4 String Chord Explorer

Some time ago, I wrote about a method of building your own ukulele chords. I’ve always realized that the process can be done automatically. But only recently, I finally got down to coding, and came up with an easier solution, which you can now try, at 4 String Chord Explorer.

This is a set of tools any ukulele player can use. Or the player of any stringed instrument with four courses, such as tenor banjo or mandolin. I realized that the algorithm used for determining ukulele chords could apply to any instrument. You can even choose your own tuning if I’ve missed any instrument. (Once you get past four courses, things get more complicated, so to make things easier, I decided to limit the tools to just four courses.)

There are six separate tools. First, choose the instrument you’re dealing with. If you want a completely different tuning, you can select the notes for each string. Next, choose the function. Currently, there are six you can choose from, each one using the specified instrument or tuning.

Chords by chord type: Select the root note and type of chord. Then click on “Selected Chords” to show possible fingerings for that chord.

Chords by root note: Select the root note, and click on “Chords by Root”. You’ll see 24 different chords for that root: major, augmented, 7th, minor, etc.

Chords by family: Select the key, and click on “Chords by Key”. You’ll get a table showing the most common chords for that key.

Search for chord: Finally, a reverse-search tool. Specify the fingering for a chord, click on “Search for Chord”, and you’ll see the chords that match the fingering.

Custom chord chart: Start by clicking the “Chord Chart” button. You’ll get a bunch of chord diagrams, 13 for each key. If you prefer a different fingering for a particular chord, click on the chord. Once you’re satisfied with the selection of chords, go to the bottom of the page. Specify a custom title and page size, click on “Create PDF”, and you’ll get your own single page chord chart that you can print out.

Create chord collection: Use this to create a zip file containing diagrams for the selected chords in png format. After you extract the image files on your computer, you can  drag and drop the images into a word processor document.

Cheers! Hans

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