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Thread: What the??????

  1. #1
    Struggle Monkey B381's Avatar
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    Default What the??????

    "It doesn't matter how much you invest in your instrument until you invest in you and your ability..."

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  2. #2
    Registered User Tom C's Avatar
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    Default Re: What the??????

    Strange. It only has 3 columns of keys. Wonder if everything played in 5th double stops.

  3. #3

    Default Re: What the??????

    When I was a child we had a keychord banjo
    " Practice every time you get a chance." - Bill Monroe

  4. #4
    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: What the??????

    Sure saves the fingertips!

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    Front Porch & Sweet Tea NursingDaBlues's Avatar
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    Default Re: What the??????

    Interesting discussion from 2013 on “KeyKord” instruments.

    https://www.banjohangout.org/archive/273357

    An excerpt from that discussion:
    “KeyKords were invented by Dean M. Solenberger, president of the Simplex Piston Ring Co. of Cleveland. Solenberger contracted with Stromberg-Voisinet to put his devices on 3 instruments: tenor banjo, Venetian tenor guitar, and Spanish tenor guitar. Presumably Simplex made the KeyKord devices in Cleveland and shipped them to S-V in Chicago. S-V had nothing to do with marketing them. So far, we don't know how KeyKord sold them. The only trade press notice of them came in early 1930 and it's pretty certain they were around in 1929. Whether they made it beyond 1930 is unknown, but it wouldn't be much longer. The KeyKord scale is 20", longer than a baritone uke (19") but shorter than the tenor banjo and tenor guitar (21" or 23"). Here's where it gets funky. KeyKords are meant to be tuned like a ukulele. The tenor guitar was invented (by Regal) in 1926 and by 1928 or so people were tuning them alternatively as a tenor guitar (tenor banjo) or baritone ukulele, either re-entrant or low D, which is, of course, essentially like a guitar. KeyKords were meant to be played in ukulele tuning, or really in baritone ukulele tuning, even though the baritone uke wasn't invented until 1948. Thus, like a baritone uke or guitar: DGBE. However, the chord forms used were for soprano uke. Those forms are the same for soprano or baritone, but essentially what the KeyKord does is transpose keys from what you see in the music down to a baritone key. So, while KeyKords look like tenor banjos and tenor guitars, they really are (baritone) banjoleles/banjo-ukes and baritone ukuleles, albeit with an extra 1" in the scale. This is why they don't work if you try to play them tuned like a tenor.”

    And an old listing from Folkway Music with several close-up photos.

    http://www.folkwaymusic.com/museum/o...ord-1929-0213/

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    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: What the??????

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom C View Post
    Strange. It only has 3 columns of keys. Wonder if everything played in 5th double stops.
    The buttons are not based on the number of strings, each button represents a specific chord. The Mandolin Cafe Mugs contain the 21 chords you need to play almost every song. This is basically the same thing, 21 chords.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  10. #7
    Registered User Tom C's Avatar
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    Default Re: What the??????

    Makes sense. Id hate to have to fix that 1 chord that buzzes

  11. #8

    Default Re: What the??????

    I would imagine you would need 24 keys, every triad in major and minor, wonder which ones they skipped.
    Seems silly to skip one row of three chords, when that would complete the picture, maybe I am being OCD here. :-)

    If I had to take a wild guess I would guess they skipped these:
    F# major, C# major, but I can't figure the last one, maybe Cm. :-)
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    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: What the??????

    Way back when I was a pup, the guy that owned the store I worked at, had an “Arthur Murray ukulele chord player” very much like this, it was held on by rubber bands, if memory serves, it made eight chords. It looks like the same kind of thing. The “Arthur Murray” thing was a mail in the the show with box tops or something I think.
    It was “nifty” to say the least!
    Timothy F. Lewis
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    Front Porch & Sweet Tea NursingDaBlues's Avatar
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    Default Re: What the??????

    Quote Originally Posted by Timbofood View Post
    Way back when I was a pup, the guy that owned the store I worked at, had an “Arthur Murray ukulele chord player” very much like this, it was held on by rubber bands, if memory serves, it made eight chords. It looks like the same kind of thing. The “Arthur Murray” thing was a mail in the the show with box tops or something I think.
    It was “nifty” to say the least!
    Arthur Godfrey maybe?

    Saw this one on Reverb:
    https://reverb.com/item/10625045-eme...ment-50-s-60-s

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  15. #11
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    Default Re: What the??????

    Arthur Godfrey Uke
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  17. #12
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
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    Default Re: What the??????

    Yep! Thanks to both of you! I tripped over my teeth or fingers or whatever, Hey I’m fighting some stupid kind of spring coughing, sneezing misery!
    At least I was cognizant enough to remember Arthur! Today, I can sort of remember my own name.
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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  19. #13
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: What the??????

    Here's a closeup of the Keykord buttons from a different Reverb listing.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I would guess that the numbers and available chords might reference a songbook that might have been offered along with this instrument.
    Jim

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  20. #14
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    Default Re: What the??????

    Now we just need one based on the Nashville numbering system that can be moved up and down the neck.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  22. #15
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    Default Re: What the??????

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeEdgerton View Post
    Now we just need one based on the Nashville numbering system that can be moved up and down the neck.
    Build it and they will come.

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    Default Re: What the??????

    Now if someone would invent a gizmo that mounts near the bridge to do the strumming we'd be all set, just push the buttons.

  25. #17
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: What the??????

    Quote Originally Posted by Hudmister View Post
    Now if someone would invent a gizmo that mounts near the bridge to do the strumming we'd be all set, just push the buttons.
    That is called an accordion.
    Jim

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  27. #18

    Default Re: What the??????

    Quote Originally Posted by Hudmister View Post
    Now if someone would invent a gizmo that mounts near the bridge to do the strumming we'd be all set, just push the buttons.
    This pedal would go great with that:
    Click image for larger version. 

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  29. #19
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: What the??????

    It took me a while to find my copy of that pedal. They don't work very well for me. I prefer the BigMon pedal myself.
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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

  30. #20
    Registered User Cobalt's Avatar
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    Default Re: What the??????

    Quote Originally Posted by Hudmister View Post
    Now if someone would invent a gizmo that mounts near the bridge to do the strumming we'd be all set, just push the buttons.
    It was done, all the way back in mediaeval times, the instrument is called a hurdy-gurdy.

  31. #21
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: What the??????

    The return of the autoharp.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

  32. #22
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
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    Default Re: What the??????

    Quote Originally Posted by Timbofood View Post
    Hey I’m fighting some stupid kind of spring coughing, sneezing misery!
    Aha - now I know who I contracted this from. Viruses on the Veb.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

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