Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Question on Chord Fingering Boxes, A or B?

Hi all, ok we are working on the layout of the chord pages and a question came up on the design of the Chord Fingering Boxes. I originally thought that I would highlight the root notes of a chord in red. The root note of the A chord is A, the other notes are C# and E. The illustration above shows the chord fingering box for the Mandolin A chord. Some like the root notes highlighted in red and others didn't. I would love you to select your favorite, A or B. The numbers indicate which finger.

Please select your choice in the poll over on the top right corner, A or B, thank you

10 comments:

luthier said...

I voted A - Red Roots Notes.

Something I think would be even nicer is leaving all the notes in black, with the fingering (like the left of the image), but having the analysis of the chord at the bottom of the diagram, instead of the tuning of the mandolin which, frankly, people don't need to be reminded of all the time.

For example, in the A chord shown, instead of having "G D A E" under the chord diagram, we would have "R 5 3 R".

luthier said...

Just to add to my previous comment, this would lead to a better understanding of the fingerboard and of what is really going on when one plays, opening up to different inversions and creating one's own voicings.

bruce jones said...

excellent comment, that is a great idea and better than naming the strings, thank you, Bruce

luthier said...

If the software you use for the chord diagrams does not allow you change what's at the bottom of the chord diagrams, then you could have the analysis in the dots, instead of the fingering.

bruce jones said...

I have actually hand drawn all of these in my desktop pub program, InDesign

mandolin said...

I voted red roots, too, but I like luthier's suggestion better. For one thing, there's usually no particualr reason to lpay the root on the mandolin, since somebody else (bass, guitar, piano) already has it and the mandolin's 4 voices are better used for the color tones once you get past basic chords. It also makes the mobility of a chord shape more apparent.

bruce jones said...

Hi, yes luthier has a good idea, the plan of the book is for all 4 instruments, guitar, mandolin, banjo and ukulele so on a guitar you might want that root chord and on a mandolin maybe not. I am trying to figure out one design that will work across all of them, luthier's might be the best solution, it has been interesting to watch the comments. This is great

bruce jones said...

I ment root note,

Top Fan said...

Luthier, hi, I have a question, I know the A mandolin chord is R 5 3 R with the notes A E C# and A, when you play the A minor you are lowering the C# to C, or A E C A, is it still written R 5 3 R, because a B would be a 2?

I know a lot of this stuff but I haven't done all that much with those numbers

luthier said...

Hi Top Fan. In the case of a minor chord, I would write b3 for the flatted third. Likewise, for an augmented chord, I would write #5 for the augmented 5th.

If you play a B in an A chord, it will usually be a 9th. For example, an A9 chord, fretted 2-2-2-3 on mandolin, will be made of the notes A-E-B-G and I would put R-5-9-b7 as the numeral analysis.

I hope it helps.