You may be surprised to know that it is possible to play on the Anglo the major chord of all 7 notes of the scale:  C , D, E, F ,G, A, B. Plus 7th chords of most of those too.

And 6 minor chords: are playable: D minor, E minor, F# minor, G minor,  A minor, B minor.

And most chords needed can be managed on a 20-key Anglo, though many without bass notes and complexity.

( if you need a primer or reminder on what the major, minor, 5th and 7th chords consist of, have a look  here at BASIC CHORD TRIADS . Also there is another, more compact, chart of Anglo chords HERE,  from the Concertina.net website. It doesn’t include any of the bass notes. Very useful as a ready reference. My charts offer a fuller explanation, and more options. Whichever suits you better.)

Below you will find multiple fingerings for each chord. Because there are so many possibilities. It depends on whether you’re accompanying singing, or  a dance tune; what sort of voicing you want ( more trebly, or bassy, or droney); which chord you’ve just come from, or are about to play; and which fingers you need to have free to be playing melody at the same time.

Complicated, eh ?

Because there so many chord possibilities, some not often used, I’ve grouped them into 2 sections. The less frequent ones ( e.g. F# minor, B flat major, 7ths) are lower down this page ( see ‘RARER CHORDS’).

Mostly, chords are played with your 4 left-hand fingers. So these charts show only the left hand buttons, except where a chord uses buttons on the right.

And many of these chords require USING THE LOWEST NOTES

As a rule I find the most useful chord, whether for major or minor, is the 5th, i.e. C5, D5, A5. It consists of 2 notes: the lst ( the ‘doh’, or ‘tonic’) and 5th (the ‘so’ or ‘dominant’) notes of the scale. I generally also add the bass of the tonic, e.g. in abc terms: ‘G,’ + ‘G’ + ‘d’, or ‘A,’ + ‘A’ + ‘e’. I like the 5th because it only ties up  2 or 3 fingers, it gives that droney effect which suits folk music, and it needn’t overpower any melody you’re playing with the right hand. But there are no rules, just taste.

I will list the chords here alphabetically, first the majors, then the minors. OK, here goes:

THE MAIN MAJOR CHORDS

C MAJOR  – Here is the diagram. The 3 most important notes are the triad of ‘C’, ‘E’ and ‘G’, at buttons C3, C4 and C5. You can omit the ‘E’ to play a C5  ( C 5th) chord, and you can add the low ‘C,’ , at C1, for a bassier effect.

C maj png 3D

D MAJOR – Here there are several possibilities, mostly on the draw, but also on the press.

D MAJOR (draw)  – Number #1 is the D major triad chord.  Number #2, although it requires you to stretch that pinky a bit,  is what I consider the most useful basic D chord on the draw. It’s a D5 , i.e. a D 5th, adding the ‘A,’ at button G1 for some bass.

D major draw #1 3DD major draw # 2 3D

D MAJOR # 3 ( press) Here is a simple  D5 (D 5th) chord, which will fit both D major or minor. It’s on the press in case your other fingers are playing melody also on the press, or you’ve played a long passage on the draw and need a bellows change. You don’t have to add that low ‘A,’ at T2, but it does lend depth. As usual, your left pinky is playing the ‘F#’ , your ring finger plays the ‘A,’ and your index plays the ‘A’.

D5 press

F MAJOR – You will generally only need an F major chord when playing in the key of C major, or G mixolydian. There are a few voicings you can use. Well, 5 that I know of. Three of these use the low ‘F’  at T1, on the draw. Stretching your left pinky down to that remote button does take some getting used to. You have to swivel your wrist from its accustomed position. Here are the ones I’ve used. My favourite, the most complete and full, is the 1st below.

The 2nd diagram contains 4 possibilities. You can play all buttons, the ring finger playing the ‘c’. Or you can omit the low ‘F,’. You can omit the ‘c’ : this still serves as F major. Or play the low and higher ‘F’ , plus the ‘c’. That gives you an F5 chord.

F major triad with bass 3DF majors with bass 3D

G MAJOR – here there are so many voicings. Mostly on the press, but a few on the draw too.

The basic triad is in the first chart. Omit the ‘B’ and you have a G5 chord. In the second, bass is added:  the left pinky is pressed flat across buttons G2 and C2, thus playing both ‘G,’ and ‘D’. # 3 is a triad with a low ‘G,’ .

G major simple triadG major triad bass added 3D

 

G major triad # 3 3D

This chord below is a bass G major triad. I don’t use it really, but it might fit in song accompaniment. The finger positions differ from other G chords. The pinky plays the ‘B’, ring finger plays the ‘D’, and middle finger the ‘G,’.

G major bass triad #4

G MAJOR ( draw) – this G major triad  is useful when you’re playing in C major. Say, accompanying a song. And you’re alternating continually between a  bass C and a G chord. Nice and easy because your fingers stay on the lower C row, and all you need is a bellows change.

G major bass triad draw

There is, incidentally, another drawn G major triad. You’re much less likely to use it, and I haven’t marked the buttons in the chart below. But, for completeness, and in case it should prove useful: T4 + C6 + C7.

 

A MAJOR – Like G major, there are numerous possible voicings, on both the draw and press. Though generally you’ll use the draw much more than the press.

Below is a full A major chord on the press. Or you can omit the ‘c#’ for an A5 chord, and omit the low ‘A,’ too for the same chord.

A major triad 3D

And here are the buttons for A major and A5 on the press.

For the A major triad: ‘A,’ + ‘C#’ + ‘E’ [ don’t bother adding the ‘A’ at T4, too hard !];

An A major without the ‘E’‘A,’ + ‘C#’ + ‘A’   , along the 3rd row.

And for A5:  ‘A,’ + ‘E’

A majors and A5 press 3D

THE MAIN MINOR CHORDS 

Now for the 4 minors you’ll need most: A minor, E minor, D minor and B minor. The much less frequent G minor an F# minor are explained below in RARER CHORDS.

A MINOR and A5 ( draw)The A minor lies comfortably under the fingers, along the G row. The basic triad is at buttons G3, G4 and G5. Adding the low ‘A,’ at G1 makes it much richer. You can also leave out the ‘c’ to play an A5 chord, which as I explained above doubles both as a major and minor chord.

A minor draw 3D

A MINOR and A5 ( press) – also possible on the press, though you’ll use it rarely because you’re usually coming from or going to a G major or D minor, and those transitions with the drawn A minor. Play all 3 notes for the minor triad, and omit the ‘C’ for the A5 chord.

A minor and A5 press compact

B MINOR and B5 ( draw) –  the lower 3 notes form the B minor triad, and so the ‘B’ on the right hand is not needed unless you want to add a more trebley feel to the chord. If I’m accompanying a tune I generally use the B5 chord, and omit the ‘D’.

B minor and B5 3D

D MINOR and D5 ( draw) – the D minor triad is played along the C row. You can add the low ‘A,’ for some depth. And you can omit the ‘F’ to play a D5. The D5 can also be played on the press ( see above).

D minor and D5 3D

E MINOR and E5 ( press) – there are several possibilities. Number #1 is I think the simplest and most effective for the triad.

E minor #1 3D

Number # 2 adds a deeper bass note with the low ‘E,’. Leave out the ‘G’ and you have an E5 chord, which suffices for the minor key.

E minor #2 3D

Number #3 is a simple E minor triad without any bass note. You could also use the ‘G’ at G3 instead of  C5, but on most instruments that’s slightly more awkward.

E minor #3 3D

Number #4 is an E5 chord without any bass note.

E minor #4 3D

RARER CHORDS  

First the majors, then the minors:

D7 #1 ( draw) – The D7 chord means the D major chord with an added ‘C’ natural. I have shown 4 notes in the diagram below, but you don’t have to play them all. A 2-note version will suffice: the ‘D’ and the ‘c’ ( ‘c’ played with the middle finger). Or you can add the ‘A’. Or add both the ‘A’ and the ‘F#’ ( ‘F#’ played with the pinky). That 4-note version is a bit of a squashed handful ( pun intended !) at first. So you might start with the 2- and 3-note voicings.

By the way, the D7 chord is mostly used before or after a G chord. So it’s a good idea to practise the change between the two.

D7 draw 3D image

D7 #2 ( press) – A full D7 on the press is not possible, unless you have extra buttons, including a pressed ‘F#’ ( mine does, damned good idea !). So one makes do with a ‘D’ + ‘A’ + ‘c’.  And you can add the low pressed  ‘A,’ at T2, for some bass feel. Equally, playing only the ‘D’  + ‘c’, also conveys the 7th feel adequately.

Oh, and …. there are 2 other voicings too, dark and evocative, not marked below. Substitute the ‘C’ at C3 for the RHS ‘c’. And for a really murky inversion: ‘D’ + ‘C’ + ‘A,’ [ at T2]

D7 on the press 3D

G7 –  This chord can only be played on the draw, because there is no ‘F’ note on the press. You’ll probably use #1 below. #2 is the same chord an octave higher, but I’d rarely need to use it. In each chord you can leave out the ‘B’ and it’ll be just as effective.

G7 #1 3D

G7 #2 HIGH 3D

A7 – Although the full A7 chord does include the ‘C#’, playing all 4 notes is in practice too awkward, particularly if the next chord you move to is D major, which it invariably will be. So on both the draw and press, I’d leave the ‘C#’ out and just play ‘A’ + ‘E’ + ‘G’.

A7 draw 3D

A7 PRESS 3D

B MAJOR – Not a chord you’d use much, sometimes if playing in the key of  E minor. Pinky plays the ‘F#’, ring finger the ‘B,’, and middle finger the ‘D#’. You can omit the latter note and just play the other 2 for a B5.

B major and B5 3D

B7 –  Once again, probably only used if playing in E minor. Play all 4 buttons for the complete chord, but omitting the ‘D#’ is less awkward, and just as effective for a passing chord.

b7-3d.png

E MAJOR – there are several ways to play E major, using – in different combinations –  the 5 buttons indicated below:

  • My favourite is:  ‘B,  + ‘E’ + ‘G#’.
  • The combination of ‘E,’ + ‘B,’ + ‘G#’, having 2 bass notes, is very organ-like.

For E5:

  • ‘E,’ + ‘B,’  – very bassy
  • ‘E’ + ‘B’  ; and
  • ‘E,’ + ‘B’ –  which I use a lot

E major and E5 options 3D

E7 –  This is one I rarely use, perhaps if you’re paying in the key of A major. The middle finger plays the ‘E’, as usual; Ring finger on the ‘B’ ; index finger plays the ‘d’. Fitting in the ‘G#’ ( which strictly speaking of course is part of the full E7 chord) is virtually impossible, but that note is not necessary to achieve the 7th effect.

E7 3D

G MINOR – This is not a chord you’ll use much, if at all. You wouldn’t be playing in the key of G minor on a C/G Anglo. For that you need a Bb/F. But the chord may occur when playing in the key of D minor, a Klezmer tune perhaps. Use the upper 3 buttons, and for some bass add the low ‘G,’ : it’s easy enough to stick out that idle pinky. And, of course, a G5 chord substitutes for the minor: any combination of ‘G’ and ‘D’ ( see above under G major).

G minor 3D

F# MINOR –   A useful chord sometimes when playing in D, A or B major. For F#5 leave out the ‘A’.

F# min and F5 3D

E MINOR 7 – You can simply use the E7 chord illustrated above. Or to add some bass, try this: It’s a rich delicious chord, though I doubt  you’ll use it much, and certainly not at speed

E minor 7 3D

A MINOR 7 –  you can, if you really try, play all 4 notes of this chord: the A minor triad plus a ‘G’. In practice, though, easier to play a 3-note version, an A7 :

A7 PRESS 3D

B MINOR 7 – the same applies as for the A minor 7 above: the best option is a B5-7, omitting the ‘D’:

B5-7 3D

 

 

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