Review and suggestions for Fretspace

sorry for the long post here, I could not find your email adress.
I bought Fretspace last night and realized only later that there is an option to try before I buy. Unfortunately Fretspace does not work for my purposes in some important aspects. Please let me know how to get a refund since I did not register Fretspace yet. Nevertheless you may find my suggestions worthy for further developments.

I wanted to use Fretspace as a chart creating software in the first place that allows me to create sheets with chord diagrams. There are are hardly any apps around that can do this, most of them are way too simplistic. The only one that is worth mentioning because of its great interface is the IOS app „GuitarToolkit“ with its „Chord sheets". But the developers do not support it since 2016 and it does not work properly anymore.

So I changed to Fretspace on my Macbook. While it offers many great features it is lacking as a flexible chart creator. It would be perfect if these features (some existing on the IOS Guitartoolkit app) would be added:

​- a horizontal fretboard to enter chord diagrams (not empty boxes), with the notes sounding in real time when you enter them. Press enter and they appear on the chart.

  • A feature to alter the chart grid so you can fit more chord diagrams (boxes) in one line. With my iPad app up to 9 are possible in one line. With four chords in one line the chords are way too big to show a longer sequence on one page.

  • Entering a free space instead of a chord diagram to give it more visual structure when a chord is kept for more beats

  • Even better: moving chord diagrams horizontally freely (or in a thin grid) in one line to make chord changes visually clearer with a beat in mind.

  • add text paragraphs between the lines with „chorus“ „refrain“ etc.

  • a feature to add repeat signs of certain chord sets etc. (like in a note sheet)

  • Enter beatstrokes (a vertical line after, say, three, four, six or eight chords = one beat)

  • a feature or click to switch from edit mode to play mode = whenever you click on a chord you hear its sound. As it is now you need to click the play button first - with each chord.

  • Edit mode: tapping on a chord = fast arpeggio (like it is now), tapping and staying on the chord = slow arpeggio

  • Way better guitar sounds

One more thought: There are so many IOS apps that feature scales and chords. There are only two that allow to build your own chord charts: One is not supported anymore, the other is a bit clunky when entering chords, forget about the rest. If you ever decide to port your app to IOS you would enter a market with hardly any competitors.

As it stands now Fretspace is not really usable for my needs. Maybe I overlooked something but I checked the help document as well.

Hi Heinrich,

Thanks for your feedback!

If you message me here (click on my photo and then on the Message button) and tell me the email address you used to purchase Fretspace, I can refund your purchase. You can continue using Fretspace in demo mode for a while after that.

Fretspace is a tool for exploring the fretboard (chords, scales, arpeggios) rather than a tool for creating song charts. I agree that it could be developed in that direction, but that’s not where it is at the moment. On the other hand, you can very easily use it with a word processor (e.g. Nisus Writer) or page layout program (e.g. to create song charts: select the shapes you want to use in Fretspace, copy them, and paste them into the word processor or layout program. Fretspace copies shapes in PDF (vector) format, so you can resize them in the layout program without losing quality.

You can choose Flexible Layout from the Chart menu if you want to display more shapes on a line. You can also change the page size (e.g. from A4 to A3) using the Page Layout dialog. Flexible Layout is a good choice if you are viewing the shapes within Fretspace, while Fixed Layout shows you how the shapes will appear when a chart is printed. Changing the page size affects fixed layout but has no effect on flexible layout.

You can use the space bar (instead of clicking on the Play button) as a shortcut for playing chords etc. (You can also select and play multiple chords etc.)

The guitar sounds are midi sounds that come with macOS. You can choose between different guitar sounds in the Playback pane of the Settings dialog (Settings is called Preferences in older versions of macOS).

Hi Jeremy,
​thanks for your prompt feedback, great customer service! I hope I did not choose the wrong channel to reply now, as I did not find a message button when clicking on your foto (just prompts, member, anniversary, Thank you etc.). My email adress is ****** (at) ******. Thanks indeed for the refund and the option to use the app in a trial period for some days with the workarounds you suggested. Should I realise I have a need for it I will definitely purchase the app, but as it stands now… I understand you are going in a different direction with Fretspace which in my case is a pity. I have read a lot of posts of people looking for an (IOS) app that does what I described. Maybe one day you will come up with something like that. I would be your promoter for sure ;-).


Hi Heinrich,

I’ve messaged a reply. I’ve also blanked your email address in the previous post as a spam precaution.

Hi Jeremy,

thank you very much for your help indeed!