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Thread: How to play every major chord on the mandolin (Beginner Lesson)

  1. #1

    Default How to play every major chord on the mandolin (Beginner Lesson)

    This might be a little redundant for the more advanced players but I think it's a really useful lesson for some of the beginner or intermediate players. I wish somebody would have explained this to me a right when I started playing!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-43qLPL7eo

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  3. #2
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to play every major chord on the mandolin (Beginner Lesso

    Good stuff well explained. Yea and the earlier the moveable shape is presented and understood the better.

    I would only add one thing to make it gigantic. And that is that I group the chord shapes in threes. So, for example I worked out a G shape and C shape and D shape that I can easily move between. I keep those shapes together in my mind, and practice going between them. Then I did this crazy step, instead of thinking of G, C, and D, shapes, I think, 1, 4, and 5 shapes, as they are the first fourth and fifth of the G scale, prominent chords for any tune in G. But they are really the 1, 4, and 5 shape for what ever key the 1 shape chord is. So if I move up to A, and use these shapes, I automatically have my A, D, and E, which will likely be the important chords in that A tune. Where ever I might move that 1 shape, anywhere on the fret board, I have the 4 and the 5 shape close at hand, already practiced transitions.

    So I have the most important chords for most of the tunes in any key at all.

    Messing around with that and a couple of other groupings of three chords, and my head exploded, as within a week I could do something useful backing any tune in any key. The guitar player wants to play in E, well I just find a 1 shape I can put in E, and the 4 and 5 shapes that go with it just fall into place and I am there. I am there even before I figure out the other two chords I need are A and B. I just do the shapes that go with the 1 shape I put at E.

    It so feels like cheating.
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    Registered User Simon DS's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to play every major chord on the mandolin (Beginner Lesso

    Yes, the problem as I see it, is to try to imagine that you don't know a lot about music. Then try to explain music theory in a visual, sensual, social and tactile way, and maybe not intellectually. It's not easy. I shared this video recently (I'm learning mandolin too).
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ndFuHcLJxQ

  6. #4

    Default Re: How to play every major chord on the mandolin (Beginner Lesso

    Watching the video rwesleycarr posted, while holding my mandolin, and the same thing happened to me as happened to JeffD -- my head exploded as I realized how incredibly simply the whole thing is. Which is amazing because I've understood and used barre chords on my guitar for decades! But for some reason all my attempts to master chords on my mandolin had eluded me until just the right thing was explained in that video and now I feel like a kid in a candy shop with all the possibilities. I've even got the minor chords figured out! Now to conquer the dominant-sevenths! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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    Registered User Knox Al's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to play every major chord on the mandolin (Beginner Lesso

    Clicked on the link and an advertisement for Depends adult diapers came on first. I guess Kimberly Clark thinks only incontinent old geezers play the mandolin.

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    Default Re: How to play every major chord on the mandolin (Beginner Lesso

    Do y'all play the "A" barre cord (2245) with your first three fingers (like in the video) or with your first third and fourth finger (like the video suggests you can do if it's hard with the first three fingers)? I've always done it with my pinky and ring finger but recently my friend (who is a much better mandolin player than myself) suggested I start playing it with the first three fingers because it leaves the pinky open for other things (and it stays in position). That puts a lot of stress on my hand so I just ignored him and kept using my ring and pinky finger (plus that's how Mike Marshall plays it in a chord video I have). Then I saw this video and noticed that he does this chord with the first three fingers (first time I've seen anyone else to that besides my friend). So I'm just curious how many people are in each camp.

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    Default Re: How to play every major chord on the mandolin (Beginner Lesso

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