Overview

This article in the Mandolin Chords series of theMandolinTuner focuses on C minor (Cm).

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

The Cm chord consists of:

  • The root, which for the Cm chord is of course C
  • The third, which for the Cm chord is Eb
  • The fifth, which for the Cm chord is G.

The C minor differs from the C Major only by the use of one accidental on the E note, so there is not big difference when playing C minor chords as you will see below. The sound of the chords is nevertheless altered, as it now has a sound that is sad, or mysterious.

See it below displayed on sheet paper:

C minor chord 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.

 

Two finger, “barre” Cm fingered for mandolin

Cm mandolin chord, two finger

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

  • First finger on 1st fret of third string.
  • Third finger on 3rd fret of both second and first string, forming a barre.

Note that because the first bass note is the fifth (G) and not the root (C) , we call this chord second inversion and we write it C/G, meaning that this is a C chord with the first note being G.

 

Four finger Cm fingered for mandolin

Cm Four Finger mandolin chord

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

  • Fourth finger on 5th fret of fourth string. 
  • First finger on 1st 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 bass note is C i.e the root of the Cm chord , we call this chord just Cm, meaning that this is a Cm with the first note being C.

 

Four finger Cm fingered for mandolin

Cm four finger mandolin chord second position

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 6th fret of second string. 
  • First finger on 3rd fret of first string. 

Note that because the first bass note is C i.e the root of the Cm chord , we call this chord just Cm, meaning that this is a Cm with the first note being C.

 

C minor Mandolin Chord Variants

As with all chords, there are many variants of the C minor 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 nine variants for you to practice.

C minor mandolin chords sheet

 

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 try to play these chord variants now, it is easy, just follow the instructions!

 

Resources

 

 

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