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


I’m actually having a lot of difficulty just doing the basic major chords that I know; it’s ever so slightly so wide it messes up my muscle memory and hurts the hell out of my hand. HOWEVER I freaking love strumming this thing it really is magically; I can’t wait to see what all we come up with once we can assign chords to the fret (autoharp I see ppl calling it).


I’m with you on the width. It’s 2.5" wide, about 1/2" wider than a classical and 3/4" wider than an acoustic or electrical. The other one that I’ve mentioned, that messes up muscle memory, is that the “strings” are inset 1/4" on each side, whereas on a normal guitar, the strings are almost flush.

That said, I have small to medium sized hands and I’ve gotten quite used to playing lots of chords. Just takes a bit of practice time. I have trouble stretching for something like G7, but that’s the smallish hands plus the stretch. And on the plus side, I can finally handle barre chords like F. And on the plus plus side, no fret finger pain!


True that on the string pain :slight_smile:


My problem is, I write guitar parts atm using a guitar app that lets me set out chords then I can use my left hand to select em and right to strum; which is what was heavily implied I could do with the I1; so I’m used to all these chords/progressions that I will never have the time nor dexterity to do on an actual guitar let alone the wide I1; but I sure could if they would just let me assign chords to fret positions so I could strum; it would be magical. It will be, I have faith in em.


Yeah, I’ve noticed significant cramping and a bit of hand/wrist pain in the fretting hand too. I usually stop and switch to tap mode for a while when that happens. Is it just a normal part of learning the guitar, that will go away once the muscles get strengthened and the tendons get accustomed to stretching? If we had autoharp and/or more customizable capo it probably wouldn’t be a problem.

Using a guitar slide and open C minor chord tuning / fretted strumming, playing major and minor chords doesn’t require significant finger stretching, but playing sus chords does. Looking into finger stretching exercises. But the slide does require enough pressure to register, and if I do use my thumb/palm on the back of the instrument, it causes cramping… though I can also hold it against my body instead in some cases. Generally, playing with the slide or strumming regular fretted chords, moving my body to make the fingering easier seems to help reduce strain on the hands. (Is there a better way to hold it to reduce strain?)


Hi Arne,

I would also like to express my interest in this feature. In fact, I’ve held off from buying I1 for this reason. I think I understand OP (berakyah) correctly about playing full guitar chords triggered from a single note.

I am a bass player; playing and changing chords has always felt like climbing Everest, and I’m getting older, so it ain’t getting easier! I understand a decent amount of music theory. So, what I would like to have is common guitar chords/shapes being triggered from the position they are played in. So, the low E string played on the first fret triggers an F Major chord in first position, for example, and then an F played further up the neck plays F major in second position etc. Different chord types, including barre chords and extensions, could then be mapped and triggered from a midi foot controller, such as a Behringer FCB1010. I think something like this would be a great way for folks to get use to the sound of different chord types, by hearing them strummed naturally. Great for learning songs and for compositional purposes, too. This might actually inspire some to then go on and learn chords on a real guitar.

I would buy an update of I1 or I2, if it had this feature alone! All the guitar VSTs I have tried have really cumbersome, unintuative chord triggering configurations. For example, I like the sound of Ample Guitar VSTs (AGG particularly), but the method for triggering the chords and patterns is too annoying. If Artiphon had an in-built feature for chords, such as the ideas mentioned above, then the VSTs could just be exploited for their sounds. It sounds like many potential Artiphon buyers are looking for a feature like that. Any comments about the idea are welcome. Looking forward to seeing where Artiphon goes, cos it’s a brilliant instrument with a lot of potential.



Everyone’s different. I get far less wrist pain with the I1 than a guitar. And my wrist is probably at an unhealthy angle because I have smallish hands, so I’m trying to bend further around the wide I1 neck. I suspect there’s far less or no pain because I’m not squeezing as hard trying to hold strings down. If this is your first guitar playing experience, then I’d hope that things ease as you get used to the positioning. Justin Guitar ( has some good stretching exercises.


Enabling specific chords will always please some folks and leave others out in the cold. There are just too many combinations. I would suggest being able to assign multiple notes/tones to each fret key. This would work in fretted, grid, or pad mode. So, for example, if I wanted the basic Gmajor chord in fretted mode, I would assign notes G1, B1, D2, G2, B2, G3. I’d also want to specify that a specific pickup or string is muted or doesn’t play. That way I’d be able to properly handle chords like Amajor where the low E string isn’t supposed to be played. A system like this would also allow people to define chords anywhere on the neck. I suppose once that mechanism is available, one could assign as many notes as you wanted to a specific fret key. That would provide ultimate flexibility.

To get people going, Artiphon could provide presets for the most common chords, although everyone’s definition of the most common varies.


Ultimate flexibility would be allowing us to assign whatever chords wherever we want. The I1 already has to trigger the changes in the strum strings when all notes are
Pressed it can do the same with just one button. We are talking about a separate mode here not taking away anything from anyone else’s experience.


Thank you, everyone! Please keep the feedback coming.


My current guitar app REAL GUITAR already lets me do this; I can select x many chords, place em where I want em; then select each one and strum. It even has a library of chords; plus if something’s not in the library you can add it. Cost: $2


That apps ability plus the strum pads of the I1 would magical and something that just kicks my ass when I think that I1 doesn’t support this feature; I am however very hopeful that they will implement it.


What I’m suggesting wouldn’t require a library of chords. By being able to assign any combination of notes to any fret key, you can create whatever chord you liked. You wouldn’t be limited what may or may not be provided. All you’d have to do is enter the notes. These can be obtained from chord diagrams, guitar or piano or anything else. There are thousands of sites and apps that provide diagrams for everything from he simplest chord to the most esoteric.

This approach would be a separate tuning mode, available in fretted, grid, and pad modes. I don’t play the violin, so I don’t know if it would work in fretless mode.

While I don’t know anything about the internal programming of the I1, based on my software experience, it’s often easier to program a generic solution rather than many specific ones. The specific needs fall out of the generic. In the case of the I1, there’s already the ability to set a specific fret key to a specific note. The addition would be to allow a fret key to play multiple notes and to provide an interface that is able to assign multiple notes.

As for playing, there are a number of options. Obviously tapping or pressing a fret key could play the chord. For strumming, you’d want an interface that’s a little more complex. Where a fret key is assigned a sequence of notes, but that sequence of notes is also assigned to specific pickups. For example, in the example I used for Gmajor, if I choose the strumming option, I’d be assigning G1, B1, D2, G2, B2, G3 to pickups 1 through 6. Then if I pressed the appropriate fret key and strummed, I’d hear a Gmajor chord. With the other option, simply pressing the appropriate fret key would sound the Gmajor chord, with no strumming. I know Garageband can do that.


Just took a look at Real Guitar. What I’m suggesting is something like their Chord Finder section. There, you tap the fret fingerings and which, if any, strings don’t sound. Then the app searches for the chord and if not found, you can add it to the library. While the interface is easy to use and relates well to chord diagrams, although most diagrams have the nut on top or on the left, it does not relate to a piano. And while you could use a different interface for a piano, my suggested interface applies to any instrument that plays chords. And if a basic library of chords was desirable for complete beginners, it could be provided as a set of presets.


I get it now; pretty good actually.


If full, general customizability is difficult to implement quickly without risk of bugs, in the meantime it would be great to have at least a simple autoharp for fretted strumming. Maybe a separate mode in which we program a few specific (string, fret) locations to change the bridge. Then the other (string, fret) locations could either do nothing or raise the corresponding bridge string note by the corresponding fret semitone value.

Ultimately what I’d like is the ability to map each (string, fret) onto a combination of (notes, bridge strings / “pick-ups”, instruments) so that one bridge string might be a guitar and another might be a harp or a piano (or a sample, or command to the DAW, etc.). And eventually even the ability to program different methods to apply to different parts of the instrument, so some portions of the (string, fret) grid could be tap and others could be strum, or some could be fretted strum and others fretless strum, etc.

But I don’t know exactly how tap grid and fretted string are implemented. Autoharp for tap mode can be simulated using DAWs, but in fretted strum mode afaik DAWs just get information from the bridge, so (without trying to hack the hardware) strumming autoharp would have to be implemented by the developers. And strumming mode benefits much more from autoharp than tap mode does, because learning to play fretted guitar chords at all fluently takes a long time and intensive practice to learn how to stretch and contort your fingers into arbitrary-seeming formations (and even with a guitar slide playing both major and minor chords causes significant hand/wrist pain—I don’t want to get carpal tunnel). So hopefully implementing the two will have a lot of overlap, but if they have to prioritize one or the other, it would be much better to prioritize autoharp in fretted strumming mode.


I venture to say that neither approach could be implemented quickly or bug-free without extensive testing.

What I’m suggesting is actually pretty straightforward, although not necessarily easy to program. Assign a series of notes to a fret key/button. You can already assign any single note, so an extension of the UI plus the way the fret key/note combination is stored would do that part. Then have an option of either having the chord (note combination) played when the fret key is pressed, like a hammer on, or having the sequence of notes assigned to the corresponding bridge triggers so that it could be strummed. Sounds like a combination of grid mode and fretted mode. Tap mode would be a simplification, but would need the same algorithm.


This is a great discussion, thank you everyone. Would you rather be able to select a note location on the fingerboard and strum so that the chord is played from lowest to highest note or just get the full chord if strummed, tapped etc.?
Obviously both have their applications and have been discussed in this thread, I just try to learn what your priorities would be.


As a wannabe guitar player, I’d prefer the former, select a note location on the fingerboard and strum so that the chord is played from lowest to highest. That would be like a cross-over mode - grid + fretted strum.

Not sure I follow the second option for strumming. Tapping I understand. That would be tapping a note location on the fingerboard and having the chord play immediately instead of waiting for the strum.

The tapping approach to chords would appeal to people who want a piano-like action. Being allowed to play multiple keys at a time would allow chords to be played in different octaves with two fingers.

Something that hasn’t been mentioned, but would be a useful extension at some point, is to be able to specify whether a particular fret key or note location contains a chord or not. That would allow us to specify single key chords (chords that are difficult to play) on high frets but leave the lower frets for standard guitar chords.


Here are a couple of screenshots showing a possible UI. This would apply to the Grid and Tap modes.

I’ve added a couple of switches/checkboxes to the More page. The first is whether or not Multiple Notes for a given key are enabled. The default would be off. The second is whether or not strumming is enabled. The second switch is only meaningful if multiple notes are enabled. I would suggest that strumming be the default.

If multiple notes are enabled, then there are a few changes on the Tuning page. Any key with multiple notes shows Multi rather than a note name and the sequence of notes appears below the fretboard diagram. The note and octave selectors are moved over to allow the Another Note? switch to fit. The only reason for the Another Note switch is to indicate when entering notes is ended. I suppose simply tapping away from the current key could do that. Or a switch might be needed to indicate that the current note is complete and to move on to the next. The asterisks in the note sequence mean that a note is required in that position. For the strummed option, there should be 6 notes. To allow for strings not played or muted, the note name selector could include a dash, indicating no sound. That would also allow strings to be muted for non-six stringed instruments. If a note isn’t entered, that string is not played.

In tap mode, the number of notes wouldn’t matter, although there might be an implementation limit. Tapping that key simply plays the listed notes all at once.