Useful printables?

  1. CMB
    I found a couple of useful downloads to print, e.g.,

    - All the notes on the fretboard
    - Some "basic" chords (incidentally, is there an easier way to play A and Am? I have not been able to successfully contort my hand to get these chords played successfully)

    Is there a place I could find a culled list of downloadables to print? I suppose I'm looking for more (playable!) chords that I can learn, guides to the fretboard that show, for example, patterns of octaves or anything that would help with getting more familiar with moving around, and anything else you think would be useful.

    For tunes, I'm contemplating getting the Old Town School of Folk Music Songbook, which I saw mentioned here in a thread. I used to live near Chicago—too bad I didn't start playing the mandolin back then, I could have visited this place.

    Thanks, all, and happy New Year!
  2. BadExampleMan
    If you just fret the 2 low strings at the second fret and leave the A and E strings open, the result is an A "power chord" - consisting of only the root and the fifth, and you can play it against either A major or A minor and it will sound ok.

    But you really should work on the chord shape shown for A and Am - it's one of the basic shapes and since it's closed (all strings fretted) it's mobile - you can move it anywhere on the fretboard. So if you scoot up 2 frets with the same shape, you're playing B and Bm. Et cetera.

    You might find it easier to make the shape higher up on the fretboard at first, and then work backwards until you can get a good A with it.
  3. HonketyHank
    I don't know how "culled" you would consider to be, but go there and have a look around. It is pretty well organized and has a lot of downloadable pdf's. Fretboard maps are there plus lessons on ffcp which is a system for playing stuff anywhere on the fretboard plus exercises plus tabledit files plus, plus, plus, ...
  4. CMB
    Thank you both! does seem to have a pile of useful resources, so thanks for the suggestion.

    I will work on doing that AM and Am chord as that chart shows it to be played. I understand now what you mean by it being a closed chord and thus particularly valuable.

    Could you suggest which fingers should go where on the fretboard for those two chords? Is it permissible for one finger to go over two strings? I tried doing that, but I had a really hard time holding down all the strings that way. I'd rather learn the "right" way to begin with and just practice until I get it, rather than unlearn a bad habit. None of the chord pattern sheets I found tell you what fingers should go where.

    (Is "two strings" the right way refer to two sets of strings? Otherwise, what do you call them?)
  5. NDO
    I fret the A 2-2-4-5 chord using my index finger for the G and D courses, and ring and pinky for the A and E.

    I actually like using the 2-2-0-0 A chord a lot since it is fast, easy, and sounds great in a lot of songs.

    I also use the easy Am 5-2-0-0 a lot for the same reason. It’s especially handy if transitioning to an F or C chord.
  6. Sue Rieter
    Sue Rieter
    Two courses. I had a real hard time at the beginning holding down 4 strings with one finger, until suddenly, without warning, it wasn't so hard any more! I love stuff like that.
  7. Sue Rieter
    Sue Rieter
    Got a double post somehow.
  8. SOMorris
    Good luck, CMB, and Happy New Year to you also.

    Similar to Sue, I kept trying and at some point it started working out okay. If you can just get the inside G string and the outside D down so the tone is good, the other two strings will be muted anyway and the chord doesn't sound too bad. I still have a heck of a time transitioning between the closed position A and the closed position E chord. If playing a song in the key of A, you will also have an E in there usually.
  9. NDO
    SOMorris is right, I usually use open chords transitioning between A and E. (2-2-0-0 and 1-2-2-0)
  10. CMB
    Thanks again, everyone, I appreciate your help. I found a lesson that touches specifically on the value of the A/Am chord shapes: - he also shows two different fingerings.
  11. Sue Rieter
    Sue Rieter
    I recently (during the Mel Bay 40% off sale) bought a copy of The Logical Mandolin Method by Stephen Williams. This is a brand new publication. If any of you are kind of left brained like I am, you might find the presentation interesting.

    The book is very explicit on fretboard patterns, and jumps right into pointing them out. I already know a fair amount of the stuff in the early lessons, but am looking to tie it all together so to speak. The way my brain works, sometimes I have be beaten over the head with information

    In conjunction with the first lesson, on the Key of A, I'm working on that transition between A and E that Don mentioned above. An interesting note from the lesson: "Do not slow down your right hand to wait for you [sic] left hand. That gives you [sic] left hand permission to take its sweet time. Keep the beat going. Even if your fingers are not yet in the right place, if you practice this way, your left hand will catch up!"
  12. CMB
    I guess if a couple of the strings are muted when trying to do those chords, it's okay so long as one string from each course is still played?
  13. CMB
    Sue, I also found this video on the fretboard super helpful:
  14. NDO
    Yes CMB, it’s okay to mute the outside strings a bit while barreing 2-2 with one finger. You’ll find that eventually it magically starts cleanly fretting both courses (or else it’s muting cleanly enough that you can’t tell the difference).
    Interestingly I only barre it when playing 2-2-4-5 or 2-2-4-0 etc. When playing 2-2-0-0 I typically play index and second finger.
  15. NDO
    Ha. I just did a check after playing a 2-2-4-5 A at the end of Amie, and I’m still muting the outside G and D strings. You just can’t really tell the difference.
  16. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    Great discussion
  17. Lssilver
    This is all very interesting and just the kind of thing I am working on (struggling with?). I wanted to say thanks for the information and insight and I'll be back soon, I hope, to say hey.
  18. NDO
    Welcome to the group lssilver!
  19. HonketyHank
    I add my welcome, Lssilver.
  20. SOMorris
    I'll add my welcome also, Lssilver. This is a great group.
  21. Sherry Cadenhead
    Sherry Cadenhead
    CMB, I just can't make that barre A chord work! Even with just 1 finger, I can't manage to press precisely 2 strings. A teacher recommended 6-7-4-X, which is a great moveable chord. For Am I always have used 5-2-0-0, as has been suggested.
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