Compared to the guitar, mandolin chords are EASY. In fact, most mandolin chords only use two fingers or sometimes only one.
In the mandolin chord charts below, each horrizontal line represents a pair of mandolin strings. The E string is the one closest to the floor, as you hold your mandolin in playing position, and the G string is closest to the ceiling. The numbers represent the fret. Be sure to place your fingers between, not on, the fret. The letter to the left of each chord chart tells you the name of that chord. The letters on the strings tell you the name of the note where you put your fingers. Each chord chart also tells you what fingers to use. An “X” means you don’t play that string.
When you’re making a chord, it’s essestial that you go to the chord with both fingers landing on the strings at exactly the same time.
In the key of G, for example, you’ll normally need these three chords: G, C, D.
In the key of D, you’ll need D, G and A.
And in the key of C, you’ll need C, F and G.
Check out my article “Easy Two Chord Mandolin Songs.”
HOT OFF THE PRESS- Easy 2-Chord Songs for Mandolin. It doesn’t get any easier than this, folks, as all the songs have only TWO CHORDS. Learn easy chord rhythms, simple melodies to classic bluegrass, gospel and folk songs, as well as lyrics, history, and vintage photos. Spiral bound and comes with a CD.
Bluegrass Mandolin for the Complete Ignoramus! will be your new best friend. Its friendly style and easy songs makes learning the mandolin fun and nearly painless. It comes as a set with a CD with 90 tracks where I play each melody very slowly and clearly on the mandolin.
Bluegrass Jamming on Mandolin, is now available! This book covers how to play with others, how to improvise, how to add licks and fills, and pretty much everything you’ll need to march confidently into your next jam or picking session. You’ll love it, guaranteed.