Foot-Chording Chords

April 7th, 2022
jammer, music, tech
As part of my rhythm stage setup, I have four pedals which I primarily use for heel-toe drumming. When playing mandolin, or holding a baby, however, I can instead use these pedals to play bass notes or chords. I tell it what key and mode I'm in, and then can choose one of the four chords I'm most likely to want. For example, if I'm playing in C Major I have:

Am (vi)      G (V)

 C (I)      F (IV)

In showing this to Ruthie, however, we realized that more options are possible if you use multiple simultaneous pedals. I am unreasonably excited to be "chording" to play chords.

Rough demo, since I only just figured this out:

If you use all the combinations this gives you eleven more options, but for now I've just added two: the left pair and the right pair. In major I've set these as ii and iii, so C Major is:

Am (vi)     G (V)
Dm (ii)     Em (iii)
C (I)       F (IV)

Here are the three other modes I currently have configured, with C as an example key:

Minor:

G (V)       Cm (i)
F (IV)      E (III)
A (VI)      Bb (VII)

Alternate minor:

Bb (VII)   F (IV)
Ab (VI)    G (V)
C (i)      E (III)

Mixolydian:

Bb (VII)   G (V)
Ab (VI)    E (III)
C (I)      F (IV)

In each of these, I'm using the two "chorded" options to bring in extra options I would use occasionally.

At some point I may use some of the other combinations, probably starting with the two toes and the two heels, but for now this is confusing enough. I will probably also change around what the pedals do, since I feel like I don't have a great system right now: it works, but there isn't that much logic to it so it's hard to remember and extend.

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