Check out these videos for an explanation of all the ways to play the INSTRUMENT 1.


New! Smart Strum

Smart Strum is an entirely new way to play your INSTRUMENT 1. Simply press anywhere on a fret and strum the whole chord! It’s a supremely fun and simple music-making tool — whether you’re a beginner or a virtuoso, songwriting has never been easier or more intuitive.

Choose from a selection of chord options in the new Smart Strum folder, or customize tunings to your liking. Smart Strum is super fun for beginners, and pros find it an inspiring and convenient way to approach compositions.

All the other ways to play

There are a few key words to know. These are the playable parts of the INSTRUMENT 1:



There are three main settings that affect how the INSTRUMENT 1 is played.

Method sets the technique used to play the INSTRUMENT 1.

Mode sets how the fingerboard will respond.

Tuning sets where musical notes will be played.

Understanding Modes

Two of the modes set the INSTRUMENT 1 fingerboard to respond like strings:

Fretted Mode2


Fretless Mode

In both of these modes, a note is assigned as the base tuning of each string. The tuning of each string can be changed to any note and there are pre-made tuning sets in the Artiphon App and INSTRUMENT 1 Editor. The notes along a string get higher moving up the fingerboard towards the bridge. If two frets are pressed on one string, only the higher note will be played. Notes can be triggered by performing hammer-ons and pull-offs.

The difference between the Fretted and Fretless modes is that Fretless mode allows you to slide continuously between notes, while fretted mode will play the notes of the chromatic scale. If you are playing in fretless mode, the notes of the chromatic scale can be played by pressing just to the left of a fret marker.

Methods Available in String Modes

There are two methods for playing both stringed modes using the bridge: Strum and Bow.

Strum plays a string when the bridge is plucked or strummed. The note is activated when the bridge is released. The volume of notes can be controlled by how hard you strum the bridge. If a note is active on a string, pressing the bridge will end the note before triggering a new note. 

Bow plays a string when the bridge is pressed. The note activates immediately and ends when the bridge is released. While bowing a string, you can control the sound by changing the pressure that you are applying. Lightly pressing the bridge will create a quiet sound, while pressing hard will increase the volume. The strings can all be controlled independently.

Three methods are available for the stringed modes that do not require playing the bridge: Tap, Slide, and iBow.

Tap plays a note by pressing the fingerboard. You can perform hammer-ons and pull-offs and also use string bending with this method. When you strum the bridge, notes will still be activated similar to the strum method. 

Slide plays a note by pressing the fingerboard. You can bend the pitch of a note by sliding up and down a string. When using Multi-Channel mode, the pitch of multiple strings can be bent independently. 

iBow plays strings by pressing on the fingerboard while moving the iPhone in a bowing motion. The angle and speed of the iPhone determines the volume of the sound.


Two modes set the INSTRUMENT 1 fingerboard to respond as a grid or pads:

Grid Mode4


Pad Mode

Grid mode has 72 notes on the fingerboard in a 12 x 6 arrangement with an additional 6 triggers on the bridge. The notes in grid mode are where the strings are in Fretted and Fretless modes, not the spaces in between. Any note on the grid can be pressed and played, meaning you can play multiple notes on the same string. 

Pad mode has 12 notes with an additional 6 triggers on the bridge. In this mode an entire fret becomes one larger pad, so just a single note will be triggered no matter what part of the region is pressed.

Tuning for these modes can set any note to any grid or pad, unlike the stringed modes where notes are tuned chromatically up each string. There are pre-made tuning sets in the Artiphon App and INSTRUMENT 1 Editor which can also be customized.

Methods Available in Grid and Pad Modes

Tap is the main method for these modes. Pressing the fingerboard will play a note. The note will keep playing as you continue to press and stop when you release. 

iBow is also a possible method for these modes. Notes can be played on the fingerboard while moving the iPhone in a bowing motion. The angle and speed of the iPhone determines the volume of the sound.

Strum is a possible method for Pad Mode. This activates the Smart Strum feature where you can press anywhere on a pad with one finger and strum a full chord. 

More Settings

There are a few more settings that can customize your INSTRUMENT 1:

Aftertouch Sensitivity controls how hard you press the fingerboard to control polyphonic aftertouch or channel pressure. 

Capo Step Size sets the tuning interval that is changed by the Capo button. Selecting 1 will make the tuning shift up or down one semitone, while selecting 12 will make the tuning shift one octave.

String Flip Mode sets whether the INSTRUMENT 1 is oriented for a left or right-handed player. Selecting Left or Right will lock it in that orientation. Selecting I1 flip means that the accelerometer inside the INSTRUMENT 1 will sense the orientation and automatically change.

String Flip Override will force a specific left/right orientation. 

Arpeggiator will cause notes to activate at a set tempo as long as you hold down a key, pad, or string. If multiple notes are played and held, they will play over and over in the order they were activated. The tempo can be adjusted by tapping in the app, or set to a specific BPM. The rate of the notes can also be set to a specific note value

Hammer-On Sensitivity sets how hard you have to strike the fingerboard to trigger a hammer-on. This setting only works for Fretted mode. If you are playing the Guitar preset and find that you are unintentionally triggering notes when you press on the fingerboard, the Hammer-On Sensitivity can be decreased or turned off to prevent this. Turning off hammer-ons will also turn off pull-offs. 

Method Sensitivity sets the velocity output across all methods. The maximum is 123 and the minimum increases with method sensitivity. If you set this to very high, you can play lightly and still have loud notes. If you set this to low, you can play hard and have a wide dynamic range. 

String Bending allows you to press into the fingerboard to bend a string up by two semi-tones. 

INSTRUMENT 1 Tilt tracks the angle of the INSTRUMENT 1 to the ground and controls mod wheel accordingly. The Tilt Range for this feature can also be adjusted. 

MIDI Program Changes will send a program change message when you press the preset selector knob. The messages 0 – 7 can be sent.