• Theory and Improvisation for the Modern Mandolinist, Volume 1

    Theory and Improvisation for the Modern MandolinistFenton, Mo. — Mel Bay Publications has announced the publication for Theory and Improvisation for the Modern Mandolinist, Volume 1 by Tommy Norris.

    Theory and Improvisation for the Modern Mandolinist is a two-book series that teaches improvisation in many musical styles along with theory concepts and how they apply to the mandolin.

    Volume 2 is scheduled for a release date no later than April, 2018.

    Each book provides access to different backing tracks and solo examples to help you learn. Every chapter includes scales presented in a variety of common formats: standard notation, tablature and fretboard charts.

    Volume 1, Building a Foundation, only requires that the reader can play notes and simple chords. It presents basic skills necessary for improvising over chord progressions found in all types of music.

    Sample solos and progressions are included at the end of each chapter to practice. Whether you play bluegrass, rock, pop or jazz, this book will take your solos to the next level. Includes access to online audio.

    Music is shown in standard notation and tablature.


    • Introduction
    • Basic Chord Theory
    • Chapter 1 - Major Triads and Chord Tones
    • Chapter 2 - Pentatonic Scales
    • Angeline the Baker
    • Chapter 3 - Basic Minor Chords
    • Minor Pentatonic Scales
    • Wayfaring Stranger
    • Chapter 4 - Passing Tones
    • Minor Pentatonic Blues Scales
    • The G Run and Other Licks
    • Billy in the Lowground
    • Chapter 5 - Adding the Dominant 7th
    • The Blues
    • Chapter 6 - The Major Scale
    • Blackberry Blossom
    • Chapter 7 - The Minor Scale
    • Chapter 8 - Changing Open Keys
    • Chapter 9 - Closed Position and Moving Up the Neck
    • Visual Fretboard
    • Triads
    • Pentatonic Scales
    • Passing Tones
    • Dominant 7th
    • Major and Minor Scales
    • Chapter 10 - Mandolin Technique
    • Appendix

    Additional Information

    Comments 4 Comments
    1. Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
      Mandolin Cafe -
      For those of you not familiar with Tommy's fantastic playing, he was Mandolin Mondays guest #94. I'd have to think this will be an outstanding work.

    1. mandroid's Avatar
      mandroid -
      Compare / contrast with Ohmson's handling of the subject matter?

      (other than the local copy shop like ring bound binding look)
    1. mandroid's Avatar
      mandroid -
    1. Christian Flanagan's Avatar
      Christian Flanagan -
      Let's not stop at the binding. I think Mr. Ohmson fancies himself a writer. I own his book and have spent time reading it. He's not a writer. The text is pretty brutal and there's way too much of it. Mr. Norris does have writing skills or a good editor. Modern fonts, clear graphics, lots of support audio in addition to the text, Mr. Norris' book is well done.