Chord and Scale Shapes

LinnStrument notes are arranged like the notes on any stringed instrument: each row consists of two octaves of consecutive semitones, and the rows are offset from each other by any interval you choose. This page gives some helpful tips on where to find common chords and scales in LinnStrument's default 4ths tuning, in which the rows are tuned to intervals of a musical fourth (5 semitones), just like the lower four strings of a guitar.

The following diagram shows the note names for all 200 note pads, as well as the fingerings of common chords and scales:

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The chords and scales are shown in the key of C, except for the A Minor scale. To transpose any of these chords or scales to another key, simply move your hand left, right, up or down, keeping the same relative finger position, or shape. That's the beauty of LinnStrument's isomorphic note layout: you only need to learn one chord shape for all 12 keys. Compare this to a piano keyboard, which requires that each chord has a different shape for each of the 12 keys.

Here's a drawing showing the location of the natural notes on the musical staff, submitted by LinnStrument owner James Weaver (Twitter: @JavaFXpert):

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Resources for learning to play LinnStrument

• LinnStrumentalist Jeff Moen has created a series of "Learn the LinnStrument" videos.

Here is a useful app, created in Max/MSP by LinnStrumentalist Martin Jirsák, that shows where notes and chords are on LinnStrument.

• For a great article about techniques for playing LinnStrument, see this article on James Weaver's blog www.CulturedEar.com.

• LinnStrument owner Chris Evans created this printable overlay showing the note names, to place over your LinnStrument's playing surface.

• LinnStrumentalist Aaron Rouby created this helpful Google Docs spreadsheet showing the fingerings for many chord types on LinnStrument's fingerboard.

Roger Linn Design

Los Altos, CA