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Click These Beginner Mandolin Chords to See What Songs They Appear in

If you know 3 or more beginner mandolin chords, plug them into this Search Engine. You'll find loads of easy songs with the exact chords you entered.

But if you don't know any mandolin chords yet - start with the sequence below by clicking the:

  • First diagram for 1-chord songs with G.
  • Second diagram for 2-chord tunes with G & D.
  • Third diagram for 3-chord guitar songs with G & D & C.

Every diagram below...


with songs...

that get harder.

1-Chord Songs with G Major

Click any song below to play along with the video.

  • Everyday People - Sly & the Family Stone - 1969 - (Slightly out of tune.)
  • U.S. 41 - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - 2010

To see chord diagrams for guitar, ukulele, mandolin, or banjo, click here.


2-Chord Songs with D & G

Click any title to see the chords and notation.

Click any artist for a video.

There are also lots of folk tunes & nursery rhymes with these 2 chords.

To see chord diagrams for guitar, ukulele, mandolin, or banjo, click here.


Why These 12 Mandolin Chords (and Why This Order)?

As a beginner, 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.

I know this thanks to the Next Best Chord feature.

The order above also has the added benefit of starting you off with easy mandolin 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.

Want to See Other Mandolin Diagrams?

If you'd like to see a more complete collection of beginner chords for the mandolin, check out the directories below:

Still Struggling with Beginner Chords on the Mandolin?

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 beginner 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 paths above start with G major. But you don’t have to begin your journey there. Use Search Songs by Chord tool map out your own 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).

Try it yourself.

Search Songs by Chord

Add your chords to the search bar below.

Type chords here or import from My Library


Important: The ability to add your own chords allows you to create a list of songs tailored to your skill level. Enter familiar chords, and every song will be an easy one (by definition). You can also use genre and decade filters to target music you actually want to play.

You’ll Become Addicted to Playing Again


Learn how to overcome the biggest hurdle(s) holding you back.


Tired of playing the same songs?

Take the chords to that tune and run a search. You’ll see tons of music you could be playing instead.

For example, here's a Sample List of Classic Rock songs with G, C, D, Em.

Plug in your own chords, genres, and decades, and you'll NEVER be bored again.

It's impossible.

Better still, you'll pick up your instrument more often - and hold onto it a little longer every time.

And that's the secret to improving - i.e. time spent with your craft.


My progress is slow and painful.

When you're frustrated, it means you're trying to play music you're not ready for yet.

Here's a better approach:

  • Run a search of all the chords you're comfortable with. You'll see a massive list of songs that use those exact chords.
  • This list represents your comfort zone. But it's only a starting place. You'll eventually grow tired of those songs and be ready for slightly harder music.
  • When you're ready to "improve," try adding a Wildcard to the chords you already know. You'll see a huge collection of songs that are just outside your comfort zone. Every tune is literally one chord away.

If you can establish a baseline and add just one more chord (and then another) - you'll NEVER be frustrated again.


Playing just isn't fun any more.

In the beginning you wanted to play. Now you feel like you should play.

Music has become a chore. And it no longer brings you joy.

The secret lies in finding that Goldilocks Zone of music that rewards and challenges you.

When you have instant access to hundreds (if not thousands) of songs that all use chords you know, you won't be able to put your instrument down.

And when you add a Wildcard, you'll see thousands of songs that are well within your reach.

Follow this simple formula, and you'll become addicted to playing again - guaranteed.


I don't know enough chords yet.

You need at least 3 chords to run a search. And with those chords, you can do a LOT of damage.

For example, here are sample lists of 3-chord songs with G,C,D and A,D,E and C,F,G and DGA.

If you don't know any chords yet, start here. You'll see easy tunes with 1, 2, and 3 chords (for your instrument). And you'll be playing music in no time.

Once you know 3 (or more chords), come back here and run a search.


I don't know what to do next.

That's easy to fix.

Add whatever chords you know to the search tool above. You'll see a huge list of songs with those exact chords.

Start there and enjoy yourself.

Then, ask for the Next Best Chord and run a new search.

You'll see even more amazing songs - all of which are 1 chord outside your comfort zone.

Rinse and repeat.

To see what that looks like, here are INTERACTIVE examples for Guitar, Ukulele, Mandolin, and Banjo.


It really hurts when I play.

Callouses on the fingertips are normal. And your arm will get tired from strumming all day. But if you start to feel muscle or nerve pain - STOP.

Never play through pain.

In fact, using my site will only make things worse (the whole point of the Chord Genome Project is to get you addicted to your instrument).

It sounds like reverse psychology, but it isn't. I absolutely want your money and would love for you to stay onboard for a long time. But that won't happen if you're sitting on the sidelines (temporarily or permanently) nursing an injury.

Rest. Recover. Then come back.

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.

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.