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Speaking of Chords..


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I'm breaking my own rule with this post.

It's better to say nothing and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

I was going to post this in another nearby topic and realized that one was referring to a duet.

I have these 2 diagrams for chords. I don't remember where I found them. 1 for a 20b Anglo and 1 for a 30. Neither indicates what key the instrument is in..or does that matter?? (see what I mean about my rule?) I only have C/Gs. When I use the different diagrams for the same chord, I get different tones. Is it because they're for different key layouts (Wheatstone/Jeffries), is the 20B diagram just as close as you can get with a 20B, or is one just wrong?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Which would you use?




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They're both for C/G. I think the reason they sound different is that the chord diagrams are for different inversions of the chord.


A simple major chord is made up of the root note, the third and the fifth. Normally the root note is the lowest note of the chord, so that G major is (from low note to high note) G-B-D. On the 20 button chart, this is what is shown. On the 30 button chart, the chord is D-G-B - the same notes but in a different order, giving it a slightly different character. This is called the Second Inversion of the chord, with the fifth being the lowest note. It is also an octave higher than the chord shown on the 20 button chart.


The A major chord shown is First Inversion with the third (C#) as the lowest note.


More about chord inversions here


Some of the chords on the 30-button chart look a bit suspect. The F major chord will only work as shown if the thumb button is tuned to F - more usually (if it's there at all) it will be tuned to a C drone, in which case that fingering will give you C major. The Bb Minor is a fudge - it only contains 2 notes (low Bb, high Bb and F - the two Bbs are effectively one so far as building the chord is concerned). To play a proper Bb minor you'd need a Db, which isn't available on the LH pull on the normal 30 button layout (although there should be one on the push, and on the RH pull). Likewise the B7 chord shows only 2 notes in the chord, whereas the 20-button chart shows 3.


So to summarise, I think the reason they sound different is that each chart shows a different way of playing the chord. I would pick and choose from either, depending on which sounded best in that particular phrase of music. However these are not the only ways of playing these chords - for example, neither chart shows the G major with root G in the higher octave, or the Second Inversion of A major with E as the lowest note.


For many chords, the notes occur in several places on the keyboard and you have a number of choices how to play them. You can either work these out from musical theory or by trial and error.

Edited by hjcjones
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looks strange to me (time for outing?): the 20 key diagramm shows the chords of a C/G Anglo. In the 30 key diagramm - also C/G there seems to be something wrong? The C minor and the B7 chord would not work on my Wheatstone layout. I think you are right, this shows a slightly different layout (or a mistake?) plus a drone. On a first glance the other chords look fine to me. I'm sure the experts will know.


There a always several ways to do a chord. I mostly differ the chords - play e.g. e minor as shown in the 20 key diagramm or with lower B on the G row or low E on acc. row depending how it suits the melody.


When I started playing chords I wrote down the tones of every (common) chord and practiced on the push and pull singing eaysy melodies (poor familiy). But that gives you a good repartoir. I did not check the Eb-Ab-Bb chords (because I never ever feeled the wish to try).

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