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Mandolin Mondays #72 w/ Special Guest Don Julin

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Creator of Mandolins Heal the World, Don Julin is here with us this week playing a sweet Led Zeppelin song on his Airline Electric Mandola.

Don Julin is a Michigan-based performer and instructor who has been at the forefront of mandolin education for many years. In 2012, Don wrote and released the popular mandolin learning resource, Mandolins for Dummies--a veritable smorgasbord of mandolin history, exercises, techniques, and tunes for any mandolin nerd out there. He's been featured on staff at some of the premier mandolin workshops in the country, including Rockygrass Academy, the Mandolin Symposium, and many others. And more recently, Don started the new online mandolin video lesson platform, Mandolins Heal the World.

Don Julin gives us the scoop on his video: "Here is my arrangement of The Rain Song from Led Zeppelin’s fifth album entitled Houses Of The Holy. This album was one of the LP’s I purchased with my own money from my very first summer job. It can be fun to go back to a song or an album from your past and see if it “holds up”. I liked LZ when I was 14 and still like them now at 56. This stripped-down, fairly easy to play, abridged arrangement is loosely based on the electric guitar part. The original recording was quite layered including acoustic guitar, bass, drums, and two string orchestra parts played on a mellotron and of course Robert Plant’s lead vocal. It was also over seven minutes long.

I am playing an Airline Electric Mandola strung G-D-A-E with single strings. This setup gives it a low pitched electric guitar type of timbre with a lot of sustain, but still tuned in fifths. The signal chain for you gear junkies is as follows: Airline Electric Mandola - MXR Dynacomp - MXR Phase 90 - Boss RE-20 effects pedal - 1950’s Harmony Amplifier (H204)."

Connect with Don for more info about his music at the links below:

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  1. Mandolin Cafe's Avatar
    ... reaches over, switches on lava lamp.

    Welcome, Don!
    Updated May-15-2017 at 12:29pm by Mandolin Cafe
  2. Chanmandolin's Avatar
    That dog is very passed out on the couch ! Lol Nice playing Don!
  3. JimRichter's Avatar
    Very good Donnie. One of most fun duets I've done the last few years was you and I and Rain Song at Mandolin Camp

  4. MandoAblyss's Avatar
    I had thought there were overtone/tuning issues with mag pickup-amplified string courses (doubled), hence Mandocaster is four strings. But that was absolutely lovely, majestic, transcendent! Sigh, pros can milk music from a log, and tune perfectly. Thanks, Don. That tune is embedded deeply in all of us of a certain age and place.
  5. goose 2's Avatar
    That's a beautiful rendition of one of my favorite Les Zeppelin sones. I too bought Houses of the Holy with my morning paper route money and still listen to that album often today. Thanks for sharing this!