How do you read mandolin chord charts?
The MandoTabs mandolin chord diagrams are easy to understand while still containing a ton of information for advanced mandolin players. To read mandolin chord diagrams you should imagine there is a mandolin in front of you and you are looking at the fretboard with the headstock at the top. The strings are illustrated as vertical lines (from left to right G D A E string) and the frets are the horizontal lines.
The different chord shapes are represented by dots. Each dot represents the placement of your finger. In the example you can see an C major chord. So how should you place your fingers? You play the D - second - string at the second fret with your index finger and the A - third - string at the third fret with your middle finger. That little circle (o) at the top of the G and E strings means that you have to play that string open (i.e. not place a finger on it). This is a basic chord diagram and most of time you will see diagrams like this. However, in some cases you will see additional symbols.