Bouzouki chords

Bouzouki chords

A friend gave me a chord chart for ukulele once that just has the bare minimum chords needed for the music we play together. For keys of G, A, D and C there’s the I, IV and V chord plus one relative minor.

I’m looking for a similar chart for bouzouki chords GDAD. Bare minimum, two finger or simple chords, chords that assume you will use a capo for other keys, chord shapes appropriate for Irish music. Just something to get started with, something I could print on one sheet and stick in the case.

Know of anything like that? Mostly I’ve found lengthy chord charts online that have way too many chords.

Re: Bouzouki chords

Thank you!

Re: Bouzouki chords

Might I suggest online lessons? I’ve been taking lessons with Daoiri Farrell. There’s far more to playing adequately than just knowing simple chords I fear. I primarily play melody - my backing sucks although I know a lot of (applicable) chords for trad. When all of this virus hoohaw ends I hope to come up to speed using what I’m learning from Daoiri. Good players will teach you how to use simple chords effectively. I haven’t had the same experience with any manual to date.

Re: Bouzouki chords

I think basic chords are a good start, gets your feet wet and you can build from there. I’m a beginner and could definitely use some very basics then slowly build up.

Re: Bouzouki chords

Would you not consider getting one of the melody instruments, and going down that road. Good luck!

Re: Bouzouki chords

Before you become the subject of a thread like this: https://thesession.org/discussions/45333 bear in mind that the bouzouki isn’t really meant be played like a guitar. Counter melodies and drones are what it loves!
Having said that, you have to start somewhere, so the very best of luck!

Re: Bouzouki chords

Well before you go down the rabbit hole of how terrible bad backers are, you are all in luck. I play mandolin and fiddle (melody) already, but not well, and I don’t know how to play the guitar. I obtained an Octave mandolin/banjo, essentially a double course tenor banjo with a long scale length, and can play slower tunes on it. It occurred to me I could learn about the chord side of things and open up a new world for myself. I know a few two-finger mando chords, but it’s not the same as that open droning sound of bouzouki tuning. It’s highly unlikely I would ever actually crash an Irish session and try to be the backer. I just would like to give it a try in the comfort of my own home. If it goes well, I could try it at a session, but I doubt I would feel very comfortable doing it. As far as lessons go, an online video might help, but I’ve got my hands full with proper violin lessons. Been trying to overcome bad habits from 15 years of self-taught playing.

Re: Bouzouki chords

sbhikes: you can play your strummyfing however you want. Straight ahead chords is fine!

Re: Bouzouki chords

Hello sbhikes,
I am just curious; what are the bad habits you think you’ve picked up on the fiddle? And does knowing these translate to your bouzouki approach? I’m a ‘self-taught’ guitar/banjo/fiddle/concertina work-in-progress type myself, shudder to think what some of my habits are like…

Re: Bouzouki chords

My bad fiddle habits? Ha! Where do I begin? Well I’m not very good at it. I’ve played old-time for all this time and cannot for the life of me play Irish music but I want to. So far my teacher will tell you I am not in tune, I don’t hold the bow right, I don’t bow straight, I don’t raise my arm to reach the other strings correctly, I don’t hold my left arm correctly, I don’t use it to make it easier to stay in tune. I find it hard to pick up the bow and put it down in the middle of a phrase. I’m getting a lot out of the various scale exercises that have different bowing patterns, getting more skillful. It’s hard to change but I am determined.

I’m not that bad on mandolin. Mandolin is a lot easier to play. Nobody can hear the mandolin though.

Re: Bouzouki chords

"you can play your strummyfing however you want"

Have to disagree strongly here. If you pay attention to those really good players out there, it’s often their neck hands that barely do anything, and their strumming hands that make the sound come alive. The fanciest chord progression in the world will sound flat and boring if you strum the Cowboy On His Fat Pony rhythm (ONE——three-four-ONE—-three-four—-ONE—-three-four…). However, it’s possible (and a good exercise too!) to back an entire tune without using the left hand at all (seriously, just sit on it), creating accents and flow just with the plectrum.

Re: Bouzouki chords

I will sometimes play just the rhythm quietly on my fiddle when I don’t yet know a tune, playing it on a single string playing the main tonic note at the time. I know about holding down the strings and just making the rhythm on a guitar. I’ve heard it explained to other guitarists a number of times. Not being a guitarist or having a guitar I have not done it myself, and it’s pretty loud so I probably wouldn’t do it unless I could do it well. However doing these sorts of things in the comfort of my own home isn’t out of the question.

I’m just really excited because I got a new instrument and it has a lot of possibilities. It’s essentially a double-course tenor banjo with a long scale length. It’s a banjo, it’s an octave mandolin, it could be tuned to GDAD and played like a bouzouki. I could learn some new things with it.

Re: Bouzouki chords

I’ve never come across a double-strung tenor banjo - quite a few mandolin banjos and they’re LOUD! I wonder if your new instrument is twice as loud……………..?

Re: Bouzouki chords

It’s super loud. It’s called an Ocatjo. "Gold Tone’s unique Octajo is a double-strung four-course tenor banjo than can be set up with standard tenor tuning or Irish tenor tuning using either metal or nylon strings, thus offering a wide choice of tonal characteristics. "

Re: Bouzouki chords

sbhikes - ok I just checked it out on Youtube - it reminded me very much of the Turkish ‘cumbus’ especially one of the tunes the guy was playing. How it would work for Irish trad I can’t imagine but probably folks said that about the bouzouki 50 years ago…………………….