There are many positions (ways, variants etc.) to play the A diminished mandolin chord.
In this article I will help you play the most common mandolin chord positions for Adim fingered for your convenience. To help you understand how to play them, I have included a music theory quick explanation for you to understand what is a Adim chord. I also created step-by-step instructions, describing where to place each finger on the mandolin fret-board and what note this will produce for the first two positions of Adim. Finally, the article includes a chord chart with all possible mandolin chord positions for future reference, feel free to print it and practice.
What is a A diminished (Adim) chord?
The Adim is a triad chord, i.e. it consists of three notes as following:
The root, which for the Adim chord is of course A
The third, which for the Adim chord is C. Note that this creates a minor third interval that consists of three half steps (A to Bb, Bb to B, B to C)
The fifth, which for the Adim chord is Eb. Note again that this creates another minor third interval that consists of three half steps (C to Db, Db to D, D to Eb) and that means that the interval with the root is diminished fifth that consists of six half steps (A to Bb, Bb to B, B to C, C to Db, Db to D, D to Eb)
Note that half steps correspond to one fret difference between notes played on the same string.
See how the Adim chord is written on sheet paper:
If you want to understand more on chords theory, i.e. how they are constructed, check out the following popular article I have written some time ago: Understanding Chords Theory.
If you need a blank sheet paper to write it down in order to understand it, you can download one from theMandolinTuner free blank music paper sheet.
Playing Adim on the mandolin
I will show you how to play diminished A chords with a mandolin.
Adim – I
Adim/C – II
Adim/Eb – III
Adim/Eb – IV
Adim – V
Adim – VI
Below we take a closer look at the two first variants.
First Position – Adim/I
Let’s start with the first position.
In terms of notes, this chord is A-Eb-C-A. In terms of frets it is 2-3-1-5, and in terms of fingers it is 2-1-3-4. Is this too complex? The figures below will help you understand it.
How fingers are placed
This is how you place your fingers on the fretboard
fretboard option strings=4 show frets=2 string=4 text=2 show frets=1 string=3 text=1 show frets=3 string=2 text=3 show frets=5 string=1 text=4
fretboard option strings=4 show frets=2 string=4 text=A show frets=1 string=3 text=Eb show frets=3 string=2 text=C show frets=5 string=1 text=A
Second Position – Adim/II
Let’s continue with the second position. In terms of notes, this chord is C-A-Eb-A. In terms of frets it is 5-7-6-5, and in terms of fingers it is 1-3-2-1. Is this too complex? The figures below will help you understand it.
How fingers are placed
fretboard option strings=4 show frets=5 string=4 text=1 show frets=5 string=3 text=1 show frets=5 string=2 text=1 show frets=7 string=3 text=3 show frets=6 string=2 text=2 show frets=5 string=1 text=1