CAN I really not assign chords to the fretboard for one button chords, so I can strum the chord like a guitar?


I am trying to keep my cool here but as I can see it, this ZERO purpose for me; if I wanted to play a guitar using actual chord locations, I would play a guitar with midi pickups…someone needs to make a youtube video so others don’t get snared. I am just so frustrated; I waited with pins and needles to get this; and it can’t even do what a simple $2 guitar inter app does.

Someone give me a glimmer of hope or I’d like someone to contact me about returning.


Hi, we currently do not have chords assignable to fret locations. We are constantly adding features and this one is on our list. We can not officially commit to any timeline here since we can not talk about future features. I just want to point out that this makes sense.
You can use a chord generator in a DAW like Logic etc. right now but, like you mentioned, you could do that with a guitar and a midi pickup.
Depending on your goals you could also create a custom tuning in a grid/ tap mode and assign a chord per fret. There is also a preset that already has that set up, “Tap Chords”

This is the tuning editor:

For returns, please contact [email protected] so that we can handle it properly. The users in this forum are not captured in our system the same way our sales and support system works.

Thank you

Can I not set chords to the fretboard for one button strummings?
Isn't there a way to assign chords to the fretboard for one button chord strumming? I'm shattered, just got it and alas I don't think I can?
I am trying to keep my cool here but why can't I assign chords for strumming?

I actually got the I1 so I could write guitar parts organically with real strumming; I can’t in no way shape or form learn all of these chords; I’m a keyboardist. This is breaking my freaking heart man. I really feel like a fool. :worried:


Really just don’t understand why the same settings the very same settings that are in the tap mode; why can’t I just select Strom and then I hold the button on the fret and then strum why is that so difficult ?

It’s no brainer…


It is definitely a great idea and the feature itself might be a no brainer. To get the actual UI implementation, the code written, tested and debugged is different story. We agree 100% that strummed chords would be great.


Well the point is to develop real guitar parts that will be played by someone else with a real guitar; so I have to be able to strum and pick strings. The point of this instrument was to bring me in full body motion and placement of a guitarist for writing guitar parts.

I already do this with an iPhone but it’s small, gives me cramps and doesn’t have full body motion like this does; this feels like a guitar mostly;

but how couple dollar guitar apps have this and this amazing piece of hardware doesn’t really has made me sick all afternoon. I went thru a lot to get this :(( so freaking much only for this it’s so heart wrenching.


Yes you can fully customize and place chords anywhere on the fretboard; just can’t actually strum it like a…guitar.


Why is this fret board layout even with guitar? If it doesn’t play like a guitar but plays just like keyboard mode with guitar sounds.


It’s misleading is what it is; yea man you can put all your guitar chords where ya want man just don’t try and play like a guitar.


If you have Apple Logic Pro X you can use the midi plug- in “chord trigger” to achieve this:

On the top you can set wich note you play and at the bottom you assign the desired chord. I know that this is not the same as in GarageBand for iPhone where you get ready-made chords.


That’s actually nice; no mac yet but was gunna get a mini this summer if I really took to the I1. It’s off to a ruff start; I’m trying so hard to justify having it but I have a guitar if I want to learn chords. I wish they’d tell us if this is indeed something that will come sooner than later.

The sad part is I actually chose I1 over Magic Instrument which actually does have one button hold chords programmable on the fret board.


I dont want ready made chords just wanna be able to do what can already be done; just have to let us assign chords to points in the fret bar when they are pressed they activate the chord and the 6 strings become the chord when strummed. The UI is already and the coding wouldn’t be as tremendous giving the tools already established.


Laurent Colson’s ChordPolyPad will do this on iOS, and works well with the I1 in pad mode. But have a look at the documentation first and see whether it seems to fit the bill for you; happy to try to field any questions about using it with the I1. You’d be tapping rather than strumming, which may or may not be a dealbreaker; the I1 (sensibly for most purposes, but not yours!) disables strumming in pad mode. (The same developer’s fantastic arpeggiator app StepPolyArp was an early crush with me when my own I1 first arrived, though it’s mainly with guitarist chords that that one comes into its own.)

What I would say, seven weeks into the Artiphon experience myself, is don’t give up on the I1 if it doesn’t exactly do the thing you most want to do in the way you first wanted to do it. It’s less a self-contained device than a radically configurable Swiss Army interface between your fingers and the vast and gamechanging iOS (and desktop, but especially iOS) music-making ecosystem, and as you spend time with it – and small change in the app store that supports visionary developers to make us tools to transform the ways we imagine and create music – you find portals of possibility opening up in front of you that you’d never have dreamed of without this device in your life.


Thank you Nick! I have to test this.


@Nick Interesting. Is this something like iOS Garageband’s smart guitar, where you can set a chord and either strum it in Garageband or touch the chord name and have Garageband do the strum? Obviously ChordPolyPad is much more flexible.


Same issue here, I’m waiting for them to implement this. (Suffice it to say, I was extremely upset when I found out and I’m still very displeased.) But I’ve found a few work-arounds in the meantime for strumming chords:

  1. Use a guitar slide and open-C (or G, etc.) tuning in fretted mode. (The strings are set up to play a C chord when the fretboard isn’t touched, and the slide holds down all the strings on a single fret.) This seems to be the most ergonomic option for fast playing, but you can’t easily play both major and minor chords, unless you set the top strings to one of major/minor and the bottom strings to the other. Same goes for sus chords, etc.
  2. Have a different preset for each chord, and switch presets when you want to change chords. One problem with this is that when you switch presets the sound from the Artiphon stops abruptly. There must be ways to mask this using DAWs though.
  3. Similar to 1, but without guitar slide, using the capos instead. Okay for switching between nearby root notes, but awkward for switching between 1st and 5th degrees. Also, when you press the capo rapidly, it sometimes seems to go up discontinuously—either a press won’t immediately register, or it will seem like a single press goes up two instead of one. Even with a piece of tape marking the 5th degree, I found this very awkward. Using a guitar slide seems better currently, though if we had greater control over what the capos do (so pressing the capo button once went up or down a predefined scale or series of root notes, for example if we’re just playing C, F, and G major chords one press of the capo up would change from C to F, etc.) it could allow for one-handed guitar playing.


Yes, it’s the same idea with (a lot) more configurability, and with the MIDI trigger input that’s so maddeningly lacking for GarageBand’s smart instruments. There are a lot of features I’ve never used (such as what looks to be a very powerful system of custom MIDI control messages), but the basic setup is that chords of your choice are mapped to up to 128 pads which you can then trigger with MIDI notes in chromatic sequence starting at your choice of four octave points. Each chord can have its own strum preset – up, down, random, or off – and spacing between strummed notes.

Chord sets can be saved in-app in named presets. If you’re never going to use more than twelve different chords in a single preset, all you need to set up in the Artiphon app is a pad preset spanning a chromatic octave from the C of your choice – though in grid mode there are up to 78 different chords triggerable from a single I1 preset (and that’s without using the capo buttons, which can open up several more octaves of triggers if needed).

It’s obviously not quite going to give you the control full autochording with strum would, because you can’t omit any notes/strings from the chord. But if you just want something that will replicate the GB smart instruments on a physical instrument, it does the job very well – and you can map the MIDI out to any app you like.

The documentation is a bit sparse and the online videos rather tangential for I1 users (they’re mainly geared to using ChordPolyPad to control external devices, rather than vice-versa), but if you play around with the built-in sounds and presets you’ll get the idea fairly quickly.


I may try that out thanks! However the real issue here is the desire to organically write guitar parts without memorizing the chord progressions (I can already do this with the $2 real guitar app but it’s small and doesn’t have the feel of the I1); all the I1 would need is a programmable fret board for chords(a chord library and an ability to make chords/finger placements something the $2 app also has) and this would instantly become a song writing dream; the dream I thought it was.

Their language doesn’t help either as they never explain that you can’t program the fretboard for strumming chords; which is crazy to me just crazy; all they have to open the customization fretboard over to strumming; hold down one at a time and strum the chord or pick the strings. It really is that easy, that’s why it’s on a $2 app. I am trying to have faith in them though; they made this amazing instrument and seem like they are far far from done with it.


I may have to try some of your work arounds. My biggest problem is that with one button fret chords and strumming it would feel like playing an actual guitar as the right hand(in my case) would strum nearly exactly as it normally would while the left holds down chords just like it normally would just instead of spidering my hand allover the fret board just hitting one at a time. This is what I mean by organic, it’s natural.


Yeah, using a guitar slide (in fretted strum mode, with open-C tuning etc.) reproduces that organic left-hand on fretboard, right-hand strumming feel. I just realized that it can accomodate major, minor, and sus chords by setting the open strings to play a minor chord. Have the slide on your index finger, holding down all the strings on the fret, and use your other fingers to hold down the strings corresponding to the third degree of the minor scale on the next fret to your right to make them major. (Your fingers can be anywhere between frets x and x+1 to trigger fret x+1, so it doesn’t require too much flexibility. The fret held furthest to your right determines what note the string plays, which is why we have to set it to minor to get both minor and major.) For sus chords do the same thing except going two frets over (to make the minor thirds into perfect fourths). In practice it’s very simple and requires minimal memorization, though it may take some getting used to.

Curious if anyone else has tips on how to simulate autoharp ergonomically while we wait for it to be implemented…