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Lazy guitarist chords

a clamp on chord rack for guitars
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item is attached to the neck of any guitar and consists of buttons labeled with appropriate chords including all major, sharp, flat, and minor chords. Buttons arranged in alphabetic order from the top of the neck to the body of the guitar in rows of 4. Many music books include labeled chords so one could play instantly any rhythm arrangement. You would need to practice to do any picking with a degree of clarity and prose.

Answering several critics. It isn't necessary to have all of the 7000+ chords to play guitar. Johnny Cash made an amazing career out of playing just 3. This device gives you nearly 3 times as many as the most complicated auto harp.

The tangent conversation into organs and accordions have nothing to do with guitar music. To Zimmy, I wasn't looking to change the nature of the instrument as in a slide guitar/steele guitar/dobro. To Gnomethang, apparently somebody figured out how to play the auto harp while playing with a number of buttons. And pressing the button doesn't reveal how to hold the strings, it holds the strings.

Supercat had the best helpful suggestion for improvement with the thumb bars for alternating between major and minor chords. I think you could continue on down the neck with buttons to move up the scale and utilize the full range of the guitar.

I808, May 26 2005

Guitarbot http://www.lemurbots.org/guitarbot.html
No fingers required to play it. Which is good. You may need to hold those fingers in your ears. [Amos Kito, May 26 2005]

[link]






       So what you want is basically an autoharp with fewer strings?
Canuck, May 26 2005
  

       yeah, but with all the buttons it would have you could do way more than the auto harp does. The most chords I've seen on them is 21. This would go more like 60.
I808, May 26 2005
  

       //more like 60//
I make it at least 108, even before you consider different inversions (which you must). Just learn to play the damn guitar; it's not that difficult.
angel, May 26 2005
  

       "Autoharp" style guitar clamps exist. Sorry, I couldn't find a picture online, which may be an indication of how good the things are.
"Guitarbot" [link] is an unrelated, but interesting idea.
Amos Kito, May 26 2005
  

       I would think that an electronic solenoid-operated system might be good here, since it would allow a wide variety of chords to be played with a very reasonable number of buttons [e.g. have twelve buttons for pitches and then thumb-operated bars for minor, seventh, suspended, and diminished chords. Using the thumb bars in combination could allow for augmented chords, open chords, and other interesting things.
supercat, May 26 2005
  

       I find [supercat]'s anno interesting, but aren't there between 4 to 10 ways to play the same chord at different places on the neck to get a higher or lower key?
I think quite a few rhythm riffs are created using the alternations of closely grouped chord fingerings and picking at single or double strings.
  

       With this idea, would you really need a fretboard?
Maybe instead you could have a slide that slides along a pitch chart with thumb bars as [supercat] suggested. The guitar could adjust string tensions based on input to allow you to play.
I think you would still need to study & practice music theory to play, though. (somewhere I have a book of 7388 chords).
Zimmy, May 26 2005
  

       [Zimmy], I think the unit will attach to any guitar... It's not guitar reinvented, more like guitar revised.
daseva, May 26 2005
  

       Zimmy: There are indeed many ways to play certain chords, which is why I would think a system that used a 'chord' selector and a 'type' selector would be good: it could be set up to allow for a few variations of certain chords with the addition of a 'modify' bar or two, without having a drastic increase in the number of buttons.
supercat, May 26 2005
  

       Has anybody figured out how you can play the guitar whilst fiddling with a number of buttons?. If I wanted an accordian I would have bought one!.
What [angel] said, it's quicker in the long run.
Casio Chords have been invented already!.
gnomethang, May 26 2005
  

       [gnomethang]//If I wanted an accordian I would have bought one!.//   

       But an accordian SOUNDS like an accordian. The idea here is for an instrument whose method of playing chords is somewhat like that of an accordian [well, more like an autoharp], but whose sound is that of a guitar.   

       Personally, I like the idea of accoustic instruments with "playing aids". Makes a lot of sense to me.   

       BTW, I wonder why it is that electrically-operated reed organs in the 1970's usually included "chord" buttons, but the pedal-powered ones from the previous century did not. Did changing technologies make it easier to manufacture the linkages, or did the reduced cost of the instruments make them more popular among people who otherwise couldn't play them, or what?
supercat, May 26 2005
  

       //The idea here is for an instrument whose method of playing chords is somewhat like that of an accordian [well, more like an autoharp], but whose sound is that of a guitar.//
Nope!, the idea here is for an item that clamps on to the neck of a guitar. It says so straight away!. What we don't know is whether or not the device changes the neck in some way in order to auto tune the guitar or is just a look up table.
gnomethang, May 26 2005
  

       [supercat]: The 'pedal-powered ones from the previous century', such as the 1910 example in my lounge, were intended for people who realised that if you want to play an instrument, the best option is to learn, unlike the current mindset which seems to be that if anyone has the ability to do something, everyone should be facilitated to do it without said ability. There was certainly no technological barrier to providing chording controls on pedal-organs; as has been mentioned, piano-accordians have them. Admittedly, these operate reeds which are totally independent of the main keyboard's reeds (and therefore of that keyboard's voicing selections), but the principle is there.
Incidentally, [Zimmy]'s 7,388 chords will mainly be various inversions of other chords. I suspect also that many of them will be virtually useless. Any reasonably competent player would, however, need far more fingerings than could be controlled from any device compact enough to attach to an existing guitar, to say nothing of the need to find the right button quickly.
angel, May 27 2005
  

       In any case the concept is not original.
waugsqueke, May 27 2005
  

       //The 'pedal-powered ones from the previous century', such as the 1910 example in my lounge//   

       Were they still making pedal-powered reed organs in 1910? I had thought they'd been largely displaced by mass-produced pianos.   

       As for piano-accordians, were those common in the 1800's? Certainly most of the ones I've seen are of more recent vintage than that.
supercat, May 27 2005
  

       //Were they still making pedal-powered reed organs in 1910?//
Certainly; mine is by William Brown of South Shields, and I've seen even more recent examples. It was probably intended for a small chapel (incidentally, my mother learned to play in the chapel up the road when she was too small to reach the pedals; her mother had to pump for her), or possibly for a largish house, but either way it would have been much cheaper than a piano.
Strictly, mine is a harmonium, not an organ; reed organs suck air through the reeds, while harmoniums (harmonia?) blow air through them.
The piano accordian was invented around 1830.
angel, May 27 2005
  

       [angel]'s right about the usefulness of all those chords.
I probably used closer to 100 of them than the 7000. My hands weren't big, or nimble enough to play quite a few of them. There were many that required string deadening on certain strings as well. I just picked the ones I liked & ignored the majority of the rest.
I was also thinking that switching chords becomes natural & easy with enough practice. C to an F, E to Eminor, D to Dsus, etc, etc. can all be done almost without thinking. I would think mastering an aid to do this would be more difficult than actually mastering the fingering.
Zimmy, May 28 2005
  

       The figure of 7,388 also hides the fact that many chords, even with the same fingering, can have different names depending on the context. F maj7 can have the same notes as Am aug5, but if you're in a context where the tonic in an F chord drops to E, it's F maj7, whereas an Am chord with the E raised to F is Am aug5. You need to know a bit of theory to make sense of what you're playing.
angel, May 28 2005
  

       //Certainly; mine is by William Brown of South Shields, and I've seen even more recent examples. It was probably intended for a small chapel (incidentally, my mother learned to play in the chapel up the road when she was too small to reach the pedals; her mother had to pump for her), or possibly for a largish house, but either way it would have been much cheaper than a piano. Strictly, mine is a harmonium, not an organ; reed organs suck air through the reeds, while harmoniums (harmonia?) blow air through them.//   

       I wasn't aware that the distinction in terminology (harmonium vs. reed organ) had to do with the direction of action (positive versus negative pressure); I thought it had more to do with size. I have read that vacuum operation was much more common in North America while positive pressure was more common in Europe. I wonder if that had to do with air quality (more specifically, particulate levels) since vacuum-operated organs are dust magnets? My 1885 Smith American certainly is (I was almost amazed to discover after cleaning off a century's worth of dust, that the soundboard was actually made of WOOD--from its earlier appearance one would have thought it was made of "gray". Now that I've cleaned everything I should probably replace the silks (which were missing--probably contributing to the amount of dust everywhere).   

       //The piano accordian was invented around 1830.//   

       Interesting.
supercat, May 28 2005
  

       IG88? Has resulting discussion been helpful?   

       It would be interesting to hear from you again.
Zimmy, May 29 2005
  

       And destroy creativity, right?
-----, Jul 07 2005
  

       This would also require some kind of clamp, so when you threw the gutar (off a stage/building/car) it would hold the chord until it hit the ground.
andrew1, Sep 28 2005
  
      
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