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 CampFire Guitar Song Window  

The Song Window is the main screen in  CampFire guitar.  The song window is where you edit your songs, save songs, transpose songs, hear chords, and print songs with a chord summary.

 The Song Window has two panes.  The top pane is the chord summary,  the bottom pane is the song editor.  


Song Editor Functionality

  • Chord Highlighting:  As you type in CampFire Guitar, if a line contains mostly chords, it will be displayed in a different color or font to highlight the chords.  The colors and fonts used can be changed in the font settings dialog.  Select menu "Song", "Song Options" to change the color, font or size of song and chord lines.
  • Hear Chord Samples:  CampFire Guitar will play a sample of a chord whenever the cursor touches a chord. This can be done either with the mouse or keyboard.
  • Play Song: This feature is designed to help you play through a song showing the fingering of each chord and playing a sample.  Press the play button, and CampFire guitar will step through the song playing and displaying the chords as it goes so you can play along.
  • Transpose Songs :  This is a powerful feature of CampFire Guitar.  Transposing a song can be used to change the key of a song to better match your vocal range.  Also, on guitar, transposing a song from one key to another can make it much easier to play.  On a guitar, a capo can be used when transposing if you want to preserve the original key of the song but play the song as if it were in a different key.
  • Print Songs:  CampFire Guitar can print any song with a custom chord summary at the top of each page that gives a fingering diagram for each chord in the song.  This is a great feature for building a notebook of your favorite songs, and you never have to look up another chord again!

The "Song" menu provides access to the different features of the Song Window.  Click on the menu "Song", then "Song Options" to change the behavior or appearance of the song window:

Font Options
In this section, you can set the font that CampFire Guitar will use to display chord lines and lyric lines within a song. Normally, CampFire Guitar should be used to display songs in a fixed pitch font only. This is because fonts that do not have a fixed pitch could cause the chords not to line up correctly above the lyrics. You can uncheck the "Allow only fixed pitch fonts" check box to allow CampFire Guitar to use other fonts on your system. CampFire guitar will only allow selection of fonts that are supported by both your display and your printer. Another thing to keep in mind is that the chord and lyric fonts should be set to a similar size, as this will help to preserve the alignment of the chords over the lyrics.

Editing Options
You can change the behavior of the CampFire Guitar editor. When you check "Track Cursor and play chords Automatically" CampFire Guitar will update the chord display in the chord window based on the current position of the cursor. If you check "Show Chord, but don't play sound" CampFire Guitar will display chords based on cursor position, but it will not play the sound of the chord. If "Recolor on the fly" is checked, CampFire Guitar will recolor chord lines as necessary while you type. On slower computers, this can cause a flicker while typing. To prevent the flicker, you can turn off "Recolor on the Fly". If you do this, it will be necessary to select "Recolor Now" when you want the song to be recolored.

Print Margins
You can set the print margins by specifying new values in inches.

Other choices on the "Song" menu include...

Recolor Song:  CampFire Guitar will display chord lines in a different font / color than lyric lines in your song. You can select this option to recolor the song. This is necessary if you disable "Recolor on the fly" (see song options above).

Play Song:  Before you play your song, place the cursor on the line where you would like to start play from. CampFire Guitar will always start from the beginning of the line that you select. When you click the play button, CampFire Guitar will begin stepping through your song, and whenever it encounters a chord, it will play it for you.

It is best to keep in mind that the play feature is just a guide to help you learn the chords that are in a song. It won't sound exactly like the song. You must experiment to figure out the timing and find a strumming/picking pattern that sounds good for a given song. Use the play feature only to get an idea of how the progression of chords goes.

Stop Play: When the song is playing, you can use this to stop play.

Adjust The Play Rate: Select a rate of play for the song. You can choose from very slow to very fast. Use very slow to learn a new song that has many chords you don't know. It will give you lots of time to practice the chords. Use very fast to skim through the song to get a general idea of how it sounds.

Transpose:  Select the transpose menu if you want to change the key of the song.  When you click "Transpose", a window similar to this will appear:

In this window, when you click the up arrow, the song will be transposed to the next higher key.  Likewise, the down arrow will transpose the song to the next lower key.  When transposing a song, Campfire Guitar will automatically keep track of the capo position that will preserve the original key of the song.  Using a capo is optional if you want the key of the song to change.

When you click "OK", the transposed song will appear in a new window.  CampFire Guitar will not prompt you to save transposed songs unless you make further modifications after transposing.

Auto Play Sound: This allows you to turn off the automatic playing of chords when the cursor is positioned beside a chord in the editor. 

Chord Summary Functionality

The Chord Summary is where you will view the chords in the current song and change your preferred fingering if desired.  The Song menu also controls the functionality associated with the Chord Summary.  From Within the Song Menu, you canEdit, Update or Rebuild the Chord Summary. 

Updating the Chord Summary

When CampFire Guitar opens a song for the first time, it scans through the song identifying the chords and adds them to the chord summary. When you modify a song or type one in from scratch, you may have to manually update the Chord Summary. When you update the Chord Summary, CampFire Guitar rescans your song identifying any new chords that it can. Updating the Chord Summary will not change any chords that are currently in the Chord Summary, It will only add new chords that are found. This is important if you have modified some of the chords in your chord summary and don't want to loose your changes.

When the ChordSummary is updated, it default to the preferred chord type (Open or Bar) that is set in the guitar window options.  To change this, select "View" menu, then "Guitar Options", or right-click on the guitar fretboard in the guitar window.  When bar chords are selected, CampFire Guitar will add the 6th string & 5th string versions of the chord to the chord summary.

Rebuilding the Chord Summary

This is just like Updating the Chord Summary, except CampFire Guitar will delete the current chord summary and rebuild it completely. Any chords that you have modified will be overwritten!

Editing the Chord Summary

Select "Song" then "Chord Summary" then "Edit"... to display the Chord Summary Edit Dialog.

Note: This is a more advanced feature of CampFire Guitar, and it may not be useful until you are comfortable with chord naming and formations. However, You can safely exeriment with this feature because you can always Rebuild the Chord Summary.


This dialog is used if you wish to modify the chords or fingerings that are shown in the chord summary. The most common reasons for editing the chord summary are to convert open chords to bar chords, to add unusual chords that CampFire Guitar could not identify, or to "override" the fingering that CampFire Guitar suggests for a chord.

Chord Fingering Notation

The fingering for open chords is represented by a 6 digit string of numbers or the letter 'x'. The 6 digits correspond from left to right to which fret you play from the Low E string to the High E string on your guitar.

For Example: x00232 =  D  x - do not play low E,  0 - open A string, 0 - open D string,  2- 2nd Fret on G string, 3- 3rd Fret on B string, 2 - 2nd Fret on High E string.

The fingering notation for a Bar chord is based on a variation of an open E or A chord. It starts with a 'B' to indicate bar. Then the next 6 characters are the normal open formation for the E or A based chord. Finally, there is a dash '-' and then a 1 or 2 digit number indicating the base fret for the chord.

For Example: 022100 = open 'E' B022100-0 = 6th String Bar 'E' chord B022100-1 = 6th String Bar 'F' chord B022100-2 = 6th String Bar 'F#' chord.  Likewise for 5th string bar chords:  x02220 = open 'A' Bx02220-0 = 5th String Bar 'A' chord Bx02220-1 = 5th String Bar 'A#/Bb' chord Bx02220-2 = 5th String Bar 'B' chord...

To Add a Chord to the Chord Summary, Click on the <<Add Chord>> line, then select the root note, then enter a modifier (i.e. min6, sus2, etc..). When you move to the fingering line, CampFire Guitar will suggest a fingering. This fingering can be modified to whatever you wish.

To change a Chord From Open to Bar, Select the chord in the list, then click the radio button for the Bar formation that you prefer.  To change any fingering, Select the chord in the list, and then edit the formation to be what you wish.

To Remove a Chord, select it and click the Remove button.

Other Song Functionality Availiable:

Song Folder

When you install CampFire Guitar, it defaults to keeping your songs in a folder on the drive it was  installed on in a folder called "CampFireSongs".  If you would prefer CampFire Guitar to save your songs in another location, you can change your song folder.  To do this, select "View", "Song Folder", "Change Song Folder".  This will bring up a dialog that will let you specify a new location for your song folder.

Printing Songs

To print your songs with CampFire Guitar, select "File", "Print".  If you want to view what the printout will look like prior to printing, select "File", "Print Preview".  If you want to change settings such as paper size or orientation, select "File", "Print Setup".


This is a great feature of CampFire Guitar. Imagine, you can build a library of all of your favorite songs, and then print each song with it's own custom Chord Summary. You'll never need to look up a chord again!

When printing a song, Text will not wrap. This is because if the text wraps, it will throw off the positioning of all of the chords in the song. Songs can be printed either portrait or landscape. If text is spilling off the edges of the page, switch to landscape printing. If it still won't fit, the song must be edited to fit on the page.

The trial version of CampFire Guitar will allow 3 printouts.  After you register your copy of the program, printing will be unlimited.

Helpful Hints:

Click on Chords in the Chord Summary to display and play the chord in the Guitar Window.

Click on Chord Names within the song itself to display and play the chord in the Guitar Window.

Keep Song files small. If a file contains an entire album, split it up by songs into seperate files.

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