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Eigenharp Pico – Learning chords

Eigenharp Pico ChordsThis video presents an overview of the fundamental major and minor chords in a C natural major scale on the Eigenharp Pico. The patterns in this tutorial are also applicable to any other tonic since the Pico automatically handles scale switching without having to learn new fingerings.

To make it easy to study these chords after having watched the video, I also created a PDF document that you can print out to have a paper reference while you’re practicing.

Eigenharp Pico Chords PDF


Update: I noticed that in my hurry to get this out before the holidays, I somehow managed to say B minor instead of B diminished throughout this whole tutorial … and mindlessly created the associated graphics based on what I heard. I updated the video and the PDF to correct this. Sorry for any confusion that this might have caused.

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13 Responses

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  1. stefan Prosky says

    thanks so much for the “tabs” Geert.
    your site is wonderful.

    Best -Tefman

    • Geert says

      My pleasure Stefan, glad it’s useful!

  2. Stephen says

    Hi, Geert. You’re my hero, or something like that.

    So there are a couple of possibilities for fingering on the Pico, and with exactly eight rows of two keys I notice that one could play with one finger more or less dedicated to each row. Your chord fingerings, on the other hand, involve moving the hand up and down by a row. Trying both approaches on simple exercises, they both seem more or less workable. Your method is much easier, but so far the other method only feels about as hard, physically, as learning the recorder (if my childhood memories are accurate) – though of course the geometry is still hugely simpler. On the other hand, I imagine that with enough practise the approach with less overall finger movement might be more nimble. But I’m no experienced musician, and I’m not sure how it will pan out when playing instruments that are sensitive to bends on both axes, where more positional accuracy is required. And perhaps the high degree of pressure sensitivity makes the relative weakness of the little finger a factor for most players.

    What’s your reasoning? In your mind, is the fingering you present the easy way to get started, or do you think our eventual virtuosi will prefer more mobile fingerings for basic patterns?

    • Geert says

      Hi Stephen,

      Glad you’re finding my videos useful.

      You’re totally right about dedicating a finger to each key on the Pico and keeping both hands stationary. This is actually how I usually play melodies and scales, and it’s also how I started to play chords. However, some positions are really not comfortable to play with your little finger as it has to curl over a row of keys while playing other ones or reach too far while pressing down, for me it’s just too short for that. So in the end I started playing chords in a similar fashion as on the guitar where your fingers assume certain patterns and you move those over the fingerboard, I find this works very well with the Pico and suspect it will transfer well over to the Alpha where the fingerboard is so big that it’s not possible to touch all keys from a fixed position anyway.

      I still come back to the fixed hands position when I’m not playing chords though.

      Of course your mileage may vary and I’m interested to know what you find the most comfortable.

      Take care,


  3. Robin says

    Hi Geert, really impressive tutorial – the graphics make it very clear what’s going on, and the way the picture is inverted to show the view as you look down at the pico is very helpful.

    In the tutorial and the PDF chord sheet, the chord that starts on B is labelled ‘B minor’ but a B minor chord should contain an F sharp. The chord B/D/F in the tutorials is really a diminished chord. In the standard major scale setup starting on C, it’s not possible to play B minor on the pico.
    Not sure if you were glossing over this to keep things simple, but thought I should mention it.

    • Geert says

      Hi Robin,

      thanks for mentioning this. I actually noticed this right after uploading the video to YouTube and am still baffled about how I could have made such a mistake. I attribute it to stress and lack of time. I only had a few hours here and there to work on this video and I wanted to get it done before the holidays. I haven’t had the time since, but I still plan on doing some edits to change this rightfully do into B dim and not B min. It’s a shame thought that YouTube doesn’t allow you to modify on existing video, I’ll have to delete it and break all the links. 🙁

      Take care,


    • Geert says

      Hi Robin,

      Today being my first real day of vacation, I finally got ’round to it and made some changes to the video so that at least no errors are being said.

      Take care,


  4. Joe S. says

    Hi Geert,

    After watching all of your performance vids, I am definitely a fan and have been contemplating buying a Pico for a few weeks. The wait is over and I just put my order in tonight. I just stumbled on to your tutorials section and I think it is awesome that you are sharing your knowledge of music and talent on the pico. I have zero educational training in learning what notes do what and what they mean. This was a great help. I also got a lot out of the scales video. I have been playing the guitar for 6+ years on and off, but like I said, I have no formal training. I enjoy playing and I guess I have just played around long enough to have some good muscle memory and have stumbled upon chords without knowing what chords I’m playing. So this was very helpful. I really hope that you continue to add tutorials when you have a spare sec because they make choosing this instrument even easier when there are strong educational resources behind it. They help people like me start to understand what it means to be a “musician” with the pico rather than just a good button masher :+)

    Is there any way that you could do a video sometime showing how to put the chords and scales into practice? For instance, if there was a simple part of a song that you could choose (maybe from the radio or something) that had an example of some chords and a scale that you could show us the break down of how to practice and put the pieces together on the pico. I know, a it is a big request, but I know it would be very beneficial for someone like me who could probably play the notes if I knew what they were and how to begin the process of arranging the different parts.

    Thank you again for all of the extra work you are doing not only in your great music but to help the community grow and learn,

    Take it easy,
    Joe S.

    • Geert says

      Hi Joe,

      I’m glad you’re finding the tutorials helpful, it’s exactly for people like you (without any formal training or previous music knowledge) that I’ve been making them. I’ve actually been thinking about doing what you’re suggesting for quite a while now. Sadly though I haven’t had the time for it yet and this it partly due to the ‘Win an Alpha’ competition for which I’ve been franticly exercising and composing. You could help me out though, if there are any songs in particular that you’d be interested in, it would make it easier for me to pick one. A couple of suggestions would be quite helpful. I’ll do my best to find some time to figure them out and create a video about it.

      Have fun with your Pico, it’s a marvelous instrument that’s only in its infancy. In a couple of years the sky will truly be the limit!

      Take care,


  5. Joe S. says

    That sounds awesome! I will definitely track down some ideas this week and give ya a post. I completely understand about the timing, and if this were to happen within the next 4 months or so I’d be more than happy so no rush at all.

    I absolutely wish you the best of luck in the competition. I hope they also take into account not just your awesome ability to play the pico but all of your extra hard work in growing the community and helping others in your spare time learn to enjoy their instrument.

    Thanks again,
    Joe S.

  6. Randy says

    Very useful, Geert. Thanks.

  7. nate says

    Sorry that is for idiots I don’t like that setting at all. If you want this thing to be treated like a real instrument than set up the fingerings in a way that is original but allows you to use every key chromatically without a problem or having to change key settings with a button. Total fail guys total faiil. That is only useful for non able players. I play saxophone and wanted an electric wind controller that actually had buttons and could sensitivity and do looping and all that but you guys screwed up on the jammablity of this product for real musicians not just dj’s. If you want to make some money bridge the gap so that wind players and djs and keyboard players can all use your instrument and be able to program it for anyone. Trust me figure it out guys and you’ll make a million.

    • Geert says

      Then create another settings, people are creating totally crazy layouts that suit them better. This is just the chords of the factory settings that’s intended to make it as easy as possible for new musicians.

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