Listy, Dataish chord charts for mandolin and banjo

January 13, 2010 11:02 AM

Mandolin, Banjo chord charts in data-friendly TAB format?

Hello! I am looking for comprehensive textish chord charts for mandolin and banjo. I've got software that supports generation of graphical charts for guitar and uke and it looks like it should be as simple as plugging in properly reformatted data.

Given the absolute glut of online, programmatic chard generators out there I would expect such lists are available and might even be extractable from underneath a few of these apps. If so, haven't yet found
posted by Ogre Lawless (11 comments total)

This is the site I use for all my mando chord needs. I dunno about banjo, though.
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 12:59 PM on January 13, 2010

amaL -- I've visited there, in fact. It may be pretty primitive behind it, but I persist that its gotta be out there somewhere. It occurs to me that I should probably try emailing the guys who wrote the other two strings to see how they did it...
posted by Ogre Lawless at 2:08 PM on January 13, 2010

primitive, the data: you could have charts like that in ASCII. I realize that I also foolishly did not include what the data looks like elsewhere:

'G' => '320003',
'C' => 'x32010',

'G' => [2, 3, 2, 0],

posted by Ogre Lawless at 2:28 PM on January 13, 2010

I'm still looking, but in the mean time, are you looking for something more like this, that illustrates which fingers are used?
posted by snsranch at 3:43 PM on January 13, 2010

Looking to -produce- something like that.

Some TAB transcriptions sometimes include exactly what I'm looking for -- a breakdown of fret by string -- right at the top.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 4:26 PM on January 13, 2010

Yep, I'm seeing that too on the occasional stray TAB, but nothing like a body of data that would be useful for you.
posted by snsranch at 4:59 PM on January 13, 2010

SNS -- with enough datum and a powerful enough regular expression, all data is leverageable. None of the other module's authors have written me back. I've discovered that there are things in my own dataset which don't mesh with the existing modules: AM7 <> AMaj7. Things suddenly become less 'style' when you've got to encode each. I've still got a number of cases to resolve -- no E5? Really?

Thanks all for your help: snsranch as backup research? Awesome!
posted by Ogre Lawless at 9:02 AM on January 14, 2010

Thanks, man, I wish I could have been more helpful.
posted by snsranch at 5:40 PM on January 14, 2010

You might want to check out the source code for Scale & Chord Generator by Ken Scott, or the Drupal Chords module I built based on it. What Ken did was map out every possible chord variant in terms of each note's interval from the chord root (or perhaps from the previous tone in the chord.) It's been a while since I looked at it, but the core data describing which tones comprise which chords there, and could be made to output chord information in the ascii format you described.
posted by usonian at 6:24 PM on January 15, 2010

Usonian -- stellar :) Had checked by with just this sort of hope.

Don't let out that you guys over here are helpful...
posted by Ogre Lawless at 7:17 PM on January 15, 2010

Usonian's tip upset my notion that I'd searched sourceforge properly. I'd gone in looking specifically for banjo and mandolin and had been shocked that by now there'd be some use of "banjo" in -some- project.

This was the only linkable source I could find and is a good thing it looks pretty excellent. Its from a Palm OS app which covers a number of sourceforge searches and I'd discarded because, "meh, Palm OS". Nicely structured code after all. Looks like its about a thousand times more flexible and ca methodology superior to that I'd envisioned and had been working with. Monsterish list of scales and chords, certainly more than I'd need. Makes me once again wish I have more Theory under me.

Turns out scala's 3800-some-odd and scales are independently downloadable but sadly in pitch notation. While there are certainly notes between the notation but given my focus on the chartable, those would have to be excluded if it was worth the bother It claims to recognize 500 chords though, anybody needed anything like that.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 8:29 AM on January 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

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