This article in the Mandolin Chords series of theMandolinTuner focuses on C7.

I will give you all eleven (!) positions you can play the C7 chord on the mandolin, so get ready for serious practice. As in all of theMandolinTuner articles, I will provide some music theory background to help you better understand the subject. Today you will read about Seventh Chords.

If it is one thing you need to remember for Seventh chords, it is that they consist of four notes, unlike major and minor chords that consist of 3 notes. So the C7, consists of:

  • The root, which for C7 is C
  • The third, which for C7 is E
  • The fifth, which for C7 is G
  • The seventh, which for C7 is Bb

See it below displayed on sheet paper:

C7 chord chart

 

C7 Mandolin Chord Variants

As with all chords, there are many variants of the C7 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 eleven variants for you to practice.

C7 Mandolin Chords diagram, 11 positions

How to Practice chords on the mandolin

I suggest you practice playing them 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. Do you actually need to know all variants presented here? 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.

The slide-show 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.

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.

Once you understand how to play these easy two finger 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.

If you feel you need more help, see below detailed instructions for the first three variants of the mandolin chord.

 

Four finger, C7 fingered for mandolin

C7 chord fingered for the mandolin

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

  • Fourth finger on 5th fret of fourth string.
  • First finger on 2nd fret of  third string.
  • Second finger on 1st 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 , we call this chord just C7, meaning that this is a C7 with the first note being C.

 

Three finger C7 fingered for mandolin

C7 dominant chord fingered for the mandolin at position 2

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

  • Second finger on 3rd fret of fourth string. 
  • First finger on 2nd fret of third string. 
  • Third finger on 3rd fret of second and first string. 

Note that because the first bass note is Bb i.e. the 7th , we call this chord C7/Bb, meaning that this is a C7 with the first note being Bb.

 

Four finger C7 fingered for mandolin

C7 chord fingered for the mandolin at position 3

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

  • Three finger on 5th fret of fourth string. 
  • First finger on 2nd fret of third string. 
  • Second finger on 3rd fret of second string. 
  • Fourth finger on 6th fret of first string. 

Note that because the first bass note is the root C , we call this chord and we write it just C7, meaning that this is a C7 with the first note being C.

 

Call to action

Ok, it is now time to practice. Grab your mandolin and try to play the G Major variants slowly at the beginning and then fast!

[testimonials]
“If you really want to master the mandolin, practice each chord together with scales on the same key. If you do that, you will master not only picking and chords, but also fiddling!”
Chris Rizos, theMandolinTuner
[/fusion_testimonials]

 

Resources

Like What You Read?

Free Instant Access>>>

Enter your name and email to get Free Instant Access to the most comprehensive e-book available on how to master the methods and tools used for mandolin tuning.

Join the mandolin players that have enjoyed my e-book and receive a weekly newsletter with exclusive mandolin tips.
Free Instant Access>>>
close
theMandolinTuner Logo

WANT MORE?

SIGN UP TO RECEIVE THE LATEST MANDOLIN TIPS & TRICKS, PLUS SOME EXCLUSIVE GOODIES!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.