How to Play C# or Db diminished Mandolin Chords

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Diminished chords are interesting and add colour to music. I like the way they sound although some times they are difficult to play. The key with diminished chords is to understand what they are, how they are constructed, i.e. the music theory behind diminished chords, but also to learn how to play them using one of the usual fingerings.

Summarising, a C# diminished chord in root position consists of C#-E-G, when in first inversion consists of E-G-C# and is called C#/E dim and is second inversion consists of G-C#-E and is called C#/G. Similarly, a Db diminished in root position consists of  Db-Fb-Abb, when in first inversion consists of Fb-Abb-Db and is called Db/Fb dim and is second inversion consists of Abb-Db-Fb and is called Db/Abb.


What is a C# (or Db) Diminished Mandolin Chord

The C# (or Db) is a triad chord, i.e. it consists of three notes with C# (or Db) as root.

To construct a diminished triad chord you have to use a minor third and a diminished fifth interval. So:

  • For C#, the minor third is C#-E, and the diminished fifth interval is C#-G.
  • For Db, the minor third is Db-Fb, and the diminished fifth interval is Db-Abb.

When these two are combined, they create C# dim (C#-E-G), or Db dim (Db-Fb-Abb).

Note that half steps correspond to one fret difference between notes played on the same string.

See how the C#dim chord is written on sheet paper:


And here is Db dim on sheet paper:



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!



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About the Author:

I’m Chris, a mandolin lover from Greece, trained in Music, Mathematics and IT who makes a living on technology but enjoys life through music and arts. Welcome to my adventures!
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