View Full Version : a "chordey"

07-06-2010, 08:17 AM
I was talking to a guy today that told me he used to have an old plastic uke from the 40's that came with what he called a "chordey","chordie"? From what he described it looked kind of like a capo but had buttons on it. When you would press the button for a certain chord the devise would press down on the strings making the proper chord. I suppose it was a cheat for kids to play without learning the chords.

Has anyone ever heard of these? I've never seen one?

07-06-2010, 08:19 AM
Yeah. I have even seen a few pictures of them on the web. I will see if I can dig one up.

Here's one for the Geetar


07-06-2010, 08:27 AM
Yep - they made guitars too... hideous things. The plastic capo bits that fretted the strings sounded pretty much like you would expect - like poorly machined plastic bits scraping strings and barking out buzzes.

The novelty factor is HUGE on these things, since most folks ripped those damn boxes off the neck. I've never seen one with all original parts in many years. I've never seen the uke at all.

They suffered from piss poor construction of super cheap materials (plastic and plywood for the most part), in addition to the goofy gizmo for "chording". Like the Honda-matic motorcycle, doomed to cult status from the start.

07-06-2010, 08:27 AM
Yes, They were called "Ukulele Players".. In fact, there is one on Ebay I am watching, and may pick up just for a cool vintage collectible.. The one I am gonna hopefully pick up is all metal, and from the 20s/30s..

07-06-2010, 08:27 AM
Yes I remember seeing one demonstrated on a UK kids programme in the 70's called Magpie. I thought it was great and asked my dad to get me one, he refused. Probably just as well really as it took longer to set up than it was worth using.

07-06-2010, 08:29 AM
Search on "Islander Chord Master" and you'll see this push-button device.

07-06-2010, 08:30 AM
Heres the one on Ebay.. I just hope I didn't mess up and end up with someone bidding against me.. ;)


07-06-2010, 08:35 AM
Here's another one on the Bay with a uke included.

07-06-2010, 08:46 AM
Here's another one on the Bay with a uke included.
forgot the link

07-06-2010, 08:50 AM


07-06-2010, 10:28 AM
Why do we do this to ourselves?

07-06-2010, 10:49 AM
I have one. They came with the plastic Emenee ukes with the Arthur Godfrey name.
It came in a box with his picture and a small song book. It plays a few chords on a soprano neck and is held on with rubber bands.
It is a fun piece of memoribilia and I use it once in a while as a demo, but not a real playing aid.
I found mine on E-bay and they seem to come often.

07-06-2010, 09:31 PM
Like the Honda-matic motorcycle, doomed to cult status from the start.

Hey Now! My first motorcycle was a hand me down circa 78 Honda Hawk 400 Hondamatic, two speeds and a heckuva lot of fun, and a nice handling little moto! Was orange with stripes. Back in about 1980. Ah the memories!