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Thread: Can you recommend a good chord book?

  1. #1

    Default Can you recommend a good chord book?

    Greetings everyone.

    I'd really like to get a good mandolin chord book. But every time I start reading reviews, I find that everything that looked promising falls apart when someone notes that there are only two or three voicings of each chord or that they spend as much time and space on obscure chords as everyday ones.

    I come from a guitar background and love to just strum chords and sing, but if I want to just bust out with "He'll Have to Go" or "Four Strong Winds," I'm constantly hitting roadblocks with mandolin because I don't know a couple of decent ways to play A or Am, D or D7.

    Any ideas? Thank you in advance for any help you can offer.

    Jim

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can you recommend a good chord book?

    I don't know what your learning preferences are (physical books vs web resources), but I've found the Cafe's Chord Library (located under the Learn/Listen tab at the top right of the page) to be all the reference I need for chords. TBH, I mostly use it for jazzier chords, but it also has all of the common chords. And once you learn a few basic shapes, you'll find it's pretty easy to move them around to find any chord you need. The fifths tuning of the mandolin makes chord construction much more intuitive than on the guitar.
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    Default Re: Can you recommend a good chord book?

    Why don’t you start with the chord library on this site under ‘listen/learn’ menu. Building chords using triads is, I think, the best way to go in the long run.

    Another source is mandozine.com, they have a lot of chord resources.
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    Default Re: Can you recommend a good chord book?

    How about considering an App? There are many mandolin chord apps. I use Selah Chords app which gives tons of voicings for each chord. Best of all, its free!

  5. #5
    Registered User Sherry Cadenhead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can you recommend a good chord book?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucas View Post
    How about considering an App? There are many mandolin chord apps. I use Selah Chords app which gives tons of voicings for each chord. Best of all, its free!
    Lucas, is Selah Chords an iPhone app? I can't find it in Android's play store. Had forgotten I have Smart Chords, which I don't believe I've used, but it looks promising.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Can you recommend a good chord book?

    Everyone’s different, but how about learning where all the G’s C’s and D’s and maybe A’s are on the fretboard and then their thirds and fifths -which are always in the same relative position. Same shapes.

    Basically learn double stops then chords, then you’re on the road to not needing a chord chart?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Can you recommend a good chord book?

    Thanks for the replies. I'm really looking for a physical book because a fair amount of my playing takes place at a house where there is no wifi and a spotty cell connection. I want to be able to explore chords on paper.

    Also, I've been a little disappointed in the chord library here. It doesn't have some of the simple, effective chords I've found elsewhere (a C that's fretted on the 3rd fret of A and the fifth fret of D, for example, plus the easiest A-minor I know).

    I think I will try an app, though I don't see the Selah Chords. Maybe it's just for I-phones as Sherry suggested.

    Jim

  8. #8

    Default Re: Can you recommend a good chord book?

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/rqjosfnqst...pedia.pdf?dl=0

    Not so much a chart but it can help to get the chords where you hopefully can’t lose them.


    Another one to try to learn chords as part of a key family, like, if the key is D major then what chords would you expect to hear most? AND what are their relative positions?
    What are the relative minors of the major chords you know?

    -great aid in playing by ear.

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    String-Bending Heretic mandocrucian's Avatar
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  11. #10
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    Default Re: Can you recommend a good chord book?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherry Cadenhead View Post
    Lucas, is Selah Chords an iPhone app? I can't find it in Android's play store. Had forgotten I have Smart Chords, which I don't believe I've used, but it looks promising.
    Yes, it is an iPhone app.

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    Registered User J Mangio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can you recommend a good chord book?

    "Music Theory for Modern Mandolin"
    by Thomas P. Olsen, has more than you might need.
    2019 The Loar Supreme LM700 VS

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    Still a mandolin fighter Mandophyte's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can you recommend a good chord book?

    See my post #7 in this thread: https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...+theory+modern regarding this tome.
    John

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    Default Re: Can you recommend a good chord book?

    Quote Originally Posted by J Mangio View Post
    "Music Theory for Modern Mandolin"
    by Thomas P. Olsen, has more than you might need.
    Its a terrible book for learning, denser than an unripe avocado.

    thankfully its hard to find.
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    Registered User Charles E.'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Can you recommend a good chord book?

    This book is in the Cafe classifieds......

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/ads/157655#157655

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    A bunch of stuff with four strings

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    Default Re: Can you recommend a good chord book?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oregon Jim View Post
    . someone notes that there are only two or three voicings of each chord or that they spend as much time and space on obscure chords as everyday ones.
    Any ideas?
    Jim
    Those are good things.

    Two or three voicings is realistic for mandolin, it isn't a guitar, it's got only four strings and no duplicates.
    And "obscure" chords are worth knowing about and trying.

    If a review said a book is hard to read, or full of mistakes, that would be useful. But a lot of people post reviews just to see themselves in print.

    Here, get this. It even comes with an online video.

    https://www.melbay.com/Products/9325...in-chords.aspx

  17. #16

    Default Re: Can you recommend a good chord book?

    Thanks everyone. I've ordered the book Charley referenced in post #14.

    Jim

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  19. #17
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can you recommend a good chord book?

    Hey Niles, your book shows out of stock.

  20. #18
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    Default Re: Can you recommend a good chord book?

    I just use my Mandolin Café Coffee cup.

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  22. #19
    Registered User robert.najlis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can you recommend a good chord book?

    Mike Marshall has a video and a book that explains 3 fingered chords in a very clear and useful way. That is what really helped me to understand chords and their relationship across the fretboard. I believe Don Juliin has a video that also covers similar ideas. If I remember correctly I think that they are also specified in a book by Jethro Burns, that may have been the first place that I saw them.

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    Default Re: Can you recommend a good chord book?

    Then there is this feature. The mandolin Cafe's own Chord Finder.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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  26. #21
    Registered User mbruno's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can you recommend a good chord book?

    I have a listing on my site of chords and lyrics. Happy to share if you're interested. Note, while I wrote (or re-wrote) the charts, I obviously don't own the rights to these songs - these are just my interpretations of the songs.

    https://mattcbruno.com/charts-and-leadsheets/

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