Swing chords and progressions for mandolin

The ultimate guide to playing jazz rhythm on mandolin.

Don Stiernberg


Stuck in the world of G-C-D progressions and looking to expand your chordal vocabulary on mandolin? This course is for you.

In these Soundslice-exclusive video lessons, jazz mandolin master Don Stiernberg walks you through all the chord voicings you need to know to play swing music. Get ready for 6’s, 9’s, flat-5’s, half-diminished chords and lots more.

Along the way, you’ll learn how to keep your swing rhythm interesting and “in the style” — adding color and movement to your playing. You’ll learn how to fit your playing into a band, how to add interesting substitutions to chords, and how to practice this stuff.

Finally, Don puts these chords to work with nine studies of common chord progressions. In each one, he’ll give you several ways of playing it, with rich commentary along the way.

[Mastered this course? Don’t miss volume two, which focuses on lead playing.]

85 minutes across 18 parts

Intro Free
Major chords
Minor chords
Dominant chords
Diminished and augmented chords
Chord review
Major ii-V-I
Minor ii-V-I
Blues progression
Major progression with a minor bridge #1
Major progression with a minor bridge #2
Minor progression with a major bridge #1
Minor progression with a major bridge #2
Circle-of-fifths progression #1
Circle-of-fifths progression #2
Circle of fifths progression #3
1-6-2-5 progression

About Don Stiernberg

While still in his teens, Don learned to play the mandolin from the innovative and influential virtuoso Jethro Burns. Jethro referred to Don as his “graduate student,” hired him to play in his band, and guided him to a career as a professional musician which has already lasted forty years.

A leading exponent of jazz mandolin style, Don has eight recording projects of his own and appears on many others by a variety of artists in all styles. He wrote the book “Jazz Mandolin Appetizers,” published by Mel Bay in 2013.

In addition to touring coast to coast and abroad, Don stays busy around his native Chicago with performing and recording work. He also contributed a regular column to Mandolin Magazine and has been an instructor at many mandolin events around the world.

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