View Full Version : Learn to Play Irish Tenor Banjo and Mandolin

Jun-21-2011, 9:26am
The Mandolin Cafe has posted the following news release:
Learn to Play Irish Tenor Banjo and Mandolin

Mel Bay, Inc. has announced the publication of a new instructional DVD entitled "Learn to Play Irish Tenor Banjo and Mandolin," by Seamus Egan from the Lark In The Morning series.


NOTE: You may use your board membership to comment on news articles published by the Mandolin Cafe. Your comments will appear here and also will be appended to the end of the news article for public viewing. Standard board membership posting guidelines apply. The addition of images, videos, links and BB coding is turned OFF for this area so as not to compete with or interfere with the news item.

Steve L
Jun-21-2011, 7:41pm
I think this video has been around for quite a while and the old packaging had a picture of the instructor which would indicate it may not be the Seamus Egan many might suppose. It could well be a great product from a wonderful artist, this just strikes me as a bit odd.

Jun-22-2011, 1:08am
Well let's clear that up then - I'm assuming that this is the Seamus Egan from the band Solas. Does anybody out there know differently?

Jun-22-2011, 3:35am
I'm afraid I can't clear it up - but I do know that the other Seamus Egan (who lives in Portland OR I think) did do a VHS video on how to play Irish banjo once. It's possible that this is a DVD reissue of that. Assuming (perhaps wrongly) it is, I haven't seen the VHS, but I have heard Seamus Egan (the Portland one, not the Solas one) play, and he's a really great player. If you want to check out his playing look for "In Your Ear" a CD he recorded a while back.


Jun-22-2011, 3:41am
Not sure whose this is, but "West Coast Seamus" is also a spectacular player- "In Your Ear" is one of my most played trad albums.

Jun-22-2011, 3:54am
Solas Seamus was born in the US, then moved to Ireland at an early age (his parents were born there), so based on the info listed, this must be West Coast Seamus.

Steve L
Jun-22-2011, 4:43am
This was my issue. I'm pretty sure this thing features the Portland Seamus Egan, but I think most folks would assume it's the Solas Seamus Egan. I'm not implying anything about the other Mr. Egan, and if Dan says he's great you can take that to the bank. It's just in the old Lark catologues there's a picture of the artist on the cover which removed the ambiguity. I think this thing is not new and not the Seamus Egan you'd expect if you bought the product. I guess if it's jus tcome out on DVD it could be called new, but the marketing of this feels "off" to me.

Mel Bay sells or sold a book published by Waltons on the bouzouki with a recording. The stuff thats printed in the book is NOT the stuff the bouzouki player is doing on the recording, they just print the melody of the tune he's backing which defeats the purpose of the book.

Fred G
Jun-22-2011, 7:41am
This is the "US West Coast" Seamus, but that is what I was expecting. I inquired with Lark some time ago about the out of print VHS and they told me it would come out on DVD. 6 weeks ago i got an e-mail and purchased it. The content is really good however the production value is not very good. The video looks like they just did a computer transfer from a VHS player. As I said thought the content is good and like Dan, "in your ear" is one of my most played CDs so I decided to keep it and use it. I am not sure what part Mel Bay is playing in this except maybe some marketing/distribution.

Cathal Whelehan
Jun-23-2011, 7:43am
Thanks to all above who recommended "In Your Ear".. I hadn't heard of it before and after listening to a few track snippets on iTunes I've since downloaded the album. It really is excellent!

Quite interested in getting this DVD, too, as I feel I can never have enough instruction. The only thing stopping me at the moment is that the Mel Bay site seems rather vague regarding the disc specs. Is it for NTSC or PAL TV systems? They don't even state a region code.

I'd be grateful if someone who's familiar with Mel Bay products could give me an idea what the standard spec is. To date I've only ever had books from them.

Many thanks, Cathal

Jun-23-2011, 3:24pm
I've got the West Coast Seamus VHS and while the content is good, the production values are not. This DVD may be the same. Mel Bay often markets independent works - the Murphy Method DVDs are a good example - and takes a cut. If it is the same video I will be disappointed because I already have it and could have transferred it myself for a lot less than $30.

Jun-23-2011, 3:43pm
Please, is there any sheet music and/or Tab included with the DVD??



Cathal Whelehan
Jun-24-2011, 7:42am
I very much doubt it, but then I assume the dvd is more about learning techniques than tunes.

If you go to www.thesession.org/tunes/ (use the search function there) you can get ABC notation for all of the tunes listed on the ad. Load the ABC into a programme like "ABC Navigator" and it will give you the corresponding sheet music.

Scott Tichenor
Jun-24-2011, 8:22am
Please, is there any sheet music and/or Tab included with the DVD??



Don't believe so. There's no mention of either on amazon or Mel Bay's page for the product. I think it's the video and that's it.

Fred G
Jun-24-2011, 8:35am
It does not come with any sheet music or tab.
and Mike, as I mentioned above when I tried to buy the VHS from Lark they told me it was out of print but would be coming out on DVD so I am 99.9% certain after watching it that is the same video transferred to DVD.

Jun-24-2011, 4:46pm
It is the same video as the VHS version (LAR028 now out of print.) The VHS did not come with any tabs or music either. At least now I won't jam up my VHS player :grin:

Jun-26-2011, 8:35pm
I went over the DVD today. It is highly posterized since it is just a copy of the tape. He plays a number of common tunes, but does not teach technique, per se, just asks you to play the way he does. He almost always starts triplets on the upstroke (like Angelina Carberry) and makes a deliberate point of not playing "pattern picking" (by which he means DUD DUD) in jigs. His ideas are quite good, more on the GO'C side of things and he picks tunes we all should know.

I think this is a good tape for an intermediate players who already has some skills and technique. The poor production values take away some of the fun but he certainly is worth listening to and watching. At $30 he is almost the same price as the GO'C CD-ROM from Elderly ($35) which probably offers more to the viewer.


Jul-08-2011, 2:08pm
A very belated Thank You to my Music/Tab included question. It is greatly appreciated.