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Thread: Books

  1. #1
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Books

    I have some Mandolin books but is there one designed for chords and learning chords?
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  2. #2
    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Books

    The chord library resources on this site are good, but I've gotten more mileage after learning to build the triads and the 2 common inversions, ie, root in the bass, 3rd in the bass and 5th in the bass. Just 3 finger chords, works across upper and lower 3 strings. Add extensions to your taste. A good rule is to make a 7th (dominant or major) by raising the 5th, not by flatting the root, although stretching may be a problem at first.. Understanding the common chord shapes is the real key for each inversion, there is less going on than first appears.

    Bluegrass chords are typically simpler, using only 2 chord tones in many cases, but the logic is the same.

    A killer exercise to learn all the chords of a key is play the 4-7-3-6-2-5-1 chords, then go around the circle of fifths. Of course, songs don't go that way

    Rootless chords are another story
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  4. #3
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Books

    I have to think on that for a while because initially, it is whooshing right over my head. HAHAHA I'll get there.
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  5. #4
    Registered User John Kelly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Books

    Bill, you say above "A good rule is to make a 7th (dominant or major) by raising the 5th, not by flatting the root". Would raising the 5th not produce a 6th?
    Take a C major triad with C-E-G as root, 3rd and 5th; if you raise the 5th by a whole tone you get C-E-A, a C6 (or the relative A minor). If you flatten the root by a half tone you'd have a major 7th, not a dominant 7th; it would need a whole tone shift to get the Bb in th C major scale.
    John B, we may just be using different terminology in our naming of the chords, so please do not despair!
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  7. #5
    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Books

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kelly View Post
    Bill, you say above "A good rule is to make a 7th (dominant or major) by raising the 5th, not by flatting the root". Would raising the 5th not produce a 6th?
    Take a C major triad with C-E-G as root, 3rd and 5th; if you raise the 5th by a whole tone you get C-E-A, a C6 (or the relative A minor). If you flatten the root by a half tone you'd have a major 7th, not a dominant 7th; it would need a whole tone shift to get the Bb in th C major scale.
    John B, we may just be using different terminology in our naming of the chords, so please do not despair!
    Raise it more, minor third for a dominant 7, major third for major 7. That’s the stretchy part.
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  9. #6

    Default Re: Books

    Quote Originally Posted by John Bertotti View Post
    I have some Mandolin books but is there one designed for chords and learning chords?
    John,
    I second your request for books on this subject. I'd like to join in on the conversation here, but I need something to teach me these terms!

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  11. #7
    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Books

    Chord shapes:
    Major 224x-root in the bass, 254x Dom 7, 264 major 7
    Major 455x-3rd in bass,458x, dom 7, 459x major 7 (ungainly)
    Major, 245x-root in bass, 545x dom 7, 645x maj7

    These shapes allow the iim-V7 change by moving only 1 finger.

    I think this is very powerful, even if not always easily grabbed in position.
    Not all the clams are at the beach

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  13. #8
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Books

    Quote Originally Posted by John Bertotti View Post
    I have some Mandolin books but is there one designed for chords and learning chords?
    My reference book is called Fretboard Toolbox, by Scott Sharp.

    Any time I have a question about chord building, or chord progressions, there is the quick answer. I love how he shows the fingerboard and he 'charts out' easy to understand relationships.

    Also he has a ton of free stuff on youtube. The guy should win a Grammy or something. IMHO



    And Bill (right here) has a darned good example. Woah, no book required. Ha, ha.
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  15. #9
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Books

    Quote Originally Posted by Monkeyhat View Post
    John,
    I second your request for books on this subject. I'd like to join in on the conversation here, but I need something to teach me these terms!
    Boy Howdy!
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  16. #10
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Books

    iim-V7 wrote this out please. The Roman number also and meaning still mix me up. Tow minor? 5 And 7? I am clueless.
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  17. #11

    Default Re: Books

    NFI but Niles Hokkanen's Guide to Chords is my personal favorite mandolin chord book. It has the blues grass chords, open chords, closed position jazz chords, and common chord progressions to boot. The book can be found at Elderly.

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  19. #12
    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Books

    Quote Originally Posted by John Bertotti View Post
    iim-V7 wrote this out please. The Roman number also and meaning still mix me up. Tow minor? 5 And 7? I am clueless.
    In C, the chords are Dm7 and G7. Chords are numbered using the ‘Nashville’ numbering system, identifying each chord in a scale.

    So, Dm7, 535x to G7, 435, involves lowering the raised 5th of D one half step to make the G7. Works for the other inversions as well.
    Not all the clams are at the beach

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  21. #13
    Registered User DougC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Books

    Yes it is another language. And like learning another language it takes a bit of time and effort. And even then the names need to be connected to the sounds, (and fingers). So figure what you want to do, learn lingo, or be able to count your do, ra, me's, or recognize thoes sounds; or a bit of each. There's been a ton of talk about this stuff on Mandolin Cafe and even discussion about a number of highly recommended books.

    Edly's Music Theory for Practical People is one of them.
    Decipit exemplar vitiis imitabile

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  23. #14
    Registered User lowtone2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Books

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    In C, the chords are Dm7 and G7. Chords are numbered using the ‘Nashville’ numbering system, identifying each chord in a scale.

    So, Dm7, 535x to G7, 435, involves lowering the raised 5th of D one half step to make the G7. Works for the other inversions as well.
    What that really does is lower the C ,which is the 7th in Dm7, to B which is the 3rd in G7. The first chord, Dm7 fingered 535, is 7th, m3rd, Root on top. Move one finger down to the 4th fret on the G string and it becomes a rootless G7 fingered 435 which is 3rd, 7th, 5th. BFD.

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  25. #15
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Books

    Well, I will look into the referenced books because some of the replies make no sense to me at all.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

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  27. #16
    Registered User lowtone2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Books

    Quote Originally Posted by John Bertotti View Post
    Well, I will look into the referenced books because some of the replies make no sense to me at all.
    Here's one that will help you out, by our own guy, Pete Martin. https://www.amazon.com/Easy-Music-Th...1495226&sr=8-6

    Or you might try Don Julin's Mandolin for Dummies, and I am NOT calling you a dummy.

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  29. #17
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Books

    I will look into those as well thanks! I dig out my old Bickford method and will run through it all the way since I already have it. Plus keep digging into the oedhead nation courses I have. I need to download the PDFs and look at them I have not done that probably to my detriment.
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  30. #18
    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Books

    Here's a link to the Cafe chord library, under the Learn/Listen link, with diagrams. A picture is worth a thousand words. Chord interval is noted as well, but not note names. It shows the multiple inversions.

    Hope this helps.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/pdf/pat.pdf
    Not all the clams are at the beach

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  32. #19
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Books

    Sure seems like a lot to learn!
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

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  33. #20
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Books

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    Here's a link to the Cafe chord library, under the Learn/Listen link, with diagrams. A picture is worth a thousand words. Chord interval is noted as well, but not note names. It shows the multiple inversions.

    Hope this helps.

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/pdf/pat.pdf
    I am looking at this pdf and getting a headache. The first-row second one over, looks, like the same pattern as the minor7 third one over and the numbers below make absolutely no sense to me. I am totally lost. If the pattern is the same and you move it up and down the neck what is the root? is the root played? 3651 then 517b3 those aren't fret positions, like tab? I went to work at 0230 today and 0500 tomorrow I am going to bed maybe it will make more sense after I sleep on it. Getting fairly discouraged. I'll check out the books maybe I need the dummy book, at the moment it feels appropriate.
    My avatar is of my OldWave Oval A

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  34. #21
    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Books

    Okay, the numbers underneath the diagram specify the root, third, fifth, sixth, etc, of the chord. The top of the diagram is the nut, the frets are the lines on the neck.

    So the first chord in the top row is Ab6, second is Gb6, third is Eb6, fourth is B6. They show chord shapes with root in the bass, third in the bass, 5th in the bass, and 6 in the bass, in that row and the subsequent rows.

    I must confess I typically only play 3 note chords, and several of these shapes would be difficult, if not unworkable for me. But the notion of building chords in all three positions is the fundamental idea I was trying to communicate.
    Not all the clams are at the beach

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  35. #22
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Books

    How can the same shape in the same position be different? Like the two chord shapes I mentioned above? Thanks
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  36. #23
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Books

    The numbers below the diagrams tell the intervals, where you see a 1 it indicates the root note, the others give the scale degrees or intervals relative to the root.

    A fingering pattern - or series of notes - could be interpreted as different chords, depending on which note represents the root.

    My question would be: Have you learned to simply play the chords for any songs you like? That is the starting point! Use books or PDFs or whatever as reference material to find the fingerings to play the chords for songs you like, and learn to play them. Get good at playing some. Then you can begin to analyse how the chords are built. IMO it is not very productive or probably even possible to learn all you need to know in one day without reference to playing the music you like. Learn the chords you need, play the music you like, and over time as you continue to learn some theory, it will make sense.

    Especially in the beginning, a chord or any series of notes is pretty meaningless outside of a musical context (song or tune). Bill’s method is fine as far as it goes, but there is no rule that says not to find a dom7 by flatting the root! Just one example how people take different approaches. Don’t let advice, or book learning confuse you too much when your goal (hopefully) is to simply play music.
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  38. #24
    Registered User John Bertotti's Avatar
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    Default Re: Books

    I have almost zero chord knowledge on the mandolin. A couple two finger chords and G and C chop chords. Someone once said the stretch would come so I practiced those until I could cleanly fret them at least once. All my playing has been single notes and an occasional double stop.
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  40. #25
    Registered User Ky Slim's Avatar
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    Default Re: Books

    Quote Originally Posted by John Bertotti View Post
    I have almost zero chord knowledge on the mandolin. A couple two finger chords and G and C chop chords. Someone once said the stretch would come so I practiced those until I could cleanly fret them at least once. All my playing has been single notes and an occasional double stop.
    Mandolin for Dummies is an incredible resource. Everything is explained very well and it is also a fun read.

    I'm not sure why anyone would suggest complicated extended chords, shapes and even progressions (ii7-V7 etc) when you simply asked about beginning books for learning chords. We must all walk before we run and we must all stand before we walk.

    Mark Gunter asked a perfect question: "Have you learned to simply play the chords for any songs you like? That is the starting point!"

    You can play "Happy Birthday" with 2 finger G C and D chords.

    Good Luck! Matt

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