This is a public version of the members-only Bluegrass Mandolin with Mike Marshall, at ArtistWorks. Functionality is limited, but CLICK HERE for full access if you’re ready to take your playing to the next level.

These lessons are available only to members of Bluegrass Mandolin with Mike Marshall.
Join Now

Beginner Mandolin
Intermediate Mandolin
Advanced Mandolin
Additional Tunes & More
Holiday Tunes
Gear & Setup
30 Day Challenge
Video Exchange Archive
«Prev of Next»

Mandolin Lessons: Moveable Chords

Video Exchanges () Submit a Video Lesson Resources () This lesson calls for a video submission
Study Materials Music Theory
Lesson Specific Downloads
Play Along Tracks
Tools for All Lessons +
Collaborations for
Submit a video for   

This video lesson is available only to members of
Bluegrass Mandolin with Mike Marshall.

Join Now

Course Description

This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Bluegrass Mandolin with Mike Marshall. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Mandolin Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

CLICK HERE for full access.
Log In
What I'd like
to do now is help you understand where the
notes are all over your finger board.
And to do that, I've drawn out a piano
keyboard because on a piano,
it's very easy to see.
And you notice there are two black keys
and then there's a little space.
Two of the notes don't have a black key
between them.
And then there is three black keys, and
then there is a space where two of the
keys don't have a black key.
And this pattern repeats itself all the
way up the keyboard, 88 keys or more.
And, so this is very clear and easy to see
on a piano keyboard.
But it's something that's very difficult
for us as mandolin, or guitar, or
banjo players to visualize on this black
with this black fingerboard with just
They all look the same.
But what you want to begin to memorize is
are the notes that don't have sharps and
flats, that don't have black keys.
The black keys represents the sharps and
So if you're starting at C, you have C
sharp is the black key, then D,
then D sharp is a black key, then E and F
sit right next to each other.
Then F-sharp is the black.
G is the white.
G-sharp is the black, A is the white.
A-sharp, or B-flat is the black.
And then you have another space between B
and C.
So it's very important for you to
memorize, on the mandolin,
where are your Es and Fs, and where are
your Bs and Cs.
So in looking at these chords I just
showed you.
[SOUND] G chord.
[SOUND] How to move it up.
What you want to memorize is just the G
Just start with that.
Where are the sharps and flats along the G
So we'll start with open G.
Second fret is an A note.
Fourth fret is a B note,
there's your first set of notes that's
sitting next to each other.
B sits right next to C, fourth and fifth
Then you go up two frets to the D, two
more frets to the E, and
then there's your E and F sitting next to
each other at the ninth and tenth fret.
And then at the 12th fret, you get another
And octave above that low G.
So, as you play these chords, then you
just match it up.
A chord's gonna be at the second fret.
B chord is going to be at the 4th, C is
going to be at the 5th,
D is at the 7th, E is at the 9th, F is at
the 10th,
G is at the 12th, if your mandolin will
play that high.
So this is a great thing to memorize, just
that simple space between four and
five here, B and C.
And, the nine and ten for E and F.
And later, we're gonna look at all the
other strings and
help you understand where the natural
notes are on those strings as well.
Now that you've learned the notes on the G
we're gonna look at all four strings and
find where all the notes are.
This is just gonna help you in so many
ways, folks.
Might need another cup of espresso for
So here's your finger board.
And we just went through the notes on the
G string.
This is G, A, B and C are next to each
At four and five, D at, at seven, E and
F at nine and ten and G.
This is your octave.
This is the 12 fret, the one with the two
pretty little dots.
So we go to the D string, we see the E at
the second fret.
Again, here's E and F right next to each
other just like they were back here.
G, A, B and C right next to each other.
And then D, there's your octave.
So let's, let's just look at the D chord.
The first D chord I ever showed you.
And how to bring that up to an E chord
[NOISE] was this.
[SOUND] Because this is your E note,
your bar and your middle two strings.
then you're playing the outside strings at
the fourth fret.
So to find the F,
[NOISE] simply going up one fret to this F
note, which corresponds to that F note.
[SOUND] Go up to frets [NOISE] and
you got G [NOISE] which that corresponds
to that G note.
[NOISE] Two more is A.
Two more from there is B [NOISE] and
then guess what B and C are next to each
[SOUND] Nine and ten.
[SOUND] And then D is at the octave.
All right?
Now we'll look at the A string.
There's open A.
[SOUND] Second fret is B.
So B and C are right next to each other.
[SOUND] And remember the C chord, the
first C chord we showed you.
[SOUND] There's your C note.
Now move that chord up two frets [NOISE]
and you've got your moveable C chord.
It's a D now.
And the D is on the fifth fret.
[SOUND] F-sharp [NOISE] and it's the
fourth fret string and
the low A is on the second fret, low
[SOUND] Bring it up two frets [NOISE] and
you've got an E chord.
[SOUND] One fret [NOISE] to an F, E and F,
side by side.
Two frets to a G.
And two [NOISE] more frets to an A.
So [NOISE] that's your other moveable
Now, let's go to the first string.
Your G chord.
Puts the G note right here on
the third fret.
Now, if we move that chord up [NOISE] two
frets we've got an A chord right there at
the fifth fret.
[SOUND] Two more is B.
[SOUND] And here is B and C right next to
each other.
[SOUND] That's at the fifth fret is the C
or in the case of the high string.
You've got the eighth fret.
[SOUND] Tenth fret.
[SOUND] Little finger is the D and
[NOISE] the twelve fret is the E chord.
Another couple of ways to use this is to
go back to our bluegrass chop chord.
You know, the G.
Again, it's right here on the E string.
Move it up two frets to A.
Two frets to B.
One fret to C.
Two frets to D.
Two frets to E.
[SOUND] Let's do the same [NOISE] thing
with a bluegrass C chord.
[SOUND] And the C being [NOISE] at the
[NOISE] third fret on
the A string were gonna use that to find
where all those chords are.
Two frets to D.
Two frets to E.
One fret to F.
Two fret to G.
Two frets to A.
And you are ready to rock, baby.