Monday, June 7, 2010

Why is the Mandolin Such a Hard Instrument to Play?

Why is the Mandolin Such a Hard Instrument to Play? 
I saw this headline fly by today on a blog about playing the mandolin. I never thought of it that way, in fact I think it is one of the easier string instrument to play. Especially if you just use the two finger chords. You only have to know three basic finger positions and you can play any song by just moving your hand up or down the fret board.

The mandolin doesn't have a 5th string tuned lower that caused all of the different fingerings. The strings are all tuned the same so the fingerings work anywhere on the fret board. You can use one of the three finger positions illustrated below to play a major, minor or 7th chord. Then just sliding up or down the fret board you can play different chords. Each fret is 1/2 step, so depending on the key you are in you only have to move up or down 1 or 2 frets to the next chord.

If you are on the bottom two strings you get low sounding chords, excellent for verses. If you are on the upper two strings you get higher sounding chords, excellent for the chorus. Playing this way gives you some nice dynamics without having to know a lot.

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