How to add notes out of the scale?


I am trying to write a song with chromaticism. It is easy to add borrow chords from other scales, but it isn’t easy to do the same think in the melody.

I couldn’t find how to add notes out of the scale. This program won’t allow me to? Or is there a way to do that?

Thank you so much.


If you mean adding notes that don’t belong to the diatonic scale (i.e. a “chromatic tone”, which doesn’t belong to the chosen scale), you can use “.” and “,” to raise and lower a semitone any selected melody note.

A trick I used to learn how to do this was to compare MODAL scales with the two standard diatonic major and minor scales. For example:

C major(ionian): C D E F G A B C -> 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1.
C mixolydian: C D E F G A Bb C -> 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7 1

By writing in C major and using just diatonic chords within the scale (C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am, Bdim,), if I were to use the note Bb instead of B, that would be considered a chromatic note. Let’s try a minor example:

A minor: A B C D E F G A -> 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 1
A dorian: A B C D E F# G A -> 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7 1

If I were to use F# instead of F, again that would be chromaticism. You don’t have to do this with modes, but I find it helps you to learn different “flavors” so you can learn how they all sound compared to eachother. You could use C#, or E#, or Gb, etc. any different note under the sun, and it would still be considered chromatic. But often just throwing random chromatic notes around out of context sounds weird. That is why modes are so helpful :slight_smile: