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Mandolin Song Breakdown: There’s More Pretty Girls Than One


Today’s song breakdown covers one of the first bluegrass tunes I can remember learning – There’s More Pretty Girls Than One. The simple melody and chord structure on this tune really make it a fun one to play. As I’ll explain later, the melody is composed entirely with the notes from the Major Pentatonic, which also makes it a great tune for practicing scales!

Song Breakdown: Chord Charts

One note, my charts are in C as that’s what I usually call it in and most jams I go to play it in C. That said, sometimes this tune is called in D a la Skaggs and Rice. I would suggest rewriting this chart in D as a practice.


Before you can play anything, you need to listen. Here’s a few tracks you can check out – note that Skaggs & Rice is in C but Doc’s is in D.

Song Form

When the verse and chorus of a song are the same, it can be easier to just remember the whole thing as one part. That said, you can breakdown this tune to 4 parts to help with memorization and practicing:

Part 1 – Measures 1 – 4

Part 2 – Measures 5 – 8

Part 3 – Measures 9 – 12 – Basically the same as Part 2, but with a minor 6 (Am) in the last measure.

Part 4 – Measure 13 – 16 – the same chords as Part 1

If you find you’re having trouble memorizing the tune, try just memorizing each part first.


There’s More Pretty Girls Than One is a pretty straight forward song – which makes it perfect to practice things like arpeggios and scales. In the exercises chart, I’ve included a few practice ideas that cover the C Major and C Major Pentatonic scales. In addition, I covered a few exercises using the arpeggios for each chord both individually and “in form” where the arpeggios move through the progression.


I’ve provided three variations on the chords for this song as well as a “muted double stop” suggestion. In a big jam, I find the muted double stop way of playing chords avoids clashing notes and helps solidify the rhythm more.

Melody and Solo iDeas

I’ve provided 4 variations on the melody each starting with a different finger. The melody simply runs through the C Major Pentatonic scale (C D E G A) which makes it a great practice tune.

In songs like this, taking a solo break can be as easy as just running through the pentatonic scale or playing some arpeggios of the chords. Check out the exercises from the previous section for some ideas.

Song Breakdown: Wrap up

I hope this song breakdown of There’s More Pretty Girls Than One has helped you! While it’s a simple tune, there’s a lot of fun things you can do with it. I encourage you to explore some of the double stop ideas and play with the melody more.

If you liked this topic, please leave a comment below with any questions or feedback. For a deeper dive in to this topic, click here for more information on private coaching.

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