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dobro and steel guitar

Windows:  95/98, 2000, Me, XP





This page shows example usage of rpsoft 2000 software "musicord" for steel guitar and dobro chord applications.  To view the main page of this software and view its main characteristics, view it here at:  musicord.

Forward:  Limitations

We do want to be up front that Musicord may not work for all steel guitars.  Musicord will handle up to 6 unique strings.  For a stringed instrument with more than 6 unique strings, such as 8, it will only show 6 of those strings.  In some cases (but not likely a help for steel guitar players) Musicord will handle stringed instruments over 6 strings.  Those cases are those where the strings are tuned as "courses" of either string "pairs" or string "triplets".  A few examples of those.  A normal 12 string guitar is tuned in string pairs, and hence would be displayed in Musicord as a 6 string guitar.  The reason there is that there are only 6 unique fingering positions.  Also, an 8 string mandolin will show up as a four string instrument, a 10 string cittern (also with string pairs) as a five string instrument and a 12 string tiple whose strings are tuned as triplets will show up as a four string guitar.  The "strings" in Musicord may be more correctly thought of as "fingering positions" or "courses" of strings as it is sometimes called.

Steel Guitar and Dobro Chords in the new Musicord 3.0

Given the six unique string limitation above, the New Musicord version 3.0 should do well for steel guitars and or dobros of 6 unique strings or less.  There are a number of new and great features in Musicord 3.0 - but the main one needed here for steel guitars and dobros is custom tuning.  As we know, steel guitars and dobros are often tuned to very specific tuning - often to allow simplified major chords directly.  And of course for some songs, retuning to another setup would be required.   Capability for both right hand and left hand viewing is now available - as well as multiple preset steel guitar and dobro tunings.  If one of our preset string tunings do not work for you, you can modify the strings as you wish.  The chords shown will follow the new turning that you have selected.  And yes, there is a capo option - which will show chord fingerings down the fretboard of the instrument.



steel guitar or dobro chord usage of the musicord software program


steel guitar or dobro chord usage showing left hand usage


The above shows the musicord screen for a 6 string steel guitar with "open G" tuning.  This tuning allows the A major chord that is shown to play as a simple bar chord on the second fret.


The above shows the musicord screen for a left handed steel guitar or dobro tuned to "low bass A, Hawaiian A" tuning displaying a Bb major chord.



Basic Applications:

Not only will this software recognize notes to chords or chords to note - for 28 chord types - and also show the notes inside those chords if wished - it also shows stringed instrument guitar fingering down the neck of the steel guitar or dobro.

Chords Recognized / Created


28 chords in all, including:  major, minor, major 6th, minor 6th, 7th, major 7th, minor 7th, mmaj7th, major 9th, minor 9th, major 11th, minor 11th, major 13th, minor 13th,diminished, augmented (also called + or +5), major 6 with no 5, minor 6th with no 5, 5, -5, 7-5, sus 2, sus (sus 4 no 3), sus4 (3 no 5), sus 4 (5 and 3), 7 sus 4, 7 maj 5, 6th add 9.


Stored Steel Guitar and Dobro  Presets and Tuning (available for right or left hand viewing)


Open G,  Open A,  Open E,  Open D,  C 6th,  C 6th 2,  G 6th,  G 6th 2,  Low Bass A Hawaiian A,  Low Bass G,  E minor 7th 1,  E minor 7th 2


Unique Tunings and Storage of Favorite Tunings


If none of the above preset tunings will work for you, Musicord also allows you to adjust each string to any chromatic note you wish.  And you can use this feature with 4 string, 5 string and 6 string stringed instruments.  If you are an artist who often uses several different tunings, you can store your custom tunings and they will be available to you as options under the Musical Family "Custom".

Chords to Notes

To determine the notes in a chord such as C major, one begins by entering the C by either pressing a C on the piano keyboard or a C on the stringed instrument fret board.  Then use the mouse pointer to select the “major” button on the chords at the right middle of the program.  The notes are then shown in the data output.  The fingering is also show on the piano and on the stringed instrument fret board. 

Fingering Options

Dark gray areas show the primary (lowest possible) fingering.  Light gray areas show duplicate fingering that could be substituted if the person wishes.  For example, one could substitute a light gray C note fingering for a dark gray C note fingering.  Substitutes may make the fingering easier, or make for a better sound in the particular circumstance.  On the piano, allowing different notes at the top of the chord lead to different “inversions” of the same chord.

Options allow one to see fingerings down the stringed instrument neck by using a “capo” option.  This option shows fingerings, four frets at a time, moving down the neck.  In this way one might find an easier, faster, or better sounding chord fingering. 

Notes to Chords

One can also enter notes on the piano keyboard or the stringed instrument fret board, and then see if the software program recognizes the chord.  If it does, the program will show the chord name, (piano chord or stringed instrument chord) and any alternates, in the data area.

What if one wants to see stringed instrument fingering for a combination of notes that are not one of the 28 listed chords?  Entering the notes on the piano keyboard or stringed instrument fretboard will show the note fingering on the stringed instrument fret board even if it is not one of the 28 chords.

More Options

Even more options, including printing, making custom tunings or instruments shown on the main musicord page.   To see these, click here.

Relevant Links
(includes this page)


Musicord Software- main page,  Left Hand Chord ExampleRetuned Strings Example

Musical Instrument Families

Keyboard / PianoGuitar / TipleBass GuitarUkulele BanjoMandolin / Bouzouki / Cittern

Violin / Fiddle / Viola / CelloSteel Guitar / DobroLute / Oud / Cumbus

Click Here for eBook Info on One Person Band Recording

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