In this lesson, Mike goes deeper into some theory by explaining what moveable chords are and how exactly they function. To illustrate his points he has a drawing of piano keys, which is very helpful in understanding theory because everything is so clearly displayed on a keyboard.
- What I'd like to do now is help you understand where the notes are all over your fingerboard. And to do that, I've drawn out a piano keyboard, 'cause on a piano it's very easy to see. And you notice there are two black keys, and then there's a little space, two of the notes don't have a black key between them. And then there's three black keys and then there's a space where two of the keys don't have a black key. And this pattern repeats itself all the way up the keyboard. 88 keys or more.
So this is very clear and easy to see on a piano keyboard, but it's something that is very difficult for us as mandolin, or guitar, or banjo players to visualize on this black keyboard, this black fingerboard with just frets. They all look the same. But what you want to begin to memorize, is where are the notes that don't have sharps and flats, that don't have black keys? The black keys represents sharps and flats. So if you're starting a C, you have C, C sharp is the black key, then D, then D sharp is the black key.
Then E and F sit right next to each other. Then F sharp is the black, G is the white, G sharp is the black, A is the white, A sharp, or B flat, is the black, and then you have another space between B and C. So it's very important for you to memorize on your mandolin, where are your Es and Fs? And where are your Bs and Cs? So in looking at these chords I just showed you, the G chord, how to move it up. What you want to memorize is just the G string.
We'll just start with that. Where are the sharps and flats along the G string? So we'll start with open G. Second fret is an A note. Fourth fret is a B note. There's your first set of notes that sit next to each other. B sits right next to C, fourth and fifth fret. Then you go up two frets to the D. Two more frets to the E, and then there's your E and F, sitting next to each other at the ninth and 10th fret.
And then at the 12th fret, you get another G, an octave above that low G. So as you play these chords, then you just match it up. A chord is gonna be at the second fret, B chord is gonna be at the fourth, C is gonna be at the fifth, D is at the seventh, E is at the ninth, F is at the 10th, G is at the 12th, if your mandolin will play that high. So this is a great thing to memorize.
Just that simple space between four and five here, B and C, and nine and 10 for E and F. And later we're gonna look at all the other strings and help you understand where the natural notes are on those strings as well.
This course is part two of the Mandolin Lessons series, which includes hundreds of lessons, exclusive performances, and special guest interviews. Make sure to check out the exercise files for downloadable tab, audio samples, and other study materials.
Note: This course was created and produced by ArtistWorks. We are honored to host this training in our library.
- Adjusting your action
- Changing strings and tuning the mandolin
- Playing a 1-6-2-5 progression
- Understanding moveable chords
- Practicing mandolin
- Playing blues on the mandolin
- Playing kickoffs