Visit Our Catalog at for Steel Guitars, Strings, Instruction, Music and Accessories 
Forum Index
where steel players meet online
The Steel Guitar Forum

Notice: Some forum emails are not being delivered. (Details)

Post new topic Chords
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Reply to topic
Author Topic:  Chords
Bo Legg

Post Posted 23 Nov 2011 2:03 pm     Reply with quote

I would be interested in knowing who had the quickest time scrolling down through all this without their eyes going cross?
For a topic simply called “chords” it overreached by miles in technical babble.
View user's profile Send private message
Richard Sinkler

Oakdale, California
Post Posted 23 Nov 2011 2:36 pm     Reply with quote

My eyes crossed after the first excel chart. The second added a headache. By the 5th, it was crossed eyes, headache, teeth mashing, and uncontrollable flatulence.
CLICK HERE to visit my website. & Mickey Adams videos.
Some anti-virus programs, like Trend and Norton, try to block my site and say it's malicious. It is not. Our computer experts on the forum have helped me and found nothing to worry about. It is safe to put in the exceptions list. See this post in Computers:
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
ed packard

Show Low AZ
Post Posted 29 Nov 2011 10:56 am     headaches etc. Reply with quote

“Don’t look Ethel” !

Here we go again…”chords” is the subject…how many types do we need, how easy are they to get, and what do we want to do with them?.

I am trying to answer these questions using the CM13 tuning/setup. You might want to try the same thing on your favorite tuning/setup.

Here is the latest update on the CM13 tuning/setup…only slight changes to the change (P&L) assignments.

Using the above setup we will develop some more chords and locations…also harmonized scales.

We have said before that any string can be used as the root to get four, five, etc. close harmony chords. This has been diagrammed using string 8 (an open C note) as the chord/scale root.

The chords may be of several general configurations; Four tones in an octave (R,3,5,oct configurations), four tone (R,3,5,7 configurations), five tones per octave (R,3,5,7,oct configurations). Ref =:

Toward the end (last entry) you will find those constructions of chords as harmonized scales, groupings of chord types with the same root, chords using string 6 (open G) as the root. One of these groupings is shown here…the rest are at the link above.

The above grouping is for C chord variations available using string 6 (open G) as the root string, and fret 5 (= C root). Other groupings are for 4 tone, 4 tones per octave, 5 tones per octave etc.. Notice the availability of 9ths and 6ths above and below the chords shown = sounds good.

ZIRC bar holiday sale at:
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Pete Burak

Portland, OR USA
Post Posted 29 Nov 2011 11:49 am     Reply with quote

Hi Ed,
Is there any way you could make a video demonstrating your copedant being played?
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
ed packard

Show Low AZ
Post Posted 30 Nov 2011 11:23 am     Video Reply with quote

Hi Pete,
Playing is not high on my list, so a video is not in the near future. I have all the gear but not the inclination. I am busy enough working up the CM13 structure and info.

Will probably rerod the BEAST (30" scale, 10 Ps,&Ls and a lock, integrated tuner and changer on the players left, two changable pickups both tapped, and some other mods). The CM13 does not need all that...10 strings and 4X5 gives enough to start.

While I am here, might as well add another chart = four tone scale harmonization. It's alternative is on the Photobucket site.

ZIRC bar holiday sale at:
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
ed packard

Show Low AZ
Post Posted 7 Dec 2011 9:36 am     BEAST conversion...E9/B6 to CM13 Reply with quote

The die was cast…the CM13 tuning/setup has migrated to the BEAST…pictures later.
The beast has 10P, 7L, and a lock. It was a variation of the E9/A6/B6 with two pedals dedicated to the 13 series tuning. It is now using 9P,5L with the CM13 structure.

The conversion took only 5 hours to do because of the simple nature of the BEAST undercarriage. The CM13 uses only a single row of halftone raises, and a single row of halftone lowers (one each per string) = simple changer.

So we have a CM13 (C E G B D F A) on a 30” scale with two interchangeable tapped pickups, changer on the players left, and an integrated tuner/changer = keyless.

Because of the extended scale, the tuning is really AM13 (A being the 8th string ). This makes the highest string the same tension as the famous G#. Here, we will continue to talk about as being a CM13 as it is more easily understood in C.

Here is the changer end after conversion:

Here is the link to the mechanics before and after conversion.

This is one of many scale harmonizing methods for the CM13 tuning setup:

Here is the link to the CM13 tuning/setup musical results.

Don't forget the ZIRC BAR holiday sale.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Dickie Whitley

Post Posted 7 Dec 2011 9:54 am     Reply with quote

....all I'm going to say is that with my latest layout for the standard e9th tuning, I have over 4500 chords. If I can't play with that, I need to quit. Right now though, trying to save for a new steel.
View user's profile Send private message
ed packard

Show Low AZ
Post Posted 13 Dec 2011 9:33 am     chord definition and chord count Reply with quote

Dickie...What is your "latest layout" for E9? How did you arrive at the 4500 number?

It comes to mind, that what a chord is has not been defined herein. Try Wikipedia, or the Oxford dictionary of music = any grouping of notes, usually three or more.

In this thread, I have majored in chords having four tones in the R,3,5,7 format and variations thereof. I have steered clear of chord count as the M13 tuning/setup is so loaded with chords of the above format, let alone 3,5,6,&7 tone chords.

The extreme M13 setup uses 10P and 5L = 15 individual changes available. 5P and 5L Give more than enough choices. All combinations of the 15 available changes gives 16,384 necks. This of course is neither physically possible or practical.

Just taking the four tone format mentioned above and using each of the 14 strings as a Root (leaving out the top 4 strings),using adjacent strings only for the chords provided by physically obtainable changes on a 5P & 5L setup should exceed any tuning/setup that I have seen in chord types, or total chord count.

View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Northern California
Post Posted 13 Dec 2011 10:55 am     Reply with quote

Hey Ed, is your copedent good for quartal chords? See That seems to be a weak spot in some copedents.
-b0b- (SGF Admin) a.k.a. Bobby Lee ♪ Copedents ♪ Rice & Bean ♪ Wine Country Swing ♪ Stella ♪
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
ed packard

Show Low AZ
Post Posted 13 Dec 2011 12:20 pm     quartal and quintal harmony Reply with quote

Quartal is a bit dificult as it requires a forward slant to get C,F,Bb,Eb on adjacent strings with two changes activated.

EDIT = Quartal without slant = Use C as is, raise E to F, skip G, Lower B to Bb, raise d to Eb = C,F,Bb,Eb. Three changes.

Quintal is every other string to get C,G,D,A (no slant or changes activated = CM13 = C,E,G,B,D,F,A).

Found one all strings included fine sounding chord = G69 = E,B,G,D,E,A,B,E,G,B,D,E,A,E = STRINGS 14 thru 1. two changes activated.

Nice link by the way.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Northern California
Post Posted 13 Dec 2011 2:18 pm     Reply with quote

Quartal isn't just one chord - it's a different way of thinking about chordal harmonies. Consider the following chord scale in the key of C:


Modern jazz uses this kind of theory quite a bit. Notice that while most of the intervals are perfect 4ths, the augmented 4th (F to B) is an integral part of quartal harmonies.
-b0b- (SGF Admin) a.k.a. Bobby Lee ♪ Copedents ♪ Rice & Bean ♪ Wine Country Swing ♪ Stella ♪
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
ed packard

Show Low AZ
Post Posted 13 Dec 2011 5:00 pm     quartal & quintal harmony Reply with quote

Sorry old chap...I just illustrated the first chord shown in the link that you supplied.

Yes, the quartal harmony chords that you listed can be found/obtained on the M13 tuning/structure using only one halftone shift per activated change. Further, they can be found using most strings as the chord Root = found in many places on the neck.

I always have trouble getting 4 string slants to sound good, so I would prefer to use skip grips to get the quartals.

The change assignments on the M13 as I use now it now have been set as to make the most of the structure using the levers and pedals located at the players left. It could be better assigned if quartals were the primary consideration.

C F B E = 565
D G C F = 555
E A D G = 555
F B E A = 655
G C F B = 556
A D G C = 555
B E A D = 555

Here is the CM13 neck with no changes activated. If the notes (of the chord) can be moved into a single column by activating changes, then the chord can be had. Quintals seem to require skipping alternate strings (sounds like the diatonic tuning issue). Quartals seem to skipping a string that depends upon which string is used as the chord root. The Quartal chords you listed are there. Reassigning, or even grouping changes would ease getting Quartals.

The electronic changer will help.

BAIB did up some fourths harmony chords et al a few years back…might be worth a look and listen.

A number of Classic pieces incorporate fours structures, I think that some were classed as “tone poems”.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
ed packard

Show Low AZ
Post Posted 14 Dec 2011 10:38 am     Quartal harmonies on the CM13 Reply with quote

Since I am snowbound at the moment, might as well flesh out the Quartal thingy.
The chords that b0b gave are:

C F B E 565
D G C F 555
E A D G 555
F B E A 655
G C F B 556
A D G C 555
B E A D 555

The numbers that follow the chord notes are “index” numbers that define the chord independent of notes, and of intervals.

The location of these chords on the CM13 tuning/setup using the presently assigned changes is shown on the following type of chart:

This chart shows the 555 type chord. There are several 555 type chords in the above listed scalar harmony chords. They will all use the same root strings shown, but for different chord roots, they jus move along the neck.

The rest of the chord locations are shown on the Photobucket site = at the end under “Quartal”.

The CM13 is a stacked thirds based tuning…the Quartals are fourth based, hence the changes needed are a bit much, and the “skip grip” comes in also. That combination makes 4 picks desireable.

The changes can be reassigned to make better use of the Quartals…at some expense to the Tertiary. I have the advantage on the BEAST of having the lok and two more levers that can be used to dedicate to the Quartals if desired. Another possibility to ease the use of Quartals is to place their required pedal changes to the players right. Two footing is a relatively seldom used PSG approach. Organ players do it, why not the PSG?

Quintals will be bypassed here as it should be apparent that the Quintal harmony chords are found on the alternate strings of the CM13 structure
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
ed packard

Show Low AZ
Post Posted 19 Dec 2011 1:08 pm     CM13 light Reply with quote

Back to the CM13 stacked 3rds tuning/setup and chords:

To get the most chord types and locations for the least mechanics the assignment of the changes needed to be optimized. The total 13 series tuning/setup used 15 changes (10P & 5l)…That is a lot of mechanism. It was possible to make the CM13 light using 4 pedals and 5 levers (shown below).

The chords available are still with the halftone raise or lower with each string useable as a root, and all chords using adjacent strings. Here are the 3,4,and 5 tone chords available using string 8 as the root.

To see the chords available using strings 4,5,6,7,9,10,11,12,13,and 14 in the same format, go to the link below, and go to the end of the set.

One could even do without using P3 and P4 without loosing much. The pedal and lever setup begins to resemble the E9 as opposed to the E9/B6 count and functions. L<L>,R<R>,P1,P2,P3,P4 are used on the CM13 4x5.

Brought to you by ZIRC BARS HOLIDAY SALE…how to order:

HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON from Ed and Vinh, the ZIRC BAR folk.

From now thru the end of the year the ZIRC BARS are reduced to US$120.00 + S&H…see below.


NO WAITING...via USPS with tracking #.

Checks or MO, send to:

188 Fairmeadow Way
Milpitas, CA, 95035

Paypal, send to:


White, 7/8 X 3+3/8"
Black, 7/8 X 3+3/8"
White, 15/16 X 3+3/8"
Black, 15/16 X 3+1/2"

Whites are US$ 120.00 , were $150.00
Blacks are US$ 120.00 , were $160.00

ADD S&H US$ 10.00 in the lower 48 states, 20.00 elsewhere.
ADD US$ 5.00 if using PayPal.

Vinh Nguyen handles shipping and $.
I ( handle backup.

Thank you for your interest.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
ed packard

Show Low AZ
Post Posted 26 Dec 2011 8:40 am     lookups Reply with quote

The last post showed the CM13 Light (L<L>,R<R>,P1,P2,P3,P4) chords as lookups by chord type and by string#. This time we will show the chord lookups by least change activations, and then chord type.

Here is an example of chord type and location lookup by chord type, and string # for single change activation.

The full set of these lists are found on the Photobucket site at the end (CM13 CHORDS):

So far we have majored in chords falling out of the 7 tone structures/tuning/setups. Next post we will look at the available chord type treating the full tuning as a 4 tone single repetitive octave system like C6 or A6 would be. Yes, both ways, as well as Quart’ Cinc’ harmony, adjacent halftones, and other treatments are in the CM13 system.

Last edited by ed packard on 27 Dec 2011 12:17 pm; edited 2 times in total
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Curt Langston

Post Posted 27 Dec 2011 4:39 am     Reply with quote

Well, you certainly have spent some time with this. Don't know if many will be able to actually use it though. Seems to me that we might be trying to reinvent the wheel here. While a person can adapt to this sort of tuning structure, would they really want/need to?

So much that can be done with E9th, and so much yet to be utilized in E9th as well.

Nonetheless, you have went into great detail with your invention.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
ed packard

Show Low AZ
Post Posted 29 Dec 2011 10:56 am     Seven tone to four tone conversion Reply with quote

This time we will look at treating the 13 series as two 4 tone octaves, closer to what you may be used to from E9, A6, and C6/B6 setups. The lower (1st) octave will have the intervals R thru 7…the upper (2nd) octave will have the intervals #7/Oct/bb9 thru ##13.

Five charts will be used to illustrate the effect of octave conversion (seven tone chords to four tone chords).

Chart 1 shows the open unchanged (NC) strings as notes using each string as the root of the chord structure. The rules of engagement for the 5 CHARTS are:

Any note/interval in the NC set may be raised or lowered by a single halftone by activating a “change” = P or L.

Any note/interval in the second octave may be converted to that of the first octave …the note names remain the same but the intervals change = 9 may become 2, 11 becomes 4, 13 becomes 6 etc.

If we flat an 11/4 by one halftone it becomes a 3, etc.

If we find an NC seven tone chord with a b3 in it, a P or L can be used to change it to an s2 or a 3. An NC 3 may be made a b3 or s4. NC b7 may be made a 6 or a 7. NC 7 may be made a b7 or an oct.

When a string is “changed” the new note will show up in every chord using that string. It will be a different interval in any chord using that string.

The above comments will be see in the 5 charts.

Here is CHART 1 = notes for the 13 series NC condition.

Here is CHART 2 = intervals for the 13 series NC condition.

Here is CHART 3 = four tone intervals for the 13 series NC condition. Notice that the second octave intervals have changed, but the notes remain the same.

CHART 4 = four tone intervals P8 activated. Here you may see the open string chord type changes using each string as root.

CHART 5 = four tone notes for P8 activated. Here you may see the open string chord note changes using each string as root.

These charts should help in understanding the 13 series concept…just stare at them for a while.

All the above, and previous chord etc charts may be found at:

View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
ed packard

Show Low AZ
Post Posted 5 Jan 2012 8:25 am     Three chord location charts for CM13 REG and LIGHT Reply with quote

The activity on this FORUM thread does not appear to be very active, so why continue it? The answer is found on the PHOTOBUCKET site used to house the charts. PHOTOBUCKET has a section/function called “STATS” that shows the number of hits, and who is hitting. The number is usually in the hundreds per day, and from PSG players and other Forum members.

The next three charts have been up for some time but without a descriptive post. These Charts = 6,7,8 show the relationship between the chords caused by activation of a single change, and the strings as notes, and as intervals. These charts are a “different” way of showing chord content and location (as far as I know) = most information in the least space. The "chord type format is for 4 tone single octave chords with the 9th interval/note shown as \9 after the 4 tone chord type to emphasize that the 4 tone chords have the 9th interval aas the next string up. NOT shown, but may be seen is that the 6 interval isthe next string down from the chord root. The 9th may be seen as b9, 9, or #9. The 6th may be seen as #5, 6, b7.

The chords list below the chart only shows the chord type etc. for the activation of a single activated change each. If I included those activated by two, three, four etc changes the list would be many times longer (would not fit), and the chord type count would also be extreme…so we will settle here for the single change activation lists.



Charts 6 & 7 show the chord types tied to notes, and to intervals. Chart 8 shows a “moveable feast” of chord types in a form that allows moving them up and down the neck making any fret the I fret.

As usual, these and other related charts are found at the end of:

The ZIRC BAR US$120 +S&H etc is continuing until at least Easter.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
ed packard

Show Low AZ
Post Posted 18 Jan 2012 11:09 am     The 69 or 6\9 necks and chords. Reply with quote

The 69 or 6\9 necks and chords.

We started off this thread by showing the 13 series tuning structures. These provide 7 tone two octave arrangements for chords, and for whole necks. In these necks, each string can be the root of a 13th
series chord. The 4 types of 13th series chords shown were M13, 13, m13, and m13M7 = mM13. Each of these types were shown as available with any string as the root.

Then we showed how the 4 tone chord types using adjacent strings for adjacent chord intervals, again using each string as the chord root fit into the scheme. In the last post it was shown that using the 4 tone chords also provided the 9th interval as the 5th string/in the chord type, and that the string below the root string usually provided a 6th interval. The presence of the 9 and 6 indicate the likelihood of 69 chords being available., so this post will look into the presence and locations of 69 chords, or 6\9 chords as some will prefer.

One of the “goodnesses” of an E9 type tuning is that by invoking P1P2 an A neck can be added to the E neck…then by dropping the E’s on the E neck, the B neck can be had. This provides the I, IV, and V necks all on the same fret…using grips.

This is also possible on the CM13 structure as well, but without grips. Here are some of the available 69 chords in the CM13 tuning/setups. These are shown using the last shown pedal and lever assignments. You will notice that some of these require “two footing” as shown. The assignments may be changed to avoid “two footing”. I will leave you with the fun of figuring out how to make “one foot” assignments = puzzle of the week. all levers plus pedals 1,2,3,4 will remain as previously presented.

The object of the game is to get as many related 69 chords on the same fret (0) for as few invoked changes as possible…if these happen to be the I, IV, V 69s, so much the better. Here is the last published assignment list.

Here are some (Cool possible 69 chords/necks using the existing assignment list:

Here are the 69 chords/necks with the least changes invoked…they include the I, IV, V 69 chords/necks…how convenient. See if you can configure the assignments to use P5,P6,P7,P8,and/or P9.

And of course, all this info and more is available at:

Don’t forget the ZIRC BARS…still only US$120.00 +S&H.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
ed packard

Show Low AZ
Post Posted 20 Jan 2012 9:06 am     Last data post on CM13 for this thread? Reply with quote

In the last data post the 69 or 6/9 chords were shown, and reduced to those for the I, IV, V and II chords on the same fret. The notes of the chords are also the only notes on the fret, hence also necks.
These “69”notes in C are C,E,G,A,D, = R,3,5,6,9. These may be expanded/modified to give the changes used to get them. The top group shows the “69” set previously posted.
The next group down shows the 9\6 (C,E,G,A,Bb,D = R,3,5,6,b7,9) chords/necks.
The bottom group shows the 6M9 (C,E,G,A,B,D =DR,3,5,6,b7,9) chords/necks.
These are also shown for the I, IV, V, and II necks on the same fret.

Most of these may be altered by using the levers to get b5/#5, s2, s4 variations etc. and also the minor sets.

This info is still using the non reassigned changes…= yours to puzzle on for the moment.

There is more that can be done as we have only shown single halftone raises and lowers per string, and only two strings per pull. This appears to provide the most flexibility in the M13 tuning. Flexibility usually = complexity. Unfamiliarity with a “system” provides a roadblock to usage, so “traditionalism” is hard to dislodge…that is probably as it should be, evolution is a slow process.
This may be the last data post for the thread.

All of the charts etc for this thread and more are to be found at:


Don’t forget that this is brought to you by the ZIRC BARS.

View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
ed packard

Show Low AZ
Post Posted 8 Mar 2012 9:09 am     The CM13 tuning/setup as of MAR 2012 Reply with quote

The change reassignment results are shown below. Some might consider moving the change on P9 to a P0 added to the far left to get CmM13 chords by using P0 and P1 together.

This format shows the principle of the tuning/setup = each string may be changed by a halftone raise or lower providing the bs and #s for each of the scale notes = flexibility and max chord count.

Changes can be assigned to "get your pet set" of chords.

Don't forget your ZIRC BARS!

View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Jump to:  

Our Online Catalog
Strings, CDs, instruction,
steel guitars & accessories

Steel Guitar Music
Instrumental steel guitar CDs for your permanent collection

BIAB Styles
Ray Price Shuffles
for Band-in-a-Box

by Jim Baron

Please review our Forum Rules and Policies

The Steel Guitar Forum
148 South Cloverdale Blvd.
Cloverdale, CA 95425 USA

Support This Forum