Mandolin Chords


In this article we show you how to play all the chords on the Mandolin. Starting with the easiest chords for beginners, we go through more obscure chords for intermediate and advanced players. Explore these chord charts, that include all the beginner mandolin chords such as major, minor, 7th and augmented.

Make sure you check out our free Mandolin Tabs resource, to learn how to play all your favorite songs.


Mandolin Chord Charts

Common Mandolin Chords


Mandolin Chords by Root Note


Mandolin Chords by Type


How to Play Mandolin Chords

One of the most important aspects of playing the mandolin is mastering the various chords that are used in music. In this article, we will explore the basics of mandolin chords, including how they are formed and some common chords that every mandolin player should know.

Before we dive into the specifics of mandolin chords, it’s important to understand some basics about music theory. The mandolin is a member of the lute family, and is tuned to the same pitches as a violin, with the strings tuned in fifths. This means that when you press down a string at a certain fret, it will produce a note that is a certain number of half-steps (or semitones) higher than the open string.

Now, let’s talk about chords. A chord is simply a group of two or more notes that are played simultaneously. The most basic chord is a triad, which consists of three notes played together. Triads can be major or minor, depending on the intervals between the notes. A major triad consists of the root note, a note four half-steps (or two whole steps) higher, and another note three half-steps (or one and a half whole steps) higher than that. A minor triad is similar, but the middle note is lowered by one half-step.

On the mandolin, chords are formed by pressing down strings at certain frets and picking or strumming them. There are several common chords that every mandolin player should know, including G major, C major, D major, and A minor. To play a G major chord, for example, you would press down the second fret of the A string, the third fret of the E string, and the fourth fret of the D string. To play a C major chord, you would press down the second fret of the D string, the third fret of the A string, and the fifth fret of the E string.

Once you have mastered these basic chords, you can start exploring more complex chords and chord progressions. One popular chord progression in bluegrass music, for example, is the I-IV-V progression, which consists of the first, fourth, and fifth chords in a major scale. In the key of G, this would be G, C, and D. Another common chord progression is the I-V-vi-IV progression, which is used in many popular songs. In the key of G, this would be G, D, Em, and C.

In addition to these basic chords and progressions, there are also many variations and extensions that you can use to add flavor and complexity to your playing. For example, you can add a seventh note to a chord to create a seventh chord, or you can use a capo to change the key of a song and make it easier to play certain chords.

In conclusion, mastering the basics of mandolin chords is an essential part of becoming a proficient mandolin player. By understanding how chords are formed and practicing common chords and progressions, you can start to develop your own style and explore the rich history and tradition of this unique instrument. So grab your mandolin, start practicing, and get ready to make some beautiful music!

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