Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Mandolin chord transitions

Hey guys. I’m wondering if anyone can give advice on chord progressions. I’m starting to work on that some. I’m seeing a lot more as I progress on this site. I’ve noticed that often when building solos banjo Ben will use double stops that if the full chord was played would be a type of chord inversion, for instance 4th string to 1st sting…gdbg to gddb…

I know the basic mandolin g chop chord is inverted already as d is the lowest note played, and it’s all so interesting to me.

The double stops for instance on will the circle be unbroken are on the 2nd and 1st strings bg to db played over a g chord on guitar during one part. He switches to an fd double stop on the g7 chord.

When I take over on mandolin though when playing with others I’m wanting a chop sound and a deeper sound. I could use a g power chord type using 4th to 2nd strings at dgd and play over both the g and g7 parts, but I’d like to use the full g chop chord and then switch to a g7. I’m finding it difficult to switch to a g 7 chord when using a chop chord. It’s too big of a stretch for me. To go from 4th to 1st strings from 7523 (dgbd) to 7521 (dgbf).

I’d be interested to hear how other players tackle the issue of building and playing chords when the song switches the solo part to another musician. I’ve got to admit in my studies so far on this website ive tended to focus on the melody development of my playing not the chord progressions. I’ve viewed the chord studies available, but am still struggling.

I could learn a lot from a more in depth chord progression exercise to build dexterity and speed and to help me formulate how to explore those transitions. I know there are a lot of ways to play chords. I guess I just want to see if there are standard ways that are typically used by people or a general approach to this among mandolinists.

1 Like

Hi Kristopher I don’t play Mandolin but I am sure if you work your way through @BanjoBen 's beginners track you will find lot’s of chord progressions. Try strumming along to some of the tunes in that section and that will help you with your chord changes. I am sure Ben will address your other queries when he is available.

I assume you watched my entire mandolin rhythm course?

Also, check this out:


Hey Ben, thanks for the response. I’ll go through those videos now. I didn’t realize I could filter the lessons like that! I typically just place it on beginner or intermediate or advanced and look at songs that way. Sure enough the very first video for deck the halls completely answered my questions. I have viewed them all before, but as I said I tended to focus just on the melody. Now that I’m getting better I am going to go through things again. I have a very chaotic viewing style, and I was just playing the songs one after another. That has helped to learn a lot, but now it’s time I focus on songs one at a time. It’s amazing how much content is jammed into each lesson. Thanks.