Overview

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:

A diminished 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.

[sc:vextab] [sc:vexfretboard]

Playing Adim on the mandolin

I will show you how to play diminished A chords with a mandolin.

Chord NameNotesFretsFingers
Adim – IA-Eb-C-A2-3-1-52-1-3-4
Adim/C – IIC-A-Eb-A5-7-6-51-3-2-1 (barre)
Adim/Eb – IIIEb-A-Eb-C8-7-6-83-2-1-4
Adim/Eb – IVEb-C-A-Eb8-10-12-81-3-4-1
Adim – VA-C-A-Eb8-10-12-84-1-3-2
Adim – VIA-Eb-C-Eb14-13-15-113-2-4-1

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

How notes are mapped on the fretboard

In standard notation, this Bdim looks like this:

options space=20 player=false
tabstave notation=true tablature=true time=4/4 strings=4 tuning=E/5,A/4,D/4,G/3
notes :w (2/4.E@4_1/3.3/2.5/1)=:: 2/4 E@4_1/3 3/2 5/1=|=

This is how the notes are mapped on the mandolin

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

In standard notation, it looks like this:

options space=20 player=true instrument=electric_guitar_jazz
tabstave notation=true tablature=true time=4/4 strings=4 tuning=E/5,A/4,D/4,G/3
notes (5/4.7/3.E@5_6/2.5/1)=::5/4 7/3 E@5_6/2 5/1=|=

This is how the notes are mapped on the mandolin fretboard:

fretboard
option strings=4
show frets=5 string=4 text=C
show frets=7 string=3 text=A
show frets=6 string=2 text=Eb
show frets=5 string=1 text=A

Check the Chord Chart for Adim to see all the positions

Go ahead and experiment!

How to Practice chords on the mandolin

There are many good articles here at theMandolinTuner for practicing chords. I suggest you start with:

 

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Ok, it is now time to practice. Grab your mandolin and try to play these chord variants now, it is easy, just follow the instructions!

 

Resources

 

 

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