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Blumberg's

Music Theory Cipher


for Guitar
and other stringed instruments

Open Position Chords for:


7 String Viola da Gamba and Lute
tuning = 4th 4th 4th 3rd 4th 4th

Complements of www.TheCipher.com

Copyright 2003 Roger Edward Blumberg

Basic Viol and Lute Chords TheCipher.com 2003 Roger Edward Blumberg 1
Beginners Lute and Viol Chords 7 string D tuning (added low A) Bass viol
open position chords (first three frets plus nut or open strings)
Black diamonds are root tones. Large numbers inside chord dots
Grayed tones are optional. are fingering numbers: 3 = ring finger
White filled tones behind the nut are open 1 = index finger 4 = little finger
string tones (to be included in chord). 2 = middle finger T = thumb
X ed strings at the nut are muted, not played
Open strings tuning: A D G C E A D
6 string Guitarist's reference Standard 7 string Lute and Gamba tuning pattern:
viewed as added treble string 4th 4th 4th 3rd 4th 4th

A A A A A A
Major minor Dom 7 minor 7 Major 7 Major 6

1 1 1 2 1

2 3 5 2 3 5 2 5 1 2 5 3 5 2 3 4 5
3 4 3 3
3 3 3 3 6
R 5 R 3 5 R R 5 R 3 5 R R 5 7 3 7 R R 5 R 3 7 R R 5 7 3 5 R R 5 R 3 6 R

D D D D D D
Major minor Dom 7 minor 7 Major 7 Major 6
R R R R R 5 R
1 1 1
2 1 3 2 3 2 3 2 2 3 1 1 1 1

3 7 7 3
3 3 7 3 6 3
5 R 5 R 3 5 5 R 5 R 3 5 5 R 5 7 3 5 5 R 5 7 3 5 5 R 5 7 3 5 5 R 5 R 3 6

G G G G G G
Major minor Dom 7 minor 7 Major 7 Major 6
X 5 X 5 X 5 X 5 X 5 X 5
1 1 1 1

T 1 2 2 2 3 2 1 1 1 6 1 2
3 3 R R
7 6
3 5 R 5 R 3 5 R 5 R 3 5 R 5 7 3 5 R 5 7 3 5 R 5 7 3 5 R 5 6 3

C C C C C C
Major minor Dom 7 minor 7 Major 7 Major 6
X
1 3 1 7 3
1 3 see barre chord 2 3 see barre chord 2 1 3 2 6 3
2 5 3 2 3 4 3 5 R 2 3 3 3 3 3 R 3 R

R 3 5 R 3 R R 3 5 R 5 R R 3 5 R 3 7 R 7 3 5 R R 3 5 R 3 7 R 3 5 R 3 6

Basic Viol and Lute Chords TheCipher.com 2003 Roger Edward Blumberg 2
Beginners Lute and Viol Chords 7 string D tuning (added low A) Bass viol
open position chords (first three frets plus nut or open strings)
Black diamonds are root tones. Large numbers inside chord dots
Grayed tones are optional. are fingering numbers: 3 = ring finger
White filled tones behind the nut are open 1 = index finger 4 = little finger
string tones (to be included in chord). 2 = middle finger T = thumb
X ed strings at the nut are muted, not played
Open strings tuning: A D G C E A D
6 string Gambist's reference Standard 7 string Lute and Gamba tuning pattern:
viewed as an added bass string 4th 4th 4th 3rd 4th 4th

A A A A A A
Major minor Dom 7 minor 7 Major 7 Major 6
R R R R RX R X
1 1 7 1
2 3 4 2 3 4 2 4 2 3 5 1 1 5 2 3 4

3 3
3 3 3 3 3 3 3 6
5 R 3 5 R 5 5 R 3 5 R 5 5 7 3 5 R 5 5 7 3 5 R 5 R 5 7 3 5 R 3 6 R 5

D D D D D D
Major minor Dom 7 minor 7 Major 7 Major 6
5 5 5 5 5 5
1 1 1

2 1 3 2 3 1 2 2 3 2 3 6 1 2 3 4

3 7 3 7 3 4

3 3 7 3 3 6
R R 5 R 3 5 R R R 5 R 3 5 R R 5 7 3 7 R R 5 R 3 7 R R 5 7 3 5 R R 5 R 3 6 R

G G G G G G
Major minor Dom 7 minor 7 Major 7 Major 6

3 1 1 3 2 1

3 1 2 2 3 2 3 3 3 2 1 3 3 6 1 1 1
3 3 7 7 2

7
5 R 5 R 3 5 5 R 5 R 3 5 5 R 5 7 3 5 5 R 5 7 3 5 5 R 5 7 3 5 5 R 5 R 3 6

C C C C C C
Major minor Dom 7 minor 7 Major 7 Major 6
X X X X X X
3 1 7 1 7 3 1 1

3
T 2 3 2 7 3 1 1 3 6 2

R
T 3 4 R
T 3 4 R
T 7 3 R
T 7 3 R
T 3 R
T 3
7
5 R 5 R 3 5 R 5 R 3 5 R 5 7 3 5 R 5 7 3 5 R 5 7 3 5 R 5 6 3

Basic Viol and Lute Chords TheCipher.com 2003 Roger Edward Blumberg 3
Beginners Lute and Viol Chords 7 string Bass Viol [A]D tuning continued
open position chords (first three frets plus nut or open strings)
6 string Guitarist's reference
viewed as added treble string

F F F F F F
Major minor Dom 7 minor 7 Major 7 Major 6
X X X X X X
1 1 1 7 7 1 1

2 see barre chord 2 see barre chord 2 2 3


3 4 5 R 2 3 R 3 4 5 R 1 2 3 R 3 5 R 4 5 R
4 4 4
5 R 3 5 R 3 R 3 5 3 5 R 3 7 R 3 R 7 3 5 R 3 7 R 3 R 3 6 R 3

A/B A/B A/B A/B A/B A/B


Major minor Dom 7 minor 7 Major 7 Major 6
X X X X X X
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

2 2 2 2

3 4 5 3 4 5 3 5 3 5 3 5 3 4 5
see barre chord see barre chord see barre chord see barre chord

5 R 3 5 R 5 R 3 5 R 5 7 3 5 R 5 7 3 5 R 3 R 3 5 7 3 R 3 6 R

D/E D/E D/E D/E D/E D/E


Major minor Dom 7 minor 7 Major 7 Major 6

1 1 1 R 1 1 1 R 1 1 1 1 R 1 1 1 1 R 1 1 1 R 1 1 R
2 2 2

3 3 3 3 4 3 4 3 3 4 6 3 3 3 3

3 3
5 R 5 R 3 5 5 R 5 R 3 5 5 R 5 7 3 5 5 R 5 7 3 5 5 R 5 7 3 5 5 R 5 R 3 6

E E E E E E
Major minor Dom 7 minor 7 Major 7 Major 6

1 1 1 R 1 1 1 R 1 1 1 1 R1 1 1 1 R 1 1 1 R 1 1 R
2 2 2

3 3 3 3 4 3 4 3 3 4 3 3 3 3
5 R 5 R 3 5 5 R 5 R 3 5 3 5 R 5 7 3 5 5 R 5 7 3 5 3 5 R 5 7 3 5 5 R 5 R 3 6

Basic Viol and Lute Chords TheCipher.com 2003 Roger Edward Blumberg 4
Beginners Lute and Viol Chords 7 string Bass Viol [A]D tuning continued
open position chords (first three frets plus nut or open strings)

6 string Gambist's reference


viewed as an added bass string

F F F F F F
Major minor Dom 7 minor 7 Major 7 Major 6
X X
1 1 2 1 1 3 1 1

2 see barre chord 2 see barre chord 2 3 2


5 3 4 5 3 4 4 5 3 4 5 2 3 3 3 5 5 3

R 3 5 R 3 R R 3 5 R 5 R R 3 5 R 5 7 R 7 3 5 R R 3 5 R 3 7 R 3 5 R 3 6
5
A/B A/B A/B A/B A/B A/B
Major minor Dom 7 minor 7 Major 7 Major 6
X X X X X X
R 1 1 R 1 1 1 R 1 R R 1 R 1

2 2 see barre chord 2 2

5 3 4 5 3 4 5 3 5 1 2 5 3 5 3 4

3 4 3 3 4

R 3 5 R 5 R 3 5 R 5 R 3 7 R 3 R 7 3 5 R 3 5 7 3 R 3 6 R 3

D/E D/E D/E D/E D/E D/E


Major minor Dom 7 minor 7 Major 7 Major 6
X X X X X X
5 R 1 1 5 R 1 1 5 R 1 1 1 5 R 1 1 1 5 R 1 5 R 1

2 2

2 3 4 3 4 3 4 3 3 4 6 2 3 4
see barre chord see barre chord see barre chord see barre chord

5 R 3 5 R 5 R 3 5 R 5 7 3 5 R 5 7 3 5 R 3 R 3 5 7 3 R 3 6 R

E E E E E E
Major minor Dom 7 minor 7 Major 7 Major 7/6

5 1 1 1 5 1 1 1 5 1 1 1 1 5 1 1 1 1 5 1 1 1 5 1 1 1

2 2 2
3 3 3 3 4 3 4 3 3 4 2 3 4
R 5 R 3 5 R R 5 R 3 5 R R 5 7 3 5 R R 5 7 3 5 R R 5 7 3 5 R R 5 7 3 6 R

Basic Viol and Lute Chords TheCipher.com 2003 Roger Edward Blumberg 5
Beginners Lute and Viol Chords 7 string Bass Viol [A]D tuning continued
6 string Guitarist's reference
viewed as added treble string

Movable Barre chords

Major minor Dom 7 minor 7 Major 7 Dom 7/6


1 1 1 R 1 1 1 R 1 1 1 1 R 1 1 1 1 R 1 1 1 R 1 1 7 R
2 2 2

3 3 3 3 4 3 4 3 3 4 3 3 3 3

3 7 3 3
5 R 5 R 3 5 5 R 5 R 3 5 5 R 5 7 3 5 5 R 5 7 3 5 5 R 5 7 3 5 5 R 5 R 3 6

Major minor Dom 7 minor 7 Major 7 Major 7/6


1 1 5 1 1 5 1 1 5 1 1 5 1 1 5 1 6 5
2 3 2 3 2 3
2 3 3 3 3 4 3 4 2 3 3 3 2 3 4 4 4 6
4 4 7 7
3 5 R 5 R 3 5 R 5 R 3 5 R 5 7 3 5 R 5 7 3 5 R 5 7 3 3 6 R 5 7 3

Major minor Dom 7 minor 7 Major 7 Major 7/6


1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

2 2 2 3 2

3 4 5 3 4 5 3 5 3 5 4 5 3 4 5
3 7 7 3
R 5 R 3 5 R R 5 R 3 5 R R 5 7 3 5 R R 5 7 3 5 R R 5 7 3 5 R R 5 7 3 6 R

* Low 5th (grayed tone) is always optional. If used, simply barre across all 6 or 7 strings with your index finger.

The roots (lowest black diamonds) of these barre chord voicings can be aligned to any fret-line to
produce the desired letter named chord.

Memorize the letter names and locations (fret number) of the notes on strings zero (low A) one and
two, low D and G in this tuning (first twelve frets). Consult the Lute/Viol Fretboard Note Speller.

Basic Viol and Lute Chords TheCipher.com 2003 Roger Edward Blumberg 6
Beginners Lute and Viol Chords 7 string Bass Viol [A]D tuning continued
6 string Gambist's reference
viewed as an added bass string

Movable Barre chords

Major minor Dom 7 minor 7 Major 7 Dom 7/6


5 1 1 1 5 1 1 1 5 1 1 1 1 5 1 1 1 1 5 1 1 1 5 1 1 1

2 2 2
3 3 3 3 4 3 4 3 3 4 2 3 4

3 7 7 3
R 5 R 3 5 R R 5 R 3 5 R R 5 7 3 5 R R 5 7 3 5 R R 5 7 3 5 R R 5 7 3 6 R

Major minor Dom 7 minor 7 Major 7 Major 6


1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

3 2 2 3 2 3

3 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 6 3 3 3

4 4 7 7 4
5 R 5 R 3 5 5 R 5 R 3 5 5 R 5 7 3 5 5 R 5 7 3 5 5 R 5 7 3 5 5 R 5 R 3 6

Major minor Dom 7 minor 7 Major 9 Major 6/9


R 1 1 R 1 1 1 R 1 1 1 R 1 1 1 1 R R
2 2 1 1 1

3 4 3 4 3 4 3 4 2 3 3 3 5 2 3 3 3

3 3
5 R 3 5 R 5 5 R 3 5 R 5 5 7 3 5 R 5 5 7 3 5 R 5 5 7 3 6 9 5 R 3 6 9 5

* Low 5th (grayed tone) is always optional. If used, simply barre across all 6 or 7 strings with your index finger.

The roots (lowest black diamonds) of these barre chord voicings can be aligned to any fret-line to
produce the desired letter named chord.

Memorize the letter names and locations (fret number) of the notes on strings zero (low A) one and
two, low D and G in this tuning (first twelve frets). Consult the Lute/Viol Fretboard Note Speller.

Basic Viol and Lute Chords TheCipher.com 2003 Roger Edward Blumberg 7
7 string Viola da Gamba or Lute
(same as D tuning with low A string added)
tuning [4th, 4th, 4th, 3rd, 4th, 4th]
Fretboard Notes Spelled
Nut = open strings Fret 0

Nut
Fret # 0 A D G C E A D

1 A/B D/E G/A C/D F A/B D/E

2 B E A D F/G B E

3 C F A/B D/E G C F

4 C/D F/G B E G/A C/D F/G

5 D G C F A D G

6 D/E G/A C/D F/G A/B D/E G/A

7 E A D G B E A

8 F A/B D/E G/A C F A/B

9 F/G B E A C/D F/G B

10 G C F A/B D G C

11 G/A C/D F/G B D/E G/A C/D

octave
A D G C E A D
fret 12

Basic Viol and Lute Chords TheCipher.com 2003 Roger Edward Blumberg 8