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How many guitar chords are there


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With all of the voicings and inversions...tons! I know there was a book called "1001 Guitar Chords". I've never actually sat down and tried to figure out the number...

 

Hal Leonard has a book called "Incredible Chord Finder : Easy-to-Use Guide to Over 1,100 Guitar Chords".

 

EDIT:

I just found a book on Amazon called "The Ultimate Guitar Chord Big Book: Over 10,000 Chords by Don Latarski and Aaron Stang" :eek:

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Just guessing here that there really isn't 10,000 plus different chords, but its the multitude of ways to play each chord.

 

Example, in BTO's Blue Collar there is an E7 chord, but the two ways I knew of playing E7 just didn't sound right. I asked a Classical/Jazz guitarist and he showed my the standard C7 shape moved up to the 5th fret.

Raise your children and spoil your grandchildren. Spoil your children and raise your grandchildren.
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Originally posted by Guitarzan:

i have a 20 foot cord.

Zan, you behave now. This is a new guy. :wave:

 

but then again you have Lava, Monster, Fender, Planet Waves, DiMarzio, Horizon, Hosa, Live Wire, Mogami, Stage Magic, American Cable Company, AP Audio, Dunlop, Guyatone, George L's, Pro Co, Shure...

Raise your children and spoil your grandchildren. Spoil your children and raise your grandchildren.
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Originally posted by Hard Tail:

I don't know how many there are but Alice Bowie only knew 3 of them.

 

My mamma talka to me try to tell me how to live... dah dah dah, dah dah dah, dah dah dah...

i actually took the time to figure that out once.

i am a sick puppy.

as for the original question.

there must be a specific amount of chords if you don't count all the positions and inversions.

just counting all the various chords, someone must know.

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Originally posted by Guitarzan:

as for the original question.

there must be a specific amount of chords if you don't count all the positions and inversions.

just counting all the various chords, someone must know.

Where are the mathematicians in this group?
Raise your children and spoil your grandchildren. Spoil your children and raise your grandchildren.
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Originally posted by Guitarzan:

Originally posted by Hard Tail:

I don't know how many there are but Alice Bowie only knew 3 of them.

 

My mamma talka to me try to tell me how to live... dah dah dah, dah dah dah, dah dah dah...

i actually took the time to figure that out once.

i am a sick puppy.

as for the original question.

there must be a specific amount of chords if you don't count all the positions and inversions.

just counting all the various chords, someone must know.

I think I took a stab at just about every tune on the "Up In Smoke" soundtrack.
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Well heres what I could come up with for now:

 

A chord is a combination of three or more notes that blend harmoniously when sounded together.

 

Ignoring the harmoniously, this means any note, could be combined with any other

notes to form a 3, 4, 5, or 6-note chord. (On a 6-string guitar)

 

Since there are 12 different notes,

 

# of 3-note chords = 1,720 (12x12x12)

# of 4-note chords = 19,018 (12x12x12x11) + 10

# of 5-note chords = 209,198 (12x12x12x11x11) + (10x11)

# of 6-note chords = 2,301,178 (12x12x12x11x11x11) + (10x11x11)

 

This is skewed however, because according to this, F A C E, is a different chord than A C E F,

which isnt true, its just an inversion of the chord. This also means that E E E , is a chord. Which idk, is it? Who cares?

 

So for this sake, we will say E-E-E is NOT a chord. A chord must be made up of 3 different notes.

 

Therefore, the numbers change:

 

# of 3-note chords = 1,320 (12x11x10)

# of 4-note chords = 13,200 (12x11x10) x 10

# of 5-note chords = 132,000 (12x11x10) x 100

# of 6-note chords = 1,320,000 (12x11x10) x 1000

 

12p3 is another way of writing 12x11x10. This is called permutation . In permutation, order is not relevant.

Therefore, we must switch the calculations to combination to get rid of the inversion problem. 12c3 is (12x11x10) / (1x2x3)

 

# of 3-note chords = 220 (12c3)

# of 4-note chords = 2,200 (12c3) x 10

# of 5-note chords = 22,000 (12c3) x 100

# of 6-note chords = 222,000 (12c3) x 1000

 

Now, according to these calculations, 246,420 chords. Of course, not all these chords are blended harmoniously.

 

Right now I dont know how to differ the harmonious from the non-harmonious but I will think about it.

 

To find out the number of variations, we must look at a fretboard.

 

A six-string, 21-fret guitar has 132 frets. (6x22) (Counting open as a fret)

 

Of the 132, there are: (In standard tuning)

 

12 Es spanning 4 octaves

12 Bs spanning 4 octaves

10 Ds spanning 3 octaves

10 D#s, spanning 3 octaves

And 11 of the rest, spanning 4 octaves each.

 

Hmmm someone else figure this out Im too lazy and tired to go on.

 

 

* Remember, this would all change for a different tuning, different instruments, more strings, ect.

There is an infinite number of musical variations of chords.

As long as the pitch changes, its a new variation. And pitch is infinite.

 

Okay, somebody correct me.

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I look at it much more simply. That's because I have a simple mind.

Chord progressions each key:

1,3,5

2,4,6

3,5,7

4,6,8

5,7,9

6,8,10

7,9,11

8,10,12

 

8 chords x number of keys = total

12 Maj and 12 min keys = 24 x 8 = 192 chords

 

everything else is a variation. learn 192 chords and learn how to change them to diminished, augmented, 7ths, 9ths, etc etc etc and you have a bunch of chords to work with.

So to my little world, all I need is 192 chords. Actually, all I need is 96 because it is easy to change a maj to a minor chord.

 

So 96 is my answer. That's the total number of chords.

 

;)

bbach

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

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"....the simple things you see are all complicated.

 

I look pretty young, but I'm just back dated, yea."

 

There are some pretty cool chords on that one. I can play 'em, but, I don't know what they are called.....

Don

 

"There once was a note, Pure and Easy. Playing so free, like a breath rippling by."

 

 

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=574296

 

http://www.myspace.com/imdrs

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Originally posted by caprae:

[QB] Just guessing here that there really isn't 10,000 plus different chords, but its the multitude of ways to play each chord.

 

10,000 indeed that would be completely absurd!

 

I settled for a mere 7,488 being rational of mind and short of memory.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v258/pek63/7488.jpg

 

There's an entire chapter dedicated to what can only be described as terriblyfirkinawfullsoundingchordsmeantonlyforscaringoffcats.

juss kiddin'

I still think guitars are like shoes, but louder.

 

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