I'm just starting to produce music and am loving the chord display on Garageband. The first track I made I used the chord display to keep track of what chords I was playing. Hours later I went back to the project and the same keys were saying they were different chords. The previous chords seemed more "basic" (not a bunch of notes and other things I didn't understand but more just G#). Basically, I played some keys, It said something like C5. Now, it says something lie Dno3^7/___ .Is this just a glitch or setting I need to change? Sorry if this seems really really uneducated I'm just starting and trying to get it back to a display that looks more user friendly.

  • In general, take chord identifies on any DAW with a grain of salt. They tend to try and take a brute force aproch and try to whatever there base guess is and try to make it if the set of notes hence the Dno3^7 Which makes no sense as a chord. I don't know garage band enough to actually answer your questions specific concerns through
    – Dom
    Mar 4, 2019 at 5:47

1 Answer 1


I must say that it's likely that the chord display interprets chords quite literally (that's why they tend to be absolute rubbish at detecting chords within context, and I highly recommend you develop your theory/musical ear so that you don't have to rely on these in the future).

Therefore, if the machine said you played a C5, you were most likely playing the notes C and G. If the machine said that you were playing a D7(no3), you were probably playing the notes D, A, and C. Are you sure you were playing the same notes every time? I think what may have happened is that the first time you played it, you played C, G, and C, but the second time, you missed and accidentally played D, A, and C (the D and A are the white notes to the right of C and G).

Or it really is a glitch or malfunction of some sort, in which case it's unlikely that this site can help you at all.

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