Here at theMandolinTuner, all variants of each chord are presented with nice photorealistic fingered images. But what is the best way to practice these chords?

General Advise

I suggest you practice playing the variants one by one, till you feel comfortable with all positions, as I am convinced you will then have covered 99% of what is needed for the chord you are trying to play. Do you actually need to know all variants presented here in theMandolinTuner? Not really, but as music is really a language, the more variants you know the easier it will be for you to play and express yourself.

 

Using the slideshows to practice

The slide-show available at the top of each how-to chords article can be used for practicing, as you can pause to practice a particular position, go to the next or previous chord variant, and even start the slide show again. Once you feel you can play them all, try playing following the slide-show.

 

Mando Chords Practice method and steps

For each chord you try, follow the following steps to ensure that the chord is played properly, after placing your left hand fingers on the fretboard:

  1. Strum first the chord (all strings) once – Notice how it sounds.
  2. Strum now each string separately – Check that no string is muted. If a string is muted or you hear a buzzing sound:
  3. Try slightly changing your fingers position on the fretboard – Is now the sound clearer?
  4. If that does not work, try pressing your fingers harder on the fretboard – Is the sound better?
  5. Strum again the chord (all strings) – Notice how now the chord sound is fuller.
Note that pressing your fingers harder on the fretboard may hurt a bit at the beginning, but the more you play and practice the less your fingers will hurt. Why? Your fingertips will develop calluses!.

 

Practice along songs

Once you understand how to play some chords, you can use one of the best tips around to get to the next level. Practice mandolin chords, by struming along recorded songs.

This has two benefits:

  • You will get a good feeling of rhythm.
  • You will see how most songs actually use just a few chords.