Creating chords in Reaper:
Getting started with any DAW is a challenge to start with, doing so with limited or no musical theory makes this challenge extra erm..
The following screenshots and descriptions should hopefully do two things:
- Help you understand chords in a key
- Show you a quick way to enter those chords into Reaper
To do this we are going to draw our first chord and then use Transpose to edit that chord.
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New to Reaper and Piano Roll?
Please read this article first.
First let’s add a chord:
We are going to create the C Major Chord as below – in the illustration you will see that ‘key snap’ is engaged. For this tutorial that is not required:
Ctrl + A = Select All
T = Transpose
W = Rewind
(space) = Play
With the chord above entered we can now start to play around with transposing to other chords:
First select all = Ctrl + A and press ‘T’ to open the Transpose pop up.
For our purposes we are going to leave ‘semitones’ selected and we are going to tick ‘Snap to scale’ – this will keep our edits in line will the key we want to maintain.
In this case – chords from C Major.
By default it is set to C Major – check that is the case.
Chords of C Major:
We already have C Major created.
To ‘Transpose’ to a Dm we can do the following.
Type 2 into the box between ‘Semitones’ and Snap to scale – following the settings below this creates a D Minor chord – the 2nd chord in the key of C Major.
You can see the edit go live – if you click ‘OK’ this will commit to the transposed chord – if you click cancel it will revert back.
Note: This will only work if you are starting off with a C Major Chord – transposing from any other chord will create different outcomes – this tutorial is for students and/or beginners new to creating chords in Reaper’s piano roll.
To create more chords from th key of C we can use the following numbers.
2 = Dm
4 = Em
5 = F
7 = G
9 = Am
11 = B dim
You can do this for any key – but you have to create the first chord:
Also don’t forget to change ‘To scale’ – make sure it is the same.
ie Key of D – D Major Chord – ‘To scale’ = D Major and so on.
Key of D = D Major Chord
Key of E = E Major
Key of F = F Major
Key of G = G Major
Key of A = A Major
Key of B = B Major
We use this to learn chords and use them in our compositions.
Chords by key to experiment transposing: