The Theorytab search bar now allows users to search for tabs by chord progression. While this functionality has already been available in a graphical form (hooktheory.com/trends), we are experimenting with putting it directly into the search bar.
Right now the functionality and scope of this search is very limited:
- Chords must be entered in a specific format, outlined below
- Chord durations are not supported
- Chord progressions must be entered in relative notation
- Chord progressions are limited to progressions containing 4 chords or less.
- Certain types of chords are not yet supported, like chords with adds, omits, suspensions, alterations, and chords borrowed from supermodes, although these will be added soon.
We eventually envision building a broader “search by chord progression” tool that will do away with these limitations and have lots of advanced search features, but as this will require a significant development effort, we are putting this off for the time being.
In the meantime here is a brief guide for entering chord progressions:
Chord progression search notation
The basic form of a query is:
[mode: (optional)] [chord], [chord], [chord], [chord]
Where mode specifies the mode of the tab, and can be: major, minor, dorian, lydian, mixolydian, phrygian, or locrian. If mode is left blank, it is assumed to be major.
Chords are entered in the notation outlined below. Chord progressions must be between 1 and 4 chords in length. Chords after the 4th chord in the progression will be ignored.
Chords have the following form:
[borrowed mode: (optional)] [root] [figured bass (optional)] [/ applied chord target (optional)]
Note that the root is entered in plain numbers (Arabic numerals, i.e.: 1 2 3 not Roman numerals: I ii iii).
iv (min) :
bVI (min) :
To search for tabs in major containing the progression I → V → vi → IV, use the search term:
1 5 6 4
To search for tabs in minor containing the progression i7 → VI → VII, use:
minor:17 6 7
To search for tabs in major containing the progression I → V42/IV → IV6 → iv6 (min), use:
1 542/4 46 minor:46