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
Lick of the Week
Tune of the Week
«Prev of Next»

Mandolin Lessons: Three Main Dominant Chords

Lesson Video Exchanges () submit video Submit a Video Lesson Study Materials () This lesson calls for a video submission
Study Materials Quizzes
information below Close
information below
Lesson Specific Downloads
Play Along Tracks
Backing Tracks +
Written Materials +

+Beginner Mandolin

+Intermediate Mandolin

+Advanced Mandolin

+Additional Tunes & More

+Holiday Tunes

+Lick of the Week

+Tune of the Week

Additional Materials +
resource information below Close
Collaborations for
resource information below Close
Submit a video for   

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

Join Now

information below Close
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.
This is a part we're gonna call dominant
chords, and
there are three main dominant chord
positions that I use.
And we just kinda went through them, but
I'm gonna shine a light on them here as
just, just dominant chords and just.
This is gonna be used a lot in the blues,
it's really handy to have these things
under your fingers.
If we go to our first in vision or first
inversion G chord and remember how to make
that into a major 7 and a 7, this is the
first shape I wanna work with you on.
So it's 4, 3, 5, that's a G7 right?
Now, there's another G7 up here at the 2nd
[SOUND] When we had that major chord at 7,
9 and, and 10,
[SOUND] we made it into a major 7 and then
a 7.
So, if you go from this inversion to this
inversion, they're very similar.
They're actually the same shape inverted
on your hands, if you can see that.
One is 4, 3, 5.
The other is 7, 9 and 8.
So that's your 2nd dominant position.
And the 3rd one I wanna share with you
is born out of this kind of bluegrass C
If we take the root of this chord down to
a major 7 and then drop it one more time
to a flat 7 we get this kind of C7, okay.
And the C note is on the top of this
chord, the, the 2nd string is the C note.
And that's what identifies it.
It's kind of an odd thing to have, have
the flat 7,
the B flat at the bottom of a chord.
But as mandolin players this can often be
the case because we're tuned so
high that we can put like the color tones
in the bottom of our chord,
and it's still relatively high in the
context of a band.
And it gives us enough harmonic
information to where, to where it's cool.
So lets go back to G7, and we call this
the 1st G7.
It's born out of the 1st inversion.
2nd inversion G7 is here, and 3rd invert,
we could say the 3rd version of a G7.
I'll play it up here instead of playing a
I want you to hear it as G chord.
It's the same chord as this C, but we move
all the way up to this G.
We're putting the flat 7 on the bottom,
3rd there, and the root on top.
So I'll play two bars at this chord.
Then two bars at this next inversion.
And then two bars at this next inversion.
All right?
Now let's play a little bit of the blues.
We're gonna
play G to C7,
to G7.
Then we're gonna play D7.
Check that out, it's real close.
I love to play chords that are right next
to each other.
And this is a, this is a situation where
you can use these,
a couple of these forms and find your 1,
4, 5 real close to each other.
So this is the G7 but notice there's no G
in that chord also.
That's kind of bizarre but that's a common
mandoism as well.
You got the 3rd, the flat 7 and the root,
but it's G.
That bass player and that guitar player
are covering your bottom, so
you don't really have to worry about it.
And back to G7.
All right.
Another little trick,
this whole thing could be played with two
fingers on the bottom two strings.
If you followed those chords, you may have
noticed my fingers were just doing this.
So here's a funny trick because this is G
Just has two notes, it has a B and an F.
There's no G in this chord.
C chord, just move it back 2 frets.
It's got a B flat and an E.
There's no C in that.
Come back to your G.
You want a D7?
Move it up another half step.
You've got the flat 7 and the 3rd.
So in each of these inversions you're
dealing with the 3rd and the flat 7.
That's the, those are the two notes when
you're playing dominant chords that
really make it sound like a dominant
chord, more so than the root actually.
That's what gives it.
Back to C, 3rd fret and 2nd fret.
Back to G.
4th and 3rd.
Then up a half a step to C and F-sharp.
That's a D chord.
Back down to C, a 3rd and 7th, and back up
to G.
You can sing if you'd like.