Band in a Box needs a series of chords (a chord progression) as the basis for generating music. There are numerous ways of entering chords into Band-in-a-Box. You can use the computer keyboard, a MIDI controller keyboard, the Chord Builder, importing chords from a MIDI file, importing chords from an audio file (WAV, MP3, WMA, WMV) with the Audio Chord Wizard or load an existing Band-in-a-Box song.

Computer KeyboardEdit

BiaB Main Screen

BiaB - Chord Sheet

On the main screen of the program, you’ll see an area called the chord sheet. Each of the numbered cells on the chord sheet represents a bar. In this example, we see that there is a C chord in the first bar of this song, an F9 chord in bar 3, and later in the song, a G and G7. Notice the box in the first half of bar 1. This is the highlight cell, and it represents the bar you are currently working on. You can move the highlight cell around using the cursor keys, or click on any bar with the mouse.

To enter a specific chord, move the highlight cell to where you want to place the chord. For example, to add (or change) a chord in bar 10, you would highlight bar 10 on the chord sheet. Next, type in your chord and press [Enter]. Notice that when you use the enter key, the highlight cell moves to the second half of the bar. You could then enter another chord at beat 3. Chords names are normally typed using standard chord symbols (like C or Fm7 or Bb7 or Bb13#9/E).[1]

MIDI Controller KeyboardEdit

If you have a MIDI controller keyboard, you can use it to enter chords into Band-in-a-Box. Play a chord on your MIDI keyboard, and then type Ctrl+Enter. The chord will be entered into the chord sheet at the current highlight cell position.[2]

Chord BuilderEdit

Press the Chord Builder button. This opens the Chord Builder dialog with a list of chord roots and their extensions. To enter a chord at the current bar, select the chord root from the left pane, and then the extension on the right pane. Pressing [Enter Chord] or using the arrow keys will enter the chord and advance the highlight cell to the next half bar.[2]

MIDI FileEdit

You can have Band-in-a-Box import chords from an existing MIDI file. Choose Import Chords from MIDI File on the File menu. When the dialog opens, press the [Open (Change)…] button to choose a MIDI file that you want Band-in-a-Box to interpret the chords from. To help Band-in-a-Box interpret the chords better, you should choose a genre (Preset) for the song. Choose from among such genres as Pop, Rock, or Jazz Standard.[2]

Audio Chord WizardEdit

The Audio Chord Wizard is the amazing feature that automatically figures out the chords from MP3 files (or other audio files like WAV, WMA, and audio CD etc.). You can make adjustments for the start of bar 1 and individual bar lines and also mark sections of the song using part markers, and the sections will begin on a new line with a line space between so they are clearly seen.

Chords can be edited with a right-mouse click on the chord symbol. Edited chords are colored blue. Send the chords to Band-in-a-Box to make your own arrangement, tranpose to your key, and print your own lead sheet for the song with chords, melody, and lyrics.[3]

Band-in-a-Box SongEdit

You can load a pre-existing song by using the File|Open menu item, or by typing [F3], which will launch the BB File open dialog.[4]


  1. Band-in-a-Box 2009.5 User's Guide.pdf p16
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Band-in-a-Box 2009.5 User's Guide.pdf p17
  3. Band-in-a-Box 2009.5 User's Guide.pdf p18
  4. Band-in-a-Box 2009.5 User's Guide.pdf p19

External LinksEdit

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