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Mandolin Lessons: Fun With Theory

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Okay it's time for
some more fun with theory, and we're gonna
talk a little bit about
the mandolin and how it relates to scales
on the, on the,
on the musical staff, and what we're
dealing with here.
This is a time for you to get a cup of
coffee, put down your mandolin, and
just, try to absorb this stuff
intellectually for a moment.
Get away from your instrument.
You probably been playing all day anyway.
You need a break, right?
Your fingers are hurting.
But you take this stuff in, you'll hear
some of these concepts as you play music
more and more and it might take you know,
several times of hearing the same thing
before it actually fixes and you say, oh
yes, I've heard about that.
Now I understand what people are talking
So I'm going to talk about scale for a
simple G scale, something you all have
played probably at this point.
Or you've certainly heard it.
this is the building block blocks of
And when we talk about a chord, we're
talking about the first,
the third, and the fifth notes of that
So this scale is G, A, B, C, D, E, F
Sharp, and G.
And if you take the first note: that's G.
The third note is a B note and the fifth
note is a D note.
And if we look at it on the,
in the musical staff, there's your G note
right there.
There's A.
B is the third.
C, little C for you piano players,
you remember that one.
D is our open D string, E is the second
F-sharp is the fourth fret, and G is the
fifth fret.
What, how we construct a chord out of this
scale is we take the first, third and
fifth, G, B, D, but notice on our
mandolin, we can't actually play
those three notes because the B note and
the G note are on the same string.
But that is theoretically the notes that
build that chord.
So what we do as mandolin players, is we
take this middle note up an octave,
to the high B.
which is on the second string,
second fret and we play these two open.
And there we are.
The building blocks of the first chord you
ever learned, your G chord.
We simply stack another G on top of it and
that's your upper note on the first
So this I call a root position, triad,
Way up top.
And so this being the G note,
this now becomes a really comfortable
moveable chord.
As I said in one of the earlier lessons,
to make it an A chord,
you can simply bar it up just like that
and if you were to make it into a minor,
as we said before, you're gonna flat the
third or in this case,
the B become B flat and you've got your B
To move that chord up it's an A, A minor.
Move it up to a B note on the low string
and it's a B minor.
But one of the things becomes apparent is
do we know all the notes all along the G
How do you memorize what the names of all
these notes are, so
that you can then find these chords?
And that, I'm gonna talk about in just one