Stradella Alternate Chords


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One big problem with accordion, especially when playing jazz and Latin, is that the chord buttons of left hand side are rather limiting. For one thing, the chord types are limited to major, minor, seventh and diminished. And, further, each chord has only three sounding notes (seventh and diminished drop the fifth).

There really aren't problems in this world, just opportunities for solutions! The limited chord set of the Stradella bass gives the player the choice to add the missing notes with the creative use of the single bass buttons, adding treble notes, and even the pressing of multiple chord buttons at the same time. Really, it's just a matter of how flexible (and big) your hands are.

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To help in figuring out some of the choices (opportunities!), I've written a short program which figures out what chords you might want to use in place of the esoteric symbol on a lead sheet.

For example, you might see that you need a “Cm7b9” (this is a C minor chord with an added 7th and a flat 9th). Well, it's not a note on the Stradella note set. However, with this utility you can discover that you can “fake” the chord with a number of choices. The program starts off by reporting what the notes are in the chord:

  • Chord 'Cm7b9' notes are: C Db Bb Eb G
and then the alternates:
  • Button C-m has: C Eb G; missing Db Bb
  • Button Bb-d has: Db Bb G; missing C Eb
  • Button Eb-M has: Bb Eb G; missing C Db
  • Button Eb-7 has: Db Eb G; missing C Bb

And if it's choice you are after, remember that the program only shows buttons as a natural (C, D, G, etc) or flat (Eb, Gb, etc). You also have all the sharp alternatives (as the saying goes, this is an exercise for the reader).

The program has over 150 different built in chords, so you should be good to go with even more bizarre charts.

Download Alternate Chords Source Code

This program is written in Python (so you will need a version installed on your computer). It runs in a terminal, so you'll need to be able to figure out how to do that on your own. And if you want to create a cool GUI for this, please send it to me. I'll even host it here or link to it!

Download (14K):
SHA1 checksum: 598285cc4086f2b0f5f95f562c07df3c4a2bb2bc

Web Design--Bob van der Poel This page was last modified on 2024-03-21