Teach Yourself Bluegrass Mandolin: The Ultimate Guide for Beginners (PDF)
Teach Yourself Bluegrass Mandolin Book PDF: A Review
If you are looking for a way to learn how to play bluegrass mandolin, you might be interested in the Teach Yourself Bluegrass Mandolin Book PDF. This is a digital version of a book that teaches you the basics of bluegrass mandolin, from tuning and holding the instrument to playing chords, scales, and songs. In this article, we will review the book and see what it has to offer.
What is bluegrass mandolin?
Bluegrass mandolin is a style of mandolin playing that is most commonly heard in bluegrass bands. Bluegrass is a genre of music that originated in the 1930s in the southern United States, combining elements of Scottish and Irish fiddle tunes, blues, and African American banjo with traditional American songs. Bill Monroe, a Kentucky fiddler and mandolin player, is considered the father of bluegrass music. He developed a distinctive style of mandolin playing that emphasized strong syncopation and chording, and played in keys, such as E and B, seldom used by old-time and country musicians.
The mandolin is a core instrument in bluegrass music, along with guitar, fiddle, banjo, upright bass, and sometimes dobro. The mandolin fills three roles at different times during a tune: it plays melody, rhythm, and harmony. The mandolin also takes turns with other instruments in playing solos or improvising over the chord progression.
What are the types of mandolins used in bluegrass music?
Mandolins come in many shapes and sizes, but most are not suitable for bluegrass playing. Old traditional mandolins with round backs, for example, are difficult to play in a standing position and are almost never used. Some older mandolins have relatively few frets, limiting the mandolin player's use of high notes.
Most bluegrass mandolin players choose one of two styles: the F-style or the A-style. Both have flat or nearly flat backs and arched tops. The F-style mandolin has a more stylized shape, with a spiraled wooden cone on the upper side and a couple of points on the lower side. The A-style mandolin has a teardrop-shaped body. There are also two types of sound holes: the classic round or oval hole, and the more modern pair of f-holes similar to those found on a violin. Both the shape of the instrument and the shape of the holes affect the tone of the instrument; the F-style, f-hole mandolins have the brightest, most penetrating sound, while the A-style, round holed mandolins generally have a fuller, sweeter tone.
What does the Teach Yourself Bluegrass Mandolin Book PDF offer?
The Teach Yourself Bluegrass Mandolin Book PDF is a digital version of a book written by Andy Statman, a renowned bluegrass mandolin player and teacher. The book is designed for beginners who want to learn how to play bluegrass mandolin from scratch. The book covers topics such as:
How to tune and hold the mandolin
How to read tablature and music notation
How to play basic chords and scales
How to play rhythm patterns and chop chords
How to play melodies and solos
How to improvise over chord changes
How to play 12 classic bluegrass tunes
The book also includes audio tracks that demonstrate all the exercises and songs in the book. You can download them from the publisher's website or scan a QR code in the book. The audio tracks are helpful for listening to how the mandolin should sound and for playing along with backing tracks.
How to use the Teach Yourself Bluegrass Mandolin Book PDF?
The Teach Yourself Bluegrass Mandolin Book PDF is easy to use and follow. You can download it from the publisher's website or scan a QR code in the book. You can also print it out if you prefer a hard copy. The book is divided into 12 chapters, each covering a different aspect of bluegrass mandolin playing. Each chapter includes:
An introduction that explains the main topic and goals of the chapter
A series of exercises that teach you how to play various techniques, chords, scales, and patterns
A song or tune that applies what you have learned in the chapter
Tips and advice on how to improve your playing and avoid common mistakes
A summary that reviews the main points of the chapter
The book also comes with audio tracks that demonstrate all the exercises and songs in the book. You can listen to them online or download them to your device. The audio tracks are helpful for listening to how the mandolin should sound and for playing along with backing tracks. You can also adjust the tempo and pitch of the tracks to suit your level and preference.
What are the benefits of the Teach Yourself Bluegrass Mandolin Book PDF?
The Teach Yourself Bluegrass Mandolin Book PDF is a great resource for anyone who wants to learn how to play bluegrass mandolin. Some of the benefits of this book are:
It teaches you authentic bluegrass mandolin from a professional player and teacher
It covers all the basics and essentials of bluegrass mandolin playing
It provides clear instructions, diagrams, tablature, and music notation
It offers a variety of exercises and songs to practice and enjoy
It includes audio tracks that enhance your learning experience
It is suitable for beginners as well as intermediate players who want to improve their skills
It is affordable and accessible as a digital product
What are some of the songs in the Teach Yourself Bluegrass Mandolin Book PDF?
The Teach Yourself Bluegrass Mandolin Book PDF includes 12 classic bluegrass songs and tunes that you can learn and play on your mandolin. These songs are:
Blue Moon of Kentucky - A famous song written by Bill Monroe and popularized by Elvis Presley
Blue Ridge Cabin Home - A traditional bluegrass song recorded by Flatt & Scruggs and many others
Dark Hollow - A folk song that became a bluegrass standard, covered by Peter Rowan, The Grateful Dead, and others
Fisher's Hornpipe - A traditional fiddle tune that is fun to play on the mandolin
Gold Rush - A fast and flashy instrumental composed by Bill Monroe and Tony Rice
I Am a Pilgrim - A gospel song that is often played in bluegrass jams
Little Maggie - A traditional song about a woman who left her lover, recorded by The Stanley Brothers, Ralph Stanley, and others
New River Train - A train song that dates back to the 19th century, recorded by The Monroe Brothers, Doc Watson, and others
Nine Pound Hammer - A work song that became a bluegrass favorite, recorded by Merle Travis, Bill Monroe, Tony Rice, and others
Salt Creek - A popular fiddle tune that is also known as Salt River or Salt Spring
Soldier's Joy - One of the oldest and most widely played fiddle tunes in the world
Will the Circle Be Unbroken - A hymn that is often sung at the end of bluegrass shows and festivals
These songs will teach you how to play different styles, keys, tempos, and techniques on the mandolin. You will also learn how to play melodies, solos, backup, and harmony parts. You will be able to play along with the audio tracks or with other musicians.
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What are some of the techniques in bluegrass mandolin playing?
Bluegrass mandolin playing requires a variety of techniques that make the instrument sound lively, expressive, and rhythmic. Some of the most common techniques are:
Chording - Playing chords on the mandolin to provide rhythm and harmony. Bluegrass mandolinists use chord shapes that avoid open strings, so they can quickly mute or change chords. They also use chop chords, which are chords played on the offbeat with a sharp attack and quick release, creating a percussive sound.
Tremolo - Playing rapid up-and-down strokes on a single note or chord, creating a sustained and shimmering sound. Tremolo is used to play melodies, solos, or backup parts, and can vary in speed, intensity, and duration.
Cross picking - Playing three or more strings in a repeating pattern, creating a rolling sound. Cross picking is often used to play arpeggios or broken chords, and can be combined with tremolo for more variation.
Slides and hammer-ons - Moving from one note to another by sliding the finger along the string or hitting the string with the finger, creating a smooth and legato sound. Slides and hammer-ons are often used to embellish melodies or solos, and can add expression and emotion to the playing.
These techniques are not exclusive to bluegrass mandolin playing, but they are essential for creating the characteristic sound of the genre. They also require a lot of practice and precision, as well as a good sense of timing and rhythm.
How to improvise on bluegrass mandolin?
Improvisation is the ability to create your own musical ideas on the spot, based on the melody, chords, and style of a song. Improvisation is an important skill for bluegrass mandolin players, as they often take turns with other instruments in playing solos or improvising over the chord progression. Improvisation can also add variety and interest to your playing, and help you express yourself musically.
There are many tools and techniques that can help you improvise on bluegrass mandolin, such as:
Scales - Learning scales can help you find the notes that fit the key and chords of a song. Scales are patterns of notes that sound good together, and can be played in different positions on the fretboard. Some of the most common scales for bluegrass mandolin are the major scale, the pentatonic scale, and the blues scale.
Licks - Learning licks can help you build your vocabulary of musical phrases that you can use in your improvisation. Licks are short melodic ideas that can be played over specific chords or chord changes. You can learn licks from listening to other players, from books or online resources, or from creating your own.
Arpeggios - Learning arpeggios can help you outline the chords and harmony of a song. Arpeggios are notes that make up a chord, played one at a time. You can play arpeggios in different shapes and patterns on the mandolin, and use them as a basis for your improvisation.
Cross picking - Learning cross picking can help you create a rolling sound and fill up space in your improvisation. Cross picking is a technique of playing three or more strings in a repeating pattern, creating a harp-like effect. You can use cross picking to play arpeggios, scales, or melodies.
These tools and techniques are not rules or formulas, but rather guidelines and suggestions that you can experiment with and combine in your own way. The best way to improve your improvisation skills is to practice regularly, listen to other players, and have fun!
The Teach Yourself Bluegrass Mandolin Book PDF is a comprehensive and practical guide for anyone who wants to learn how to play bluegrass mandolin. It covers all the basics and essentials of bluegrass mandolin playing, from tuning and holding the instrument to playing chords, scales, and songs. It also provides clear instructions, diagrams, tablature, and music notation, as well as audio tracks that demonstrate all the exercises and songs in the book. It is suitable for beginners as well as intermediate players who want to improve their skills. It is affordable and accessible as a digital product. If you are looking for a way to learn bluegrass mandolin from scratch, this book is for you! b99f773239