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Thread: why are some chords for guitar not listed in chord books for mano

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    Default why are some chords for guitar not listed in chord books for mano

    First I admit my lack of music theory,
    second, I will be trying a song from ultimate guitar tabs. and they list a chord , I search the net and my app and not dice not listed.
    Is this because its listed in a different config ? I could break the notes down and then transpose to the fretboard, but I was curious.

    third :also some of the chords just don't sound right. Is that because of the Hz of the note, such as is should be a lower Hz and then higher or some combo? they dust don't seem to work , but on guitar they do. doubling of the note on the guitar maybe??

    thanks for any info on this I hope some other people have the same questions. !! kevin

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    Default Re: why are some chords for guitar not listed in chord books for

    We would not be able to cover chord theory in it's entirety here but with only 4 possible simultaneous tones on mandolin as opposed to 6 on guitar ( that us mere mortals can only manage) when you start to get up into the 9th and 13th chords it can get tricky, and something has to be omitted. Also chords where the Tonic or Root note ( C for chord, D for D chord and so on) is not the lowest tone, may also sound " incorrect". So finding the right phrasing to compliment or match the guitar often does not use the standard chord form. There are different ideas on what works in these situations and no real "strict rule". for the most part the mandolin should be able to handle all the 3 and 4 tone chords within the circle of 5ths ( major, minor, 7th, major 7th minor 7th, prior flat 5ths, 9th, diminished, . Mando Chords like E, Em F# often have the 3rd or 5th as the lowest tone, which changes the feel alot. If chords don't feel right - the usual place to go is double stop or two tone that belong to the chord played simultaneously, since a chord is a minimum of 3 tones, double stops are not technically chords but are used heavily by violins and mandolins in all kinds of music.
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    Default Re: why are some chords for guitar not listed in chord books for

    To keep it simple, guitars have six notes available; mandolins four. So anything more complicated than a chord 7th (and with some 7th chords) requires you to leave out at least one note. The order of the notes in the chord changes the sound somewhat. Guitars are tuned in fourths (with on third). Mandolins are tuned in fifths. This makes it less likely you will have the notes in the same order.

    Knowing some chord theory can help you pick the best available chord form to use in a given situation. A mandolin is never going to sound the same as a guitar. I think that is a good thing.

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    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: why are some chords for guitar not listed in chord books for

    kjbllc - I don't think it's unusual to be flummoxed a bit by the way chords sound on the mandolin, at first. Your ear (hearing) will grow along with your skill and with your knowledge of chords. As to your question - "Why are some chords not listed in books for mandolin?" - there is no way to answer it since you don't tell us specifically what chord(s) you're looking for, and what books you're referring to. There are numerous mandolin "chord bibles" on the market, some are pretty exhaustive, but none are 100% exhaustive, because that would be nearly impossible. So the most likely answer is that you are looking at the wrong books.

    About dropping notes in a chord: Notes for chords are often omitted on any instrument - guitar players omit notes on chords frequently, especially in jazz. Many chords on guitar in jazz are played using only four strings! Also, any note could be omitted on a chord: The root note is often omitted, the fifth, even the third, sometimes the seventh in an extended chord or an augmented chord. It's up to you as a musician to play the notes that give the color you require to the harmony.

    Its all about the voicing, as to how you order the notes and what notes you feel can be omitted. There are multiple ways to play any particular chord on a mandolin, and some will sound better in the context of the playing than others.

    So, the answer is to train your ear for the sound you want and are able to achieve, and learn about chord building along with learning the fretboard. These things take time, and practice, and a lot of playing. What you are doing right now (e.g., figuring out how to play tunes that interest you and require some effort to figure out) is the right path.

    I'd suggest you invest in a "chord bible" for looking up chords. That's the way to start. But it is no good in the long haul to just look up and memorize chords. It is better to think about the chords, move them around, and figure out how to alter chords to take one from major to minor, add a dominant seventh, etc. as opposed to just looking them up and trying to memorize by rote. It's a rewarding journey, and hey, there's no instant success. Keep on with it.
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    Registered User Jon Hall's Avatar
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    Default Re: why are some chords for guitar not listed in chord books for

    If you're not familiar with music theory we can give an explanation if you give some examples of the guitar chords you can't find in mando books. I assure you that members of the forum will give you a variety of options and helpful explanations.

  8. #6

    Default Re: why are some chords for guitar not listed in chord books for

    thanks guys, great answers , it figures the number of strings would be key, I have found substitutes for chords by just experimenting and found the same fingering fits for other chords, so I will continue figuring it out that way,
    I was just wondering if I had been missing something obvious, I I sometime do.!!

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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Question Re: why are some chords for guitar not listed in chord books for

    Most chords are 3 tones, a 4th often the 7th.

    Tried this ? ... https://www.musictheory.net/ ..

    I took a basic theory class in community college in the early 70's..

    (the DOS era?)

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    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: why are some chords for guitar not listed in chord books for

    It has been implied but not specifically mentioned here:
    In a band situation, we can omit notes in chords and the band can still play the full chord (or not). In other words, if the guitar player is playing a chord with 5 notes in it, we can choose any three or four of those notes and play that chord on the mandolin along with the guitar player and we are essentially playing the same chord even though we are technically not. Meanwhile, the bass player is probably only playing one note and he/she is still supplying part of the chord.
    Solo playing and ensemble playing can present different situations.

    I've told this story before but here it is again.
    I was once working on a mandolin for a customer (Lorraine Duisit, to be a name dropper), and while she was waiting she was playing one of my mandolins. I noticed that she was playing chords with more than 4 notes so I asked "are you splitting strings?" She smiled and began to show me the split string chord forms she was using. So, if you really need more than 4 notes on the mandolin, there are ways. The thing does have 8 strings after all.

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    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
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    Default Re: why are some chords for guitar not listed in chord books for

    Most serious players have worked out what notes are in chords (using music theory) and mapped them out on the fingerboard to find where they are. This process is WAY better than opening a book as it gives you a way of finding and figuring out chords. Yes it is work, but as someone who has done a lot of this, the knowledge it gives of the fingerboard and music in general is priceless. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

    Best of luck!
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    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: why are some chords for guitar not listed in chord books for

    Kevin, just out of curiosity, what mandolin chord books do you use?
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    Default Re: why are some chords for guitar not listed in chord books for

    i have an app on my ipad and if it is not there I go online , what book do you reccomend?

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    Default Re: why are some chords for guitar not listed in chord books for

    Quote Originally Posted by sunburst View Post
    ...I was once working on a mandolin for a customer (Lorraine Duisit, to be a name dropper)...
    Wow, there's a name I haven't heard in years...loved her when she was with Trapezoid, I believe.
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    Default Re: why are some chords for guitar not listed in chord books for

    yes I saw them way back when

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    Default Re: why are some chords for guitar not listed in chord books for

    Quote Originally Posted by kjbllc View Post
    i have an app on my ipad and if it is not there I go online , what book do you reccomend?
    Hey Kevin, I was more interested in which books didn’t help you. I don’t have recommendations but I have a copy of Toby Richards’ chord book and I think it’s pretty comprehensive. I’m planning to publish one myself, but it won’t be as comprehensive. It will have other features. Based on your topic title, I was wondering what books you were referring to - and what chords you were looking for.
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    Default Re: why are some chords for guitar not listed in chord books for

    Most chords with 4 or less notes are pretty easy to figure out on your own. I would honestly advise NOT to use a chord book and to effectively make your own. Take a college line notebook, draw 4 lines going down (one per string) and write out the names of the notes on the paper for a specific chord (like C = C E G so you'd plot out on the paper where the C E G notes fall on each string). I would suggest doing this to the 15th fret at least - even if you don't plan on playing the chords that far up the neck. Aside from learning chords, it can significantly help your fretboard knowledge which is really helpful for soloing and etc.

    For chords with more than 4 notes, as mentioned in other posts - it's not possible to play more than 4 notes on the mandolin at once without either 1) detunig the strings or 2) using a split string fingering - which is pretty difficult to do on purposes haha. One way to tackle this is to take the abstract approach of just looking at the various types of extensions (i.e. 9, 13, etc) that have more than 4 notes and break them down into 4 or less note chords. Since mandolin players are normally in the higher registers of a band - the main job we have typically falls on the extensions (i.e. things other than 1 3 5 of a chord) and rhythm.

    For complex chords, start off by looking at the chord structure - i.e. C9 = C E G Bb D (the 1, 3, 5, 7b, and 9 respectively). Looking at those notes, you could substitute them for either of the below

    C9 = C E G Bb D
    Emin7b5 = E G Bb D
    Gmin6 = G Bb D E

    In both cases, you are just omitting the root note (C) which is typically played by the bass or guitar - so it's not necessary for us mandolin players to hit. The main difference in the two subs is the root notes used for the sub (E vs G). Which specific sub you'd want to use depends on the chords before and after as well as the melody notes.

    Another approach is to just ignore these extensions. While it will lose some color, in a lot of cases you can just eliminate the extension and still get the same idea with a slightly different sound - especially if there's a full band. So, for C9 - just drop the 9th and play the more familiar C7 instead. It's a good trick to use when you're playing live and come across an unknown chord or a chord too difficult for you to play in a specific position. It's like the duct tape of rhythm playing - it'll work, but it's not a great permanent fix.
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    Registered User John Soper's Avatar
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    Default Re: why are some chords for guitar not listed in chord books for

    I agree with Matt Bruno, but would simplify even more - go with mostly 3 note chords that provide the aural information needed to assign that chord. Especially when playing dominant chords all you really need is to supply the 3rd & the flat 7 to give a dominant sound. Learn the two most important dominant voicings - and then you can learn where the extensions fall in these forms.

    If C7 is fingered 3 - 2 - 3 - x (Bb - E - C), then you have the flat 7 (Bb) & 3 (E) on your bottom two strings and you can do the "pinky dance" to get extensions. 3-2-4 raises the C to C# - you have a Cb9 voicing. 3-2-5 = C9, 3-2-6 = C#9. If you add the 3rd fret on the E string (G = 5th of C) you have a 4 note C7 chord Bb - E - C - G and you can play with this as well. 3-2-3-2 = C7b5 (sometimes called #11), 3-2-3-4 = C7+5 (augmented - sometimes called b13), 3-2-3-5 = C13. 3-2-4-5 is C b9 13 - one of my favorites.

    Now find the other dominant fingering for the bottom 3 strings: in C it's up there: 9 - 8 - 10 -x = E-Bb-G. The bottom two strings again have the 3rd and b7, but in reverse order from the first fingering. And the 5th is on the A string, if you bar to the 8th fret on the E string, you have your root (C). Do the dance on the top two strings to get your extensions.

    If you have alternating dominant chord forms, you're doing a cycle of fourths: 4-3-5 (B-F- D = G7) moves to 3-2-3 (C7) moves to 2-1-3 (F7). This works up and down the fingerboard and for both the top 3 strings and the bottom 3 strings.

    The thing is, if you learn these all up & down the fretboard for all the keys, it opens up a world of tunes & really opened my eyes when I "discovered" this. Play on!

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    Default Re: why are some chords for guitar not listed in chord books for

    great ideas thanks I will work on that

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    Registered User mandolinstew's Avatar
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    Default Re: why are some chords for guitar not listed in chord books for

    I use riffspot.com for chords.It’s pretty good.Love the idea of split chords.

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    Default Re: why are some chords for guitar not listed in chord books for

    Is there a web page or site that kind of explains makin up your own chords?

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    Default Re: why are some chords for guitar not listed in chord books for

    I always thought the Mel Bay mandolin chord book was a very good reference - my copy does not have a cover and it is copyright 1963( something older than me, how about that)...
    it has not only chord diagrams but photographs of a left hand making the chord on the mandolin.
    I will say it does not cover all chords in all keys, most chord shapes are movable on the fret board so they leave a little for you to discover on your own
    I do have Nathaniel Gunods Mandolin chord encyclopedia with 37 chords in each key, there is no discussion of chord theory or how to build progressions or what is the dominant ( all important stuff) just diagrams.
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    Default Re: why are some chords for guitar not listed in chord books for

    Quote Originally Posted by kjbllc View Post
    Is there a web page or site that kind of explains makin up your own chords?
    I made up a quick music theory primer for a song writing group I belong to. If you PM me your email, I will send you a copy. This is an open to anybody on Mandolin Cafe. Be aware it is very basic.

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