The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #20314   Message #211004
Posted By: Mark Clark
13-Apr-00 - 12:44 AM
Thread Name: Chord Diagram Primer
Subject: RE: Chord Diagram Primer
This technique will let you build a hypertext link (blue clicky) to display any guitar chord you would like to represent. This is not nearly as daunting as it may seem. Reading these instruction is far more difficult than actually performing the work. The link is not built by copying a URL from the dictionary site, rather it is more or less hand coded by you based on the particular way you like to form the chord you are describing. To make things as simple as possible, I'll start you off with a template. You can copy the template and save it in a text file on your computer so you have it at hand whenever you need it or you can simply elect to trace this thread and keep a pointer on your personal page. The template has all the parts necessary to build an active chord reference.

Chord Link Template:

<a href="">your words</a>

To use the template, highlight it and copy it onto your clipboard using Ctrl-C or selecting Edit/Copy from the menu. Paste it into your post using Ctrl-V or by selecting Edit/Paste from the menu.

Now you're ready to fill in the details. You'll see I've placed dummy arguments into the template as place holder. Your job now is to replace each dummy argument with the proper value based on the descriptions below. Be careful not to disrupt anything but the dummy arguments themselves. Don't accidentally remove a colon or other character. Once you've set all the parameters, you've completed the chord reference and are ready to continue typing your post.


root the simple name of the chord family you're working with. (e.g., C, C#, Eb, etc.)
ext The extension or modifier for the chord if any. If no extension is wanted, just replace the word ext with a single hyphen. If you want an extension, the following list was gleaned from the reference site and should be acceptable: (e.g., major (no3rd) sus4 m (#5) (b5) 6 6(add9) m6 m6(add9) 7 7(#5) 7(b5) 7(#9) 7(b9) 7sus4 dim7 m7 m7(b5) maj7 maj7(#5) maj7(b5) maj7(add9) m(maj7) (add9) 9 9(b5) 9(#5) (b9#5) (#9#5) m9 m9(maj7) 11 (#11) m11 13 13(b9) 13(b9b5). Others may be accepted as well although I haven't yet experimented with any.
label This parameter is simply a text string used as a label at the top of your chord. Often it is just a copy of the root and ext parameters stuck together to form the third parameter.
ff1..ff6 The ff parameters specify the fret and the finger for each of the six strings. The two parts of each ff parameter are separated by a normal forward leaning slash character in the form: fret/finger. The tricky part is this: all fret references are normalized to the first five frets on the guitar. Wherever your chord begins on the neck of the guitar---the lowest fret used---should be referenced as fret number one. The fingers are numbered 1..4 in index to pinky sequence. I have successfully been using the letter T to designate the thumb. An open string is described as O/- (capital O and a hyphen), while damped or unplayed strings are described using X/- (capital X and a hyphen). The six ff parameters described the strings in left to right (bass to treble) sequence and all six strings must be described in some way.
barre The barre parameter is a way of describing barres when they occur. If the chord contains no barre, simply replace the dummy parameter with a single hyphen character. If the chord includes a barre, the parameter consists of three digits separated by hyphens (e.g., 3-1-6 for a third fret barre). The first digit is the relative fret on which the barre occurs. The second digit is the string number of the leftmost (lowest pitched) string included in the barre and the final digit is the rightmost (highest pitched) string participating.
pos The position (actual fret) at which the chord is to be played. We built our chord pretending it was contained within the first five frets of the guitar. Here is where we indicate the actual position of the chord. The parameter is just a number from the series 1..20 or so.

That's all there is to it. The template makes it easy to remember what parameters are needed and their sequence. Once you've built a few chord links by hand, the process will become second nature. When you no longer need to refer back here to remember how to build one, you may find it's faster than the hunt-cut-paste method.

Have fun and let me know if you like these or if you're having trouble. If my descriptions simply aren't clear, feel free to enhance this primer by adding your post to this thread. For praise or complaints, please start another thread.


      - Mark