What’s the Next Best Chord to Learn on the Guitar?
With Chord Genome, you can easily search for guitar songs based on the chords you already know.
But the platform also comes with a powerful feature to help you grow as a musician.
That feature is the Next Best Chord – or NBC for short.
Clicking the NBC button (in your Library) will reveal what chord you should learn next.
Learning this NBC will unlock more songs than any other chord will.
- Add that NBC to your next search.
- Discover new playable songs.
- Pick the tunes you like.
- Start practicing.
How Does the NBC Algorithm Work?
The logic behind the Next Best Chord is complex. But here’s a simplified version of how the process works.
Let’s say Michael is a beginner and doesn’t know any guitar chords at all.
He wants to know which chord to learn first. So he clicks the NBC button.
Chord Genome analyzes all 1-chord tunes in the database. Perhaps there are:
- 12 songs that use G.
- 9 tunes that use A7.
- 6 results that use Em.
Michael can learn any chord he wants. But G allows him to play the most possible tunes. So he practices those songs until he’s mastered the G chord.
He’s ready to advance.
The Second NBC
Michael clicks the NBC button again.
Chord Genome now looks at:
- All 2-chord songs that use G+[?].
- All 1-chord tunes (that don’t use G).
Whichever chord appears most often will unlock the most new playable songs.
In the example below, the C chord is our NBC because it unlocks 27 new tunes (22 + 5).
After adding C to his search, Michael discovers even more playable songs.
He starts practicing these new tunes until he masters the C chord.
And now, Michael is ready for a new NBC.
The Third NBC
He clicks the Next Best Chord button. And Chord Genome analyzes:
- All 3-chord tunes that use G+C+[?].
- All 2-chord songs that use G+[?] or C+[?].
- All 1-chord results (that don’t use G or C).
Whichever chord appears most often is the NBC. Learning this chord will unlock the most new songs.
Michael can continue adding new chords one-by-one until he’s mastered all the tunes in the database.
But what if Michael isn’t a beginner?
What if he already knows a handful of obscure chords?
It doesn’t matter. The logic is still the same.
The Next Best Chord for Non-Beginners
Let’s say Michael already knows Bsus4 and Am6. When he clicks the NBC button, Chord Genome analyzes:
- All 3-chord tunes that use Bsus4+Am6+[?].
- All 2-chord results that use Bsus4+[?] or Am6+[?].
- All 1-chord songs (that don’t use Bsus4 or Am6).
Whichever chord appears most often is our winner.
It doesn’t matter how many guitar chords you already know - or how random they are.
There is always a NBC that will unlock more songs than any other chord can. And learning that NBC will provide the most opportunities for practice, playing, and growth.
That’s the simple version of how the Next Best Chord algorithm works.
But it gets way more complicated.
Take A#/F# for example. You can spell this chord 16+ different ways:
If you map out all possible spellings for all known chords, the number exceeds 55,000.
To return the most accurate results, Chord Genome must standardize all these variations – regardless of how they’re spelled.
This takes a lot of processing power, but it’s worth it. You can read more about chord standardization here.
Another cool thing about the Next Best Chord feature is that you can filter your results.
Let’s take a look.
Next Best Chord and Genre Preferences
Chord Genome has about 350,000 songs pulled from popular user-generated guitar sites. And the NBC feature will continue spoon-feeding you chords one-by-one until you can play the entire database.
But what if you only like certain styles of music?
No problem. That’s where the genre and decade filters come in.
Maybe the Next Best Chord for all songs in the entire database is D.
- If you only like 1970s and 1980s Rock, you might be better off learning A5 next.
- Do you prefer Jazz and Blues from the 1950s? Ebmin may be the better choice.
With these filters, your practice and playing become way more focused.
Don’t waste time learning chords you don’t need.
Don’t spend hours playing songs you don’t enjoy.
These genre and decade filters are still in beta. And they have certain limitations. But when used correctly, they allow you to concentrate on those chords most relevant to you.
Hope you find the NBC and filters helpful.
And if you haven't already, create a free Chord Genome Account today.