Getting started

Load and play a song (structured).

From the file menu select "File/Open song". Choose the song "Go down Moses". The text will appear on the screen. There are lines with lyrics and lines with chord sequences. The lines with a chord sequence always start with a dot in the first position. You can see that the chord sequence is divided in measures by vertical lines. In between are the chords and other directives. Click on the play button. The music starts with the intro (unless you have clicked the mouse somewere in the text, then it wil start from that position). The part of the chord sequence that is played, is displayed inverse. When the intro is finished, the inverse display will move thru the following measures. While it does, the chord and part of the style will be displayed on the top of the window. If you are editing a song you can check this way if all the chords and directives are recognised. If not you must have misspelled something.

Adjusting a song.

When the song is finished click on the style button and load "Ballad". Click on the play button again and the song will play in the new style. If you think this style is playing to slow then you can change the tempo. You can also change the transposition to make it better match your voice. When you save a song then all the adjustments are saved with it. Copy and pasting is done with ctr-C and ctrl-V or the Edit menu options, right clicking doesn't work here.

Playing an unstructured song.

The songtext with chords and lyrics that you find on the internet don't contain bars and comma's to indicate the timing of the chords. You can add this information to make a structured Band Minus One song, but you can also just copy and paste the chords and lyrics into Band Minus One and switch the mode from structured to unstructured. You will now see some extra buttons and check boxes on the bottom of the screen.

Past a songtext with chords and lyrics into the Chords and Lyrics window. BMO will recognise each line with only chords and spaces as a chordline, so be sure there is no additional text on the chordlines and that there are no lyrics lines with just a few characters that might be mistaken for chords. Most songtext will need no editing but be aware that the text of the included songs will not work because of the dot at the start of each chordline and the directives between braces.

To start the easy way (without a style) uncheck the Auto Start option and click the cursor at the beginning of the song. Now click on the Next Chord button, the first chord will be highlighted and played. Start singing the text beneath the chord. When another chord is above the word you are about to sing, then click the Next Chord again. When the song is finished press the Silence button.

Now check the Auto Start option and click on the Style button to select a style. Place the cursor at the beginning of the text and press the Next Chord button. The style will play the first chord, start singing and press the Next Chord button each time a new chord is reached. When the song is finished press the Stop or Intro/Ending button. Besides chord changes you can play style variations with the Fill In and Variation Up/Down buttons. A Fill In is usually played in the last measure of a verse. To play an Intro press the Intro/Ending button before you start the song with the Next Chord button.

You may want to use the cursor keys in stead of clicking on buttons. Check the Cursor Keys option. Arrow Up is Next Chord, Down is Fill In, Right is Variation Up, Left is Variation Down, Home is Intro/Ending. Without Auto Start: Arrow Up is Next Chord, Down is Repeat Chord, Right is Silence

To create a structured song from an unstructured song check the Insert Timing option. Set the tempo at half its original value to make it easier. Set the cursor at the start of the text and begin pressing the Next Chord Button. Dots, bars and comma's will be inserted to make it a structured song. When the song is finished press Stop, Select the option Structured Song, change the tempo to its original value, set the cursor at the start of the text and press Play. The song will play and probably smoother then the first time because the chord changes are now played exactly at the bars and beats and not slightly before or after as you originally played them.

The chordlines in a structured song.

To distinguish the chord lines they must start with a dot in the first position. Otherwise they will be ignored. The measures in the chord lines are indicated by vertical bars just as in score notation. Any chord change or variation change that is placed in between the bars will be in effect from the start of the measure. If you want it to start later in the measure then add a preceding comma for each beat delay.The directives for variation changes are to be put between braces {}:

i or I intro
e or E ending
a or A next main is main a
b or B next main is main b
c or C next main is main c
d or D next main is main d
f or F fill in, can be combined with any of the previous characters

N.B. Not all styles that you find will actually contain all these parts. Some styles have only main a and main b. Some have only one intro and ending.Other directives between braces are:

*t = tempo down 10
*t9 = tempo down 90
*T = tempo up 10
*T9 = tempo up 90
*d = drums off
*D = drums on
*b = bass off
*B = bass on
*i = other accompaniment instruments off
*I = other accompaniment instruments on

Valid C chords:


Substitute C with C#, D, Eb, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, Bb or B.

Exporting and importing a MIDI file.

When you have a structured song you can save it to a MIDI file. Use menu File => Export MIDI file. After that you can load it into one of the Sequencer windows for further editing. The MIDI files made with BMO can be played in any sequencer software or hardware.

You can also import a MIDI file into the Chord and Lyrics window if it contains chords and lyrics. Use menu File => Import MIDI file. The chordlines will automatically have the dots, bars and comma's for the correct timing.