guitar only as an audio file and import that audio file into your original song.

....yes I agree, not easy, time consuming - but it'll work
Posted by: Derek Abrams

Re: How do I get chords to sound on the off-beat, or create syncopation in my music? - 08/24/22 11:07 AM

Quote:
Can I do this for just one instrument? For example. I have a track where all is good, except that the guitar plays on all four beats of the bars. For one section I would like the guitar just to hit on the 1 and the 3.

If I understand your basic need, you can use either a power chord (..) or a held note (...) and exclude the other instruments from the "push" action, for example:

STYLE: _LAOIS.STY
PARTS: Bass, Drums, Guitar, Cello (strings)

ENTRY: ^C...bds
RESULT: This will do several things:
1. Will push (^) the guitar's C-chord to the left in the music 1/8th note. Giving it that "anticipated" feel.
2. Will hold the guitar chord (...) until the next notation.
3. Will ONLY push the guitar, and exclude the Bass, Drums, and Cello from the push action.

GUITAR ON 1 and 3
Power Chord Option:
Code:
G..bds | C..bds

Held Chord Option:
Code:
G...bds | C...bds


GUITAR ON the "&" of 1 and 3 (anticipated)
Power Chord Option:
Code:
^G..bds | ^C..bds

Held Chord Option:
Code:
^G...bds | ^C...bds


GUITAR ON the "&" of 2 and 4 (anticipated)
Power Chord Option:
Code:
,^G..bds | ,^C..bds

Held Chord Option:
Code:
,^G...bds | ,^C...bds


RESOURCES

Excluding Instruments: The coded names for the instruments are:
B=Bass, D=Drums, P=Piano, G=Guitar, S=Strings.

More Info:
https://www.pgmusic.com/manuals/bbw2022full/chapter6.htm