Bouzouki Chords

Bouzouki Irish chords

The first thing you want to learn when you get a new instrument it’s the basic chords. The bouzouki has an open tunning; so it will be easy for you to get used to the bouzouki chord shapes, it may look challenging at the beginning because of the 8 strings, but if you look closer you will see that it’s more like having just 4! as we only have 4 double orders 😋

Bouzouki GDAD chords

We have seen many Irish Bouzouki chord charts and always found the same problem. they add many complex chords like add11 / DIM9 / Maj7 / and this might be interesting for experienced or professional players, but for any amateur player this will be the best chart.

This chord shapes are for Bouzouki GDAD Tuning but don’t worry if you have chosen another tunning, keep scrolling down and you will find other charts 🙂

Bouzouki GDAE Chords

Again, this is a very simple and clear bouzouki chord chart for GDAE Tunning, in this one you need fewer bar chords, but we need a bit more pinky here and there, I hope you enjoy this chords.

Basic Jig Rythm with 3 GDAD Octave Mandolin chords

Today we will be looking at the basic ‘JIG Pattern’ with only 5 chords. The jig is a nice Irish traditional music rhythm in 6/8.

The most useful and by far the most popular chord for bouzouki is the D 5th, furthermore, the (5th) part of the name means that it can be used as a D major chord or D minor chord; so, by learning this one, you’ve actually learned two chords in one.

This is actually quite a common feature when learning the octave mandolin, many shapes can be used as major or minor, so this is very handy and quite different from the guitar.

D 5th Chord for GDAD Bouzouki

This chord, the “D 5th low chord” is played on the bottom string on the seventh fret. I’ll leave you the individual chord shape down below.

D 5th chord octave mandolin

Using the fingering featured on the image facilitates easier movement from one chord to the next.

G major Chord for GDAD Bouzouki

Here is the second chord to learn, the “G major chord” located at the bottom and of the instrument.

G major chord octave mandolin

A 5th low chord for GDAD Bouzouki

Our third chord is the “A 5th low”, another quick change chord again, all the chords with “5th” in their name work as both M and m, because we are always skipping the “3rd” this one is the note that describes the chord as Major or Minor and we are not playing it.

A 5th chord octave mandolin

The Jig Basic Ryhtm for GDAD Bouzouki

There are already many Tunes that you can accompany by using just these three chords, so let’s look at one of the most popular dance types in Irish traditional music, that’s the jig. Like the rhythms played on a guitar all the rhythms on the bouzouki are just a series of upstrokes and downstrokes.

The black arrows on the image down below represent a downstroke that has to be a bit longer (1/4 note) also represents accentuation and exactly where you have to change chords. The white arrows are a bit faster, they equal to a (1/8 note)

Simply play this rhythm until the tune stops. basic jig rhythm uses the three chords we’ve already looked at.

basic jig pattern bouzouki

Extra chords for part B Jigs

If you want a little bit more variety to make your playing more interesting, I’ll show you a couple more chords to use on the second part (B part) of the jigs you like to play. The final two chords are the B minor and the “A Major high” you can see the shapes down below.

B minor chord for GDAD Bouzouki

B minor bouzouki chord   

as you can see the B minor chord is quite difficult to learn but it is well worth knowing from the start as it adds a lot of harmonic interest to your accompaniment, you need three fingers to play it because it uses three strings, you can feel a little awkward but please stick with it and try your best to learn this chord as it is used regularly often to substitute the middle D 5th.

A Major High chord for GDAD Bouzouki

A major high Chord bouzouki

Ok so now you know all the FIVE CHORDS, put them together to get some really interesting chord progression.

If you have to play jigs in other keys you can just add your favorite capo to the correct fret of the instrument and play the same chord shapes!