There are many positions (ways, variants etc.) to play the C major (triad) mandolin chord.

In this article you can find the most common chord positions – displayed on the slideshow above, fingered for your convenience.

To help you understand how to play them, I have included step-by-step instructions, describing where to place each finger and what note this will produce. Finally, the article includes a chord chart with all possible chord positions for future reference, feel free to print it.

What is a C major chord?

The C major is a triad chord, i.e. it consists of three notes as following:
  • The root, which for the C chord is of course C
  • The third, which for the C chord is E. Note that this creates a major third interval that consists of four half steps (C to Db, Db to D, D to Eb, Eb to E)
  • The fifth, which for the C chord is G. Note that this creates a minor third interval that consists of three half steps (E to F, F to Gb, Gb to G)

See how the C major chord is written on sheet paper:

C major triad

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.

Two-finger C/G “open” Major Chord

C Major Mandolin Chord

This is how you place your left hand on the fretboard:

  • Index finger on 2nd fret of third string
  • Second finger on  3rd fret of second string.
  • Leave first and fourth string pairs un-fretted.

Note that because the first note is G, we call this chord C/G, meaning that this is a C Major with the first note being G.

 

Four finger C Major mandolin chord

C Major mandolin chord four fingers

This is how you place your left hand on the fretboard:

  • Fourth finger on 5th fret of fourth string.
  • Index finger on 2nd fret of third string.
  • Second finger on  3rd fret of second string.
  • Third finger on  3rd fret of first string.

Note that because the first note is C, we call this chord (just) C, meaning that this is a C Major with the first note being C.

 

Four finger C Major mandolin chord, higher on the fretboard

C major mandolin chord four fingers

This is how you place your left hand on the fretboard:

  • Second finger on 5th fret of fourth string.
  • Third finger on 5th fret of third string.
  • Fourth finger on 7th fret of second string.
  • First finger on  3rd fret of first string.

Note that because the first note is C, we call this chord (just) C, meaning that this is a C Major with the first note being C.

 

C Major Mandolin Chord Variants

As with all chords, there are many variants of the C Major chord for the mandolin. I have included nice-looking photorealistic descriptions of the four most common ones on top of this article for your convenience. Nevertheless, if you want to explore more, see below a Chord Sheet that presents all eight variants for you to practice.

C Major Mandolin Sheet Diagram

 

How to Practice chords on the mandolin

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

Call to action

Ok, it is now time to practice. Grab your mandolin and play these chords, you can make it!

Resources

 

 

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