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How are Chord Diagrams supposed to be written?

chord diagrams

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#1 OFFLINE   carver

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:50 PM

Thanks to the advice of some members of this forum I bought a new Baby Taylor BT2 for my wife a few months ago. She loves it and began to take lessons from an insructor at the shop where we bought the guitar. She says that instructor seems like a good one, but she wonders about the Chord Diagrams that he makes for her. His diagrams show the first or thinest string on top of the drawing and the sixth or thickest string at the bottom.and names them, from top to botttom, E-B-G-D-A-E, My wife believes that this is the reverse of all other chord diagrams that she has seen. The instructor says that all instructors teach this way, but it seems confuing to her. Is there some benefit to this method?.

#2 OFFLINE   carol m

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:05 PM

Hi Carver. The thin string is the high e and the second thinnest is the B string etc so in that respect her teacher's string naming is correct. However, it sounds like he has his chord diagrams showing the strings horizontal - is that correct?

Chord diagrams are usually shown with the strings in a vertical position, with the thinnest string furthest on the right, to cater for right hand players.

Right handed players have the nut pointing to the left when playing, so if the chord diagram has the strings horizontal, the nut would be on the left, and the thinnest string would be at the top.

So if the diagrams are horizontal strings, nut on the left, thinnest string on top and the order of strings, e B G D A E from top to bottom, that is correct for right-handers.

It's as if her fretboard as she sees it when playing, has been transferred with the same orientation to be lying on top of the paper, strings up, nut to the left.

If her guitar teacher has the strings horizontal, the nut on the right, and the thin string on the top, that would be how a left handed guitarist would prefer to see a chord diagram because that corresponds with playing guitar with the nut pointing to the right.

I might have confused myself there, but I think that's right :huh:
Hope that helps.
One good thing about music is that when it hits you, you feel no pain - Bob Marley

#3 OFFLINE   mattz196

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:24 PM

Hi Carver
The teacher is noting the chords in TAB format ,which makes no difference whether you are right or left handed. He is certainly correct but your wife may find it easier to refer to a chord diagram ,I assume he has drawn them this way as it is the same way a full song would be tabbed out .
Cheers
Matt
What's Rangoon to you is Grafton to me

#4 OFFLINE   carol m

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 01:12 AM

That's true Matt - the tab is the same on the page, but the mindset is different for lefties - they have to drive forwards down the tabs, whereas a right-hander is driving in reverse. Well, my head sees it like that. :) It took me longer than I care to admit to work that one out.
One good thing about music is that when it hits you, you feel no pain - Bob Marley

#5 OFFLINE   karcey

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 05:26 AM

So Carver is asking how chord diagrams are supposed to be written. Maybe it's fair to say they're generally written how Carol describes, and TAB would be generally written as Matt describes. But that's not answering how they're supposed to be written. While I'm prepared to allow that nothing about music seems to be set in stone, I'm also prepared to assert that the correct way to write a chord diagram is so the student can follow and understand it. It's a reference for the student to get the fingers in the right place, nothing more. If a teacher is prepared to confuse a student for the sake of his personal preference, he may have missed the point of his instruction.
The easiest way out of this for Mrs Carver might be to purchase a few chord books, the ones she likes the look of, and have the teacher demonstrate using these.
Am I being too hard on the teacher? You decide.
"The music matters more than the instrument on which we play it." Jason W. Solomon

#6 OFFLINE   carver

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:13 AM

Thanks for each of your answers. I appreciate them and now understand that the instructor is correct in that.he is using a standard format. I am glad to know that. However, that being said, I agree with Karcey's response. In other settings it is often said that, "If the student has not learned, the teacher has not taught." That suggests that the instructor would better serve students' needs by using methods that make learning easier rather than rigidly sticking to "traditional mehods," at least it seems that way to me.

#7 OFFLINE   mset3

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:34 AM

Carver,

I can't add to what has already been said above. Just wanted to say you picked a nice guitar for your Wife. I bought a Taylor 814CE a little while back. They are nice guitars.

Mike

#8 OFFLINE   carol m

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 08:37 PM

View Postkarcey, on 03 May 2012 - 05:26 AM, said:

I'm also prepared to assert that the correct way to write a chord diagram is so the student can follow and understand it.
Am I being too hard on the teacher? You decide.

On'ya Karcey! The teacher is definitely not providing a good service if he still insists that his students must adjust to his personal preferences after it's obvious that Mrs Carver is confused by them.
One good thing about music is that when it hits you, you feel no pain - Bob Marley





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