27 "Clickable" Beginner Mandolin Chords You Should Learn ASAP
If you already know some beginner mandolin chords, plug them into this Search Engine. You'll find easy songs to start playing right away.
If you don't know any mandolin chords yet - start with the "clickable" sequence below:
- Click the 1st diagram for 1-chord songs with G.
- Click the 2nd diagram for 2-chord songs with G + D.
- Click the 3rd diagram for 3-chord songs with G + D + C.
Click Any Diagram to See Songs
Why Are These 27 Beginner Chords So Important?
The Chord Genome Project is a searchable index of 480,000 songs. To play all this music, you need to master over 2,100 different mandolin chords.
To play the majority of these songs (i.e. 240,000 tunes), you only need to learn the 27 beginner mandolin chords shown above.
You can learn these chords in any order you want. But using the exact sequence above lets you play the most music every time you add a new mandolin chord to your practice.
This order also has the added benefit of having you start with easy chords like G, C, D, and Em. You only need 1 or 2 fingers to play them, which is another reason why so many students and teachers start with these beginner mandolin chords first.
Still Struggling with Mandolin Chords?
I don’t personally play the mandolin (yet). But I do play guitar and ukulele. And I know how frustrating it is when just starting out. If you’re still having trouble getting a clear sound from the mandolin, here are some resources that might help:
It’s also important you understand what "enharmonics" are. In music notation, the same mandolin chord may go by 2 different spellings. For example, A# and Bb are both ways of writing the same chord sound and fingering. To learn more, check out this great guide to enharmonics.
Finally, there are many different ways to finger the same mandolin chord. The diagrams above are simply suggestions. And I created them as someone who plays guitar and ukulele - but not the mandolin (yet). If you prefer using different chord fingerings, go for it.
Create Your Own Mandolin Chord Learning Path
The chord path above starts with G major. But you don’t have to begin your journey there. Use this site’s song search engine to map out your own chord path. Just type in the mandolin chords you already know, and it’ll show you what songs you can play with those chords (and only those chords).
If you don’t know any mandolin chords yet (or you don’t want to start with G major), no problem. For a complete list of different starting points, check out the dictionaries of:
If you ever get stuck, use the Next Best Chord tool to see what new chord to add to your practice.
Want to See Other Mandolin Chord Diagrams?
There are only 27 mandolin chords listed above - nearly all of which are major, minor, or dominant 7th chords. If you’re looking for other chord diagrams for the mandolin, be sure to check out the directories below:
- Major Mandolin Chords (e.g. C)
- Minor Mandolin Chords (e.g. (Cm)
- Dominant 7th Mandolin Chords (e.g. C7)
- Minor 7th Mandolin Chords (e.g. Cm7)
Thanks for Reading
Did you find this guide helpful? If so, please share it with other aspiring mandolinists.
Thanks so much for reading. And happy strumming.