Adding Chords not in Key

I’d like a function that would allow one to easily enter any chord they’d like, irrespective of the key they’re in. For example, a chromatic series with alternating major and minor chords: A, A#m, B, Cm, C#, Dm…etc. This function would work virtually identically to the way you can enter individual notes and then adjust them up and down by half-steps (and octaves.) It would also allow you to simply change a chord to minor or major (or diminished or augmented, etc.) by use of a single key command. Say, something like a “pallet” like you’d use in MS Paint, with the colors replaced by every possible chord. You’d select “C” major, and then hit “<” to change it to minor.

Better yet, maybe you could just select the chord area and hit “C” on your keyboard and a C major chord would appear, which you could then adjust as mentioned above. It sure would simplify things and make writing much faster and much less frustrating.

I’ve read the manual repeatedly and can’t find anything remotely like this. I also searched the forums and have seen a few posts from 2015 mentioning something like this. One post explained that this is more of a “modern songrwiting” tool, and not for Jazz, for example. Surprisingly, I stumbled across this software when searching for the sheet music for the Raiders of the Lost Ark ‘map room theme’ (which is certainly not a ‘simple’ piece.)

I was jubilant when I found ‘Hookpad.’ Overall, it’s a great product. I’d been wondering for years why someone hadn’t made something so intuitive and useful. The layout is visually excellent and even educational. Most of the functions are simple and intuitive - except entering chords! If that were simplified, I’d buy the full package in a heartbeat and use it daily! Thanks for listening.

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Thanks for your post.

The question of how chords are entered is in a way fundamental to both the role we see Hookpad playing as a songwriting sketchpad and the spirit of Hooktheory in general. This topic has been discussed in other posts before, one of which I’ve quoted below.

In summary, there are many programs out there that allow you to compose music using arbitrary chords. Hookpad is different in that chord progressions are written from a functional perspective that encourages users to think about the music theory behind their songs, as well as songs analyzed in the Theorytab database. We believe that doing so provides a richer experience in the long run by teaching useful songwriting techniques.

Nearly all popular music fits nicely within this framework, however there’s always going to be some music, perhaps jazz, or movie scores that doesn’t, either because it doesn’t use functional harmony, or it drifts between tonal centers, or both. This is a tradeoff that we’ve chosen for Hookpad.

That’s not to say that we won’t support an “arbitrary chord” option in the future, but it’s not in the current plan.


OK, I understand where you’re coming from and that makes sense. I’ll continue to use Hookpad for exploring harmonies and so forth. Thanks for listening and taking the time to respond!

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Thanks for sharing such valuable insights on chords. Right now, I am also learning Death Bed Chords. If you can help me with any extra input it will be very helpful

You can search for non-diatonic chords using the search chord option.
All 12 chromatic major and minor chords are there to easily add to you project.
I happily just discovered this yesterday :grinning:


Thank you so much for that suggestion, this will do what I need. Awesome find!

How do you enter a chord that you desire into a particluar measure?

I am doing a chromatic descent progression and the Search Option
does not allow me to type in an Eflat minor.

Have you tried D# minor? Sometimes this helps.