View Full Version : Mando Flashcards

T Little
Feb-13-2004, 12:20pm
If you're limping along in learning standard notation because you're just too lazy to sit down and do it (which is the only excuse I have) there's a new painless resource from John Baxter. Take a look.


Feb-13-2004, 12:57pm
You may have just made my day.

Feb-13-2004, 1:01pm
Oh, my . . . that's the coolest thing! I can read music pretty well, but not so easily out of first position. This will really help me know what and where those off-the-staff notes are. Great for those idle times at work -- like I needed any more distractions.

Feb-13-2004, 1:16pm
T Little, your excuse is my excuse. #That chart is wonderful! #Thank you for the info.

Feb-13-2004, 1:34pm
this will give me the push I need to get my little fingers moving. thanks

Feb-13-2004, 1:41pm
I'm really glad my parents pushed me to take violin lessens as a kid; reading music. (At this point I get angry when things are only available in tablature; can't stand reading that stuff.)

Feb-13-2004, 1:47pm
ditto, I dont even remember learning how to read... I thank my parents too, and I have actually thanked them. #those are pretty cool cards, I guess... I usually think in thirds when I go up or down the ledger lines. thirds are plain and simple to see, so are fifths, then I can read my way clear off the top of the page. ha ha http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

( I mean I follow the lines by thirds, of course the notes can be anywhere)

John Flynn
Feb-13-2004, 1:56pm
Whatever can help anyone out, I am all for, so I guess those cards are a good resource. But I learned standard notation by learning tunes from it. At first it was "Every Good Boy Deserves...OK, that's a D, and let's see...a D is here on the fretboard." So it was agonizingly slow at first, but after a while of doing it, it got faster. That method engaged me a lot more than flash cards would have, because at the end of the exercise, I knew a tune I didn't know before!

Also, IMHO, the hardest thing about reading notation is timing. The notes themselves aren't what's hard, but if you have anything but 4/4 time and all quarter notes, the count is what is hard to learn, especially if it is a tune you have never heard before. The cards wouldn't really help with that, but learning tunes from notation can.

Mel Bay has a book/CD out that is something like "20 Easy Mandolin Solos." It is really mis-titled, because it is not really "solos" as we discuss them on the board. It does have some really easy pieces that would be good practice to learn from notation.

T Little
Feb-13-2004, 1:57pm
Jeff- Can you explain what you mean about thinking in thirds and fifths? Thanks.

Feb-13-2004, 2:16pm
say you are on your C ledger line (above the staff, 2nd ledger line up. ok, now look up a third, that's the E, inbetween is the D, go up another third, that's a G, go up another third, that's a B, inbetween those two is the A. and so, on. I have never seen anything go beyond the second high C. my mandolin does go up to the high D. if you just follow the lines , they go in thirds.

Feb-13-2004, 2:23pm
BTW, I am not down on the cards at all....... I think its great that you guys who dont read are trying to learn...

Feb-13-2004, 2:46pm
Uh, sorry JeffShuniak, but that's the most confusing thing I ever heard of. To each his own!
In either case, notation or tablature, I really really like it when they include the upstroke and downstroke picking symbols (or bowing symbols for us violinists).

Feb-13-2004, 2:59pm
I dont explain things well.....

I am trying to teach my seven year old nephew to play, and I realize how much of teacher I AM NOT.

I guess thats why "you" go to school to teach. #I dont really know the exact mechanism I used to learn the ledger lines, but I know that now I glance up there and I see the lines in thirds, I , without conscious effort, see the same stave system at work up there... the ledger lines ascend, descend in thirds.... you do do that right? you probably just dont think about it. you know that third line up, is the E, right? the fifth one is the B, you just know,

I do remember learing bass clef, I just got used to where the F was , and the C of course, figured out eventually its the same system bumped down a third and an octave.

I think I am weird though, I never liked every good boy does fine, or face, no no no. I just like finding one note, and then following the lines and spaces up, I have found that that makes no sense to many people.

Feb-13-2004, 3:22pm
I learned to read music playing violin with no frets.
When I read music notation, I don't directly hear the music in my head. Instead, my brain translates the visual image directly into a finger-position. The sounds that my fingers create often surprise me when I'm sight reading a tune for the first time; yet I'm an excellent sight reader. For me, the music notation is just a fingering pattern making device. I can't read music and sing worth a hoot because I don't hear the music in my head from looking at the music notation. I don't suggest others learn to "read" music this way.

Feb-13-2004, 9:56pm
Lee, I hear ya. I've played violin/fiddle too since I was around 9 yrs old and when I see a note I go straight for the fingering w/out thinking of the note. But I also sing, so I have a clue (but not a HUGE clue) about that. I've only been playing mando for 1.5 months, so I'm tryin to transfer violin knowledge over. I'm okay on the left hand melodic things, but still need to work on right hand technique desperately (sp?) and I'm pretty clueless when it comes to chords (altho I do like to experiment w/ 2 finger chords). I'm actually enjoying 2 string double stops in place of full chords. I'm a faithful co-mando (even w/ crazy discussions of the last week) and I thought the flash cards would not be a great benefit for me, but I realized that my knowledge of notes ABOVE the treble staff are still "iffy." <<high C and above>> THANKS COMANDO!! LOVE YOU GUYS!!


Feb-13-2004, 9:58pm
ve had a little too much wine tonight so if my post doesn't make much sense please forgive me. I'm listening to Robinella and the CC string band.... ahhhhhh that's nice.

Feb-14-2004, 9:51am
Dana, I'm the same way. Melody lines are easy but the chords come slow. And my right hand technique is nowhere. I've found Mickey Cochrans "Crosspicking" book helpful, published by Mel Bay. Check it out.

Feb-14-2004, 10:40am
I 2nd Lee's vote for Cochrane's Crosspicking book. I'm working trough it (sloooowly) and finding it most helpful.

Feb-16-2004, 3:00pm
I wonder if this could be transformed into a screensaver?


Jun-16-2011, 4:43pm
The link is dead. Any clue where I can find the flashcards now? I think they would rally help me. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

Bill Snyder
Jun-16-2011, 9:20pm
Try THIS LINK. (http://web.archive.org/web/20040405013746/http://www.co-mando.com/techniques/flashcards/index.php)

Jun-17-2011, 6:10pm
Haven't found any of the links to work. However, I endured a number of years
in my young life being forced to take piano lessons. Flash Cards to help build
music reading skills were the norm. At least about 100 years ago when I took
piano lessons. I see them at yard/garage sales, and I'm betting there are at
least 2 sets in my parent's piano bench. Look around I think you'll find them;
music stores that have old sheet music, public schools that are selling old stuff, etc.

Jun-17-2011, 9:35pm
I cannot get this co-mando site to boot and stay up. It comes up for 1-2 seconds max and then disappears. Any ideas to help me out.

If you're limping along in learning standard notation because you're just too lazy to sit down and do it (which is the only excuse I have) there's a new painless resource from John Baxter. Take a look.


Jun-17-2011, 9:42pm
Try THIS LINK. (http://web.archive.org/web/20040405013746/http://www.co-mando.com/techniques/flashcards/index.php)

Very neat trick :)

Jun-17-2011, 9:45pm
Try THIS LINK. (http://web.archive.org/web/20040405013746/http://www.co-mando.com/techniques/flashcards/index.php)

Yay! Thanks! The link worked perfectly for me. If any one knows where to get a hard copy of these flashcards I would love to pick up a set.

Jun-17-2011, 9:45pm
Try the new link by Bill Synder.

Jun-17-2011, 9:47pm
I cannot get this co-mando site to boot and stay up. It comes up for 1-2 seconds max and then disappears. Any ideas to help me out.

Try the new link by Bill Synder.

Jun-18-2011, 1:20am
Great! Works just fine. Thanks so much for your help.


Mar-06-2013, 6:26pm
Downloadable and printed Mandolin flash cards available here:

Mandolin flash cards (http://www.moraneducation.com/Mandolin)

Mar-18-2013, 5:45am
Sorry about the dead link for Mandozine Flash Cards page. It's here:


Chip Booth
Mar-18-2013, 10:14am
I am not sure why the "mandola" cards are in bass clef. That would work well for mandocello. Maybe that's one of those European naming differences??

Mar-18-2013, 10:56am
When I read music notation, I don't directly hear the music in my head.

I used to have the same problem, particularly with piano, guitar and banjo. With mando, one of the first times I played with a group, the leader told everyone to close their books and play by ear. He played a tune, phrase by phrase and the ensemble (all adults, different instruments) played the melody back to him. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. It almost made me want to break my mandolin into little pieces and take up an instrument that you couldn't tell whether it was in tune or not.

Like nearly everyone, I learned to read standard notation, and I could sort of approximate the melody in my head by reading the music, but not reliably. Even that didn't mean that I could go from melody in my head to any position on the fretboard. But this guys advice--which I have religiously followed since--has changed that. Now, after a little more than a year, I'm finding my fingers going to places on the fretboard as I'm rehearsing a melody in my head. It's freaky, but awesome. I recommend it highly.

As he said, what you do is play the melody from the sheet music until you know what it sounds like. Then close the music and play without. There are various ideological reasons to do this. But the main reason is--it connects your ear to your fingers!

Mar-18-2013, 11:53am