I haven’t done much with the alternative tuning feature on the Variax yet. Apart from drop-D (DADGBE), I’m a bit rusty in playing with them. This morning I was pondering how to build a program to help calculate chord shapes for any given tuning. It should be fairly simple, given that everything follows regular patterns. I was thinking of picking a number of strings, picking the open note for each string and then, given a chord, highlighting the key notes (root, third, fifth, seventh would do for starters) and providing switches for major and minor thirds; diminished, augmented and perfect fifths; and major and flattened sevenths. If other scale tones were also marked out and labelled for a given key (2, 4, 6), that would give plenty of information to construct the whole range of chords from common Western music.
I might still do that sometime, but a bit of checking has shown that Jim Cranwell has produced something broadly along the same lines. I had in mind something a bit prettier and perhaps I’ll still give it a go but this one – a bird in the hand rather than two in the bush – will keep me going for now.