Deciding Keys For Chords

A lot about choosing the keys for your own custom chords is intuitive, so we won’t spend too much time here. l’ll just list them out.

Use the easiest letter combinations for the words you use most often

Choose letters that have a strong connection to the word so they will be easy to remember

Be wary of creating chords of 5+ letters unless there are large groups of letters all moving in the same direction (e.g. oetns for “stone” is easy because it is five keys all down at once)

As you build your personal library there are a few principles that will help you expand from a few hundred chords to over a thousand without as much effort.

1) Be consistent across similar words.

Try to adopt similar chord structures for similar words:

should = shou

would = wou

could = cou

shouldn’t = shoun

wouldn’t = woun

couldn’t = coun

This will force you to make some tough decisions sometimes. What about “wound”? Wouldn’t woun make a great chord for that? This leads me to my next point.

2) Be realistic about how often you use a word.

…as well as how much speed you gain when chording it.

How often does “wound” really come up? Even for a fantasy writer like myself, it’s not very common. For me, the word “wouldn’t” is far more common, so it’s not worth sacrificing the pattern for.

You can search Google for “word frequency counter” and find various tools to test your own writing samples.

3) Add multiple chords for the same words.

If you want a chord for a word but think you might forget it, you can also create more than one. This is especially helpful for tricky words that have conflicting fingers:

possible = posl, ble

impossible = ipos, ible

problem = blem, plem

When you are in the writing zone, rather than thinking what is what, you can just try what makes sense. Eventually your body and brain will decide what chord they like best and you can delete the others.

4) Don’t add too many chords at a time.

Unless you plan to document everything and practice later, be cautious about adding more chords to your library than you could possibly remember. Early users will be spending more mental energy on remembering key placement, but even more advanced users will encounter the human mind’s limitations.

I keep a thick notepad propped up next to my monitor and write any new chords there. That way I can still reference them and commit them to memory without having to reference any tabs or windows on my computer.