Chord Randomizer XL file


ChordRandomizer.xlsm (15.4 KB)

Not really sure where to put this, so if this isn’t the place, please move it.

I wanted a tool to randomize chords and spit them back at me one at a time. I was surprised that I couldn’t find an app for that (maybe there’s some money to be made there.) Anyway, I never learned to code for iOS or Android, but I have some rudimentary XL skills, so I threw this together.

Here’s what I was thinking. There are 3 variations of chords in this version of the file; Majors, Minors, and 7ths. When you open the spreadsheet, it may ask you if you want to enable Macros. You have to allow Macros for it to work. Down at the bottom right, there’s a “Pause Time” cell. Changing that time changes how long you have between chord changes. I’m thinking I’ll start with the “Y” (or 1) position and start hitting every spot on the neck for the named chord using that position. Then I’ll speed up the pause time until I can land on each chord without having to think about it. Then I’ll do the same for the X (or 2) position, then the bar (or 3) position.

From there, I’ll branch out to the minors in all 3 positions, and finally the 7ths. You get the idea. Now that I think about it, I can see another version of this file where the randomizer also names which hand position to hold for the chord, and also even mixing up the majors, minors, and 7ths. I’m thinking the ultimate goal is to have the randomizer throw all chord variations and hand positions at me without separating them out.

@Archie, you had some good input on this subject. If you have Excel, I’d be interested in your input.


Thanks Mark

I don’t have Excel or any spreadsheet software.


wow, I’ve played music for 40+ years and run xcell for over 15 (wife was an instructor), and your talking way over my head…might as well be a different language…haha


Which part, David? I’m thinking I must have made it sound more complicated than it really is. I haven’t programmed anything real in 20+ years, so I promise you there’s nothing special about any of this.

I’m happy to help if you’d like to use the file.


Mark…haha, I guess I just don’t understand what your trying to accomplish…my comment was more humor at my lack of understanding than anything…for all my experience, I can be fairly dense sometimes…

Reading about something isn’t always my best way of understanding, so I took a look at the file and still didn’t get it. probably just over my head…

What is the purpose of using chords randomly, without being in some type of progression?

Does this generate a picture of a chord position, variations of position of the chords, or the actual sound of the chord, ro none of the above?

OK…got the thing working but still don’t understand it…haha…just over my head theory I’m guessing.
Is it used to find substitute chords and voicings?


I think it was basically like a flash card drill to learn positions and the fretboard. This tool came up as a result of a discussion in another thread. It makes sense if you came to this thread after reading the previous thread.


I like Mike’s description. A flash card drill is a perfect way to describe the spreadsheet.

I created the file because I REALLY want to be able to improvise in songs I don’t already know (in this case, on the banjo.) I don’t remember if you’re a banjo picker or not, but if you are, here are the chord charts I made to go along with this spreadsheet.

BanjoCombinedChordInversions.pdf (318.3 KB)

So, the way I envisioned using the spreadsheet was to pick a chord position (1, 2 ,or 3, as spelled out in the chord sheet I made) and then run the spreadsheet and start playing those chords in the position I picked.

Right now, I’ll just pick the major, minor or 7th chords one at a time to work on. In a future version of the spreadsheet, I think I’ll have 1 cell for totally random chords (mix in all 3 variations) and then in the cell next to it, randomly pick the hand position. I’m a long way from that, though.

My biggest problem is that Ben keeps pumping out crazy cool content that I want to work on way more than learning my chords. Curse your awesomeness, Ben!