View Full Version : Playing Bluegrass

Feb-15-2004, 2:48pm
I want to get more into the blue grass side of Mandolin playing. The skills and speed in Bluegrass is strikingly better then the Celtic in my area. Any advice on getting started? Are there any good instructional books or DVDs out? Also, what is a good way to get to know the Bluegrass guys in my area, so I can get some good training from them, and maybe jam a little with them.


Feb-15-2004, 2:55pm
Whats a good way to get to know the bluegrass guys in my area...go to the shows and attend every blugrass event held locally!http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Feb-15-2004, 2:57pm
I liked the book "Bluegrass Mandolin" from Oak publications. There are some others out there that are good but I havn't used them.

Where do you live? Up here in Washington theres a Washington Bluegrass Association that has a website listing some of the jams around, and going to those is a good way of meeting people. I'm sure there are other listings of jams for other states/locations.

Feb-15-2004, 4:28pm
thanks guys. I will have to find a few shows. I think my old guitar teachers dad is in the Blue grass sence, I will have to give him a holler.

Washington? Well, I think I'm to far away to join the Washington Bluegrass Association. I live in Jacksonville, Texas, near Tyler...:D But good idea, I will look up and see about some Associations in Texas.

John Flynn
Feb-15-2004, 4:43pm
I liked the book "Bluegrass Mandolin" from Oak publications
That is a fine book. I have it and I use it, but there is a caution about it that has been discussed multiple times here on the board. It seems like a beginner's book at first, but it gets advanced very fast. Also, the recording that goes with it does not cover all the tunes in the book and I understand that now the book is not even being sold with the recordings at all. For a beginner, I much prefer "Teach Yourself Bluegrass Mandolin" book/CD by Andy Statman. It will teach you 25 of the "standards" and each tune has a beginner's version and an intermediate "solo break" version. Also, it has "backup tracks" for each tune where the mando drops out and you can play the mando part with a backup band at a moderate pace.

Feb-15-2004, 6:01pm
Hmmm, I didn't get the cd with the book... Any idea how good Oak is, if I could tell them and if they'd send me one? I should've mentioned that I started out with a book called Learn to playe the Irish Mandolin (or something to that effect). It was the only mandolin book at the store when I got my first instrument so I got that and ordered the bluegrass mandolin later, so I wasn't a complete beginner (but close too). It does move quickly though.

Coy Wylie
Feb-15-2004, 6:02pm
I grew up 30 miles from where you live. Check around at local music store like Mundt and ask if they know where there are any jams. There are several festival each year in the East Texas area. BG is really growing down there.

There is a festival in Paris on March 19-20.

Feb-15-2004, 9:24pm
if the book you are talking about is by Jack Tottle, you can find the recording that goes with it here. (http://www.designstein.com/tottle.htm) I would also recommend Andy Statman's "Teach Yourself Bluegrass Mandolin". it was my first mandolin instruction and has served me well.

Feb-16-2004, 12:05am
Steve, thanks! I'm listening to it now, he really speeds up quickly, starts out really slow with the first two then kicks it up.

Feb-16-2004, 5:20am
I've been struggling with Teach Yourself Bluegrass Mandolin...it's not that I find it difficult, it's just I struggle to remember the notes...and at that speed. I've nearly got the first two down, and it's so satisfying to gradually get up to speed with it.

Feb-16-2004, 8:46am
Willard- Tyler, I guess? Yeah, I'll check out Mundt, ask them if they have any info. And I'll look for a few Blue Grass Fests here.

I will have to get "Teach Yourself Bluegrass Mandolin." It will at least get my speed up, having to keep up with him and all!

Feb-16-2004, 10:17am
There seems to quite a bit of BG/Oldtime activities in Woodville, southeast of Jasper, 50 miles northwest of Beaumont.

Coy Wylie
Feb-16-2004, 10:25am
Willard- Tyler, I guess? Yeah, I'll check out Mundt, ask them if they have any info. And I'll look for a few Blue Grass Fests here.
I haven't been to Tyler in a while but I was in the Mundt store in Longview on the Christmas holidays. I was surprised at their selection of mandos. There was this really nice A5 Flatiron...

Call around, I'm sure there are some jams close by you somewhere.

Feb-16-2004, 10:28am
Tibby, I think Ronnie the mando player with Hickory Hill lives in Jacksonville. He is one of the best players in Northeast Texas & a heck of a nice guy........ OK, this from their website.....

". Original member Ronny Singley retired from traveling with the group in the spring of 2002, but continues to maintain the band's website and occasionally joins the group at local venues."

Ronnie's Email address is available on the site & if he does give lessons please let me know.


Feb-16-2004, 5:22pm
I'll try and roll into WOodville sometime, see what I can find.

Willard- Yeah, Tyler has a few, maybe 20 or so. I will call around, maybe call my old Mando Teacher, see if him and his buddy's all get together and jam, and can I sit in, maybe join in a little.

Dale- Really? I'll have to look him up! Look like they are Playing at Roland's Next door in May. I've heard about Roland's. They have Celtic bands from time to time. Thanks for the site.

Feb-16-2004, 8:30pm
Where could I get just the CD for "Teach Yourself Bluegrass Mandolin" by Andy Statman? I've had the book for years but would like to get the CD.

Mark Normand
Feb-17-2004, 1:33pm
Hey Tibby, Woodville is the home of the TripleCreek RV park, which has jams going on most every weekend. Here's their webpage http://www.triplecreekrv.com/
Been there once, can't wait to go back. Very nice folks, lots of jamming.

Also, go here http://www.springcreekbluegrass.com/links.htm
and scroll down to the email for picknbow.
They put out a newsletter once a month that covers about every known festival and/or jam in the deep south. I keep a copy in my truck at all times.

Email me with any other questions if ya like.

Mark Normand
Lafayette, LA