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Thread: Suggestions on learning chords?

  1. #1

    Default Suggestions on learning chords?

    Really weird....when I was trying to learn guitar I could play chords and not really tab of individual notes.

    Mandolin is just the opposite, I know and can play some chords but tab just comes easy....well, easier.

    I have a lot of learning to do, just trying to get some thoughts on how to make the chords stick in my noodle.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Suggestions on learning chords?

    Flash cards.
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  3. #3
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suggestions on learning chords?

    People are different. For me, learning chords "out of context" is not the way. So, learn chords to tunes you're interested in. Get good at those. Then, learn new fingerings for each chord (new inversions, new voicings for the same chords). Use them. Get good at them.

    Also, learn to move the chords about. Change the key of a tune you know by moving some of the inversions you've learned around the fretboard. Get good at that.

    Also, learn how chords are built, so that you can take a chord form you already know, and figure out how to make a major chord shape into a minor one, and a 7 chord, and 6 chord, and an augmented 5 chord.

    All this stuff takes time and practice, so you just start by learning a few chords for a tune you like, and practice them until you're good at them. Add the other stuff over time as you go. This can be a lot of fun, can bring a lifetime of enjoyment, and not something you can just do in a week or three.
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  5. #4

    Default Re: Suggestions on learning chords?

    What Mark said.

  6. #5
    Registered User wildpikr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suggestions on learning chords?

    Quote Originally Posted by B381 View Post
    Really weird....when I was trying to learn guitar I could play chords and not really tab of individual notes.

    Mandolin is just the opposite, I know and can play some chords but tab just comes easy....well, easier.

    I have a lot of learning to do, just trying to get some thoughts on how to make the chords stick in my noodle.
    Mike Marshall's DVD about chord theory explains a lot...

    https://www.homespun.com/shop/produc...players-dvd-2/

    hope this helps...
    Mike

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  8. #6
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    Default Re: Suggestions on learning chords?

    It depends on what kind of learner you are. I learn by listening so playing chords along with a song worked great for me. Looking at chord diagrams on a chart got me started.
    The thing to remember about mandolin is that if you can learn two major, two minor and two dominant seventh chord forms, I'm not writing about playing jazz here, all that is left to learn is where to move them to so they fit the key you are playing in. Keep in mind you may use any pair or three tones from that form instead of the full chord to "imply" the chord. Enjoy …. R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

  9. #7

    Default Re: Suggestions on learning chords?

    I would suggest, first of all, don't think mandolin chords are going to be harder to learn.
    Because of how a mandolin is tuned, chord formations can move easily.
    I'm still upset about whoever invented guitar tuning. To the point where I abandoned it years ago for open G tuning.
    I've found tuning in 5ths a revelation.

  10. #8
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    Default Re: Suggestions on learning chords?

    Hi!

    I've just found this as I decided to go deeper in chords on my summer holidays:

    http://www.chordcracker.com/chordexplorer.php

    Totaly free and very easy to use.
    Just have to choose mandolin as instrument.

    The "chord explorer" page is very convenient to see how chords are built on the fretboard.

    Enjoy
    My english is not perfect.
    Nor my french anyway...

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  12. #9
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    Default Re: Suggestions on learning chords?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    ...learn chords to tunes you're interested in...learn new fingerings for each chord...Use them...

    learn to move the chords about...

    Also, learn how chords are built, so that you can take a chord form you already know, and figure out how to make a major chord shape into a minor one, and a 7 chord, and 6 chord, and an augmented 5 chord.
    This is all really good advice. Zak Borden has a series of Youtube videos showing how to transform chords and move them around. Mike Marshall shows the same thing in his Artistworks lessons and his chord dvd (already mentioned above) and Joe Walsh teaches a similar idea in his Peghead Nation lessons. You can get a lot of mileage out of a few basic shapes, especially when you start to see how everything is related.

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  14. #10
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suggestions on learning chords?

    Okay, Mike Marshall's Homespun video series has been mentioned several times here. Of course, he's not the only show in town, you can take a lot of different paths to learning the same music, but since it's been mentioned several times, I thought I'd share the Homespun sample clip from that series. IMO, a copy of both Mike's Mandolin Fundamental DVDs should come packaged in every beginner mandolin purchase, it would go a long way to helping folk get a handle on the mandolin and learn a bit of music theory/chord theory in the bargain.

    NFI - and YMMV - I think it's an excellent resource (among others of course) to keep around:



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBEEtlqmIsQ

    Mike's series as well as many, many other excellent video resources that you can own and reference for years to come are available through Mandolin Cafe's "Lessons on Demand." To access that, click the Learn/Listen tab up in this site's header menu, and you will find it in the drop down menu.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
    "Life is short. Play hard." - AlanN
    ------------------------
    HEY! The Cafe has Social Groups, check 'em out. I'm in these groups:
    Newbies Social Group | The Song-A-Week Social
    The Woodshed Study Group | Collings Mandolins | MandoCymru
    - Advice For Mandolin Beginners
    - YouTube Stuff

  15. #11

    Default Re: Suggestions on learning chords?

    Working with the aforementioned Zak Borden, I realized:
    Chords are based on the root, third, fifth,
    There are then 3 chord shapes based on which note is in the bass
    So there are 6 inversions, using three shapes of 3 note chords across all 4 strings.
    Extended chords are built from those shapes (or grips re Don Steirnberg)

    Reading a chart at tempo in a jam and using good voice leading is a work in progress, but recognizing/grabbing a chord by seeing the root is a trick. Rootless chords (often 7ths) aren’t bad when you have a trick to get there from a iim chord.

    Practicing simple progressions using the grips is key. Using iReal Pro and it’s auto transpose feature in practice can walk you through any number of keys easily.

    Ymmv
    Play it like you mean it.

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  17. #12
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suggestions on learning chords?

    I think chords have a lot akin to double stops.

    So my heretical advice for learning chords is to forget about it. I figure out and learn the double stops and use them in tunes. As i progress I add another finger to make it a chord, major or minor or 7th or whatever.

    I suppose if i played more pure chord backup it would be more useful to learn chords as chords. But, to me (just me) that sounds like a pretty guitarish way to approach the instrument. Memorizing a bunch of arcane and seemingly arbitrary finger positions. Much easier and mandolinnish to find double stop harmonies that work in different tunes, and then add a finger here and there and soon enough I have chords AND I have their context in a tune.

    Pickloser put together a great guide on learning double stops, and organizing them. The PDF is posted somewhere around here.
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  19. #13
    Phil Goodson Philphool's Avatar
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    Default Re: Suggestions on learning chords?

    Pickloser's Guide to Double Stops

    Scroll down to "Revised Guide to Doublestops"
    Phil

    “Sharps/Flats” ≠ “Accidentals”

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