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Thread: Mandolin Cafe chord book?

  1. #1

    Default Mandolin Cafe chord book?

    Hello all,

    This is a long shot, but I seem to recall having bought (10+ years ago) a magazine size spiral-bound black-and-white chord/scale book that for some reason I recall as being sold by Mandolin Cafe or associated with it in some way. I can't find anything answering to that description on abebooks.com, but I thought I would double check here (in the off chance that I'm not just totally mis-remembering everything, which seems to happen more and more lately). It was a great book and I'd like to track down another copy. Any help is appreciated - including recommendations for other good books of the same kind!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe chord book?

    We've never authored a book on that topic. Possible it was something made available for purchase by someone on our classifieds though or as a PDF download. Possibly someone else that was around might remember. Anyone?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe chord book?

    Was it the MandoZine Chord Book?
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  5. #4
    Registered User Bob Visentin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe chord book?


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  7. #5

    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe chord book?

    Yes, it was the MandoZine chord book! Thank you!

  8. #6

    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe chord book?

    Now I remember

    Originally published in 2000.

    I wrote just the intro to the book with the first essential chords you should start with, a fairly minor contribution. John Baxter of Mandozine was the author and did 99.9% of the work. It was initially self-published but ultimately picked up by Mel Bay and published as the Deluxe Encylopedia of Mandolin Chords. Available on amazon and Mel Bay. You might be able to get it cheapest at Mel Bay with all of the substantial holiday discounts they're offering.

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  9. #7

    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe chord book?

    Elderly has it in stock, you should buy from them because they’re awesome. NFI.

    https://www.elderly.com/deluxe-encyc...lin-chords.htm
    Gunga......Gunga.....Gu-Lunga

  10. #8

    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe chord book?

    Great, I had no idea that Mel Bay had published - but not surprising. I remember it as being a great book!

    And I've been sending money to Elderly all month, won't hurt to give a little more.

  11. #9
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    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe chord book?

    So I was looking into this chord book, and I see the A chord (in spite of many, many options) doesn't show the A major chord I use most commonly for chopping (9-7-4-5). So I thought I'd check the G major chord -- same thing! No such 7-5-2-3, which I thought (as a novice player) was the basic entry-level BG chop chord. I was thinking about asking the big kids why this was. Then I saw this in the advert for the book: "Provides a set of fundamental "map" chords to start you in bluegrass rhythm playing." What even does that mean?!?! What are "fundamental 'map' chords" and are they something I should be learning instead of or before I learn(ed) chop chords?

  12. #10
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe chord book?

    Quote Originally Posted by RickPick View Post
    I was thinking about asking the big kids why this was.
    I'm not sure what this means, are you referring to the authors? John Baxter, Scott Tichenor? You can PM either of those guys here to ask questions of them, but maybe that's not what you meant? I'm not one of the "big kids", just a 62 year old guy learning to play mandolin (not solely bluegrass), but I have some thoughts. If those 4-finger stretch chop chords are not shown anywhere in the book, well, that does seem a bit strange - but as to the question of getting someone started in bluegrass (or other) rhythm playing, I'd say there are alternate chords for A and G that can be chopped that may be easier for newbies or for folk with smaller hands to get started with, and that can be easily mapped all around the neck. Maybe that's what they meant.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
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  13. #11
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe chord book?

    I checked my own chord book after reading RickPick's question, and found that on the main chord pages it doesn't give the common chop chord shapes he mentions either. My chord book is The Mandolin Chord Bible by Tobe Richards, I bought it because it gives a quick reference to the intervals fretted for each chord on each string marked below each chord diagram. I don't use it much, it's just a reference tool. But this book contains "2,736 chords" yet it doesn't show those shapes. Obviously, it's not exhaustive, and it only shows six shapes for each major chord. I myself play at least 6 different shapes for the A chord, including the one you mention, and not all the ones shown in Richards' book.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
    "Life is short. Play hard." - AlanN
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    HEY! The Cafe has Social Groups, check 'em out. I'm in these groups:
    Newbies Social Group | The Song-A-Week Social
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    - Advice For Mandolin Beginners
    - YouTube Stuff

  14. #12
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    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe chord book?

    Yes, Mark, YOU and many others on this site are "the big kids"!! And if you click on the link in Bob V's post and then click on the left on, say, A chord, you'll see that exhaustive diagram, but not the most common one I've learned. I've got a lot of chord charts in the back of mando instruction and tune books, but never made much use of them unless I needed to play an unfamiliar minor chord perhaps. I thought they were maybe useful for jazz mando or a type of BG way beyond what I'll ever achieve. But lately I've been pointed to the value of 3-finger chords for playing melody and double-stops, so now I'm wondering what the heck's going on with my use of chop chords. Maybe I'm seriously missing something? And maybe you are right about the meaning of "fundamental 'map' chords". It beats me!

  15. #13

    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe chord book?

    Again, I was not the author, only a minor contributor, but the "map" you're talking about is simply the way Mel Bay chose to talk about the book, possibly because I used the word map as a metaphor in the small part I wrote.

    Here's my concern about books like this. You're brand new, you get a book and it has 800 or 1,000 chords. That's completely overwhelming, so when John asked if I wanted to contribute I told him I'd like to provide key starter chords to shortcut the maze of too many choices. That isn't a criticism... there's a lot of learn with a resource like this, but for a beginner it can be daunting.

    The G and A chop chords are indeed in the section of the book I contributed. You can confirm that in the online previews on amazon that allows you to look through the book. As far as the rest of the book I can't speak for that because I don't have a copy.

    Here's what I wrote back in 2000: "Planning on attending an out of state bluegrass festival this year? Unless you know exactly how to get there you'll certainly want a map with basic directions to guide you to your destination.

    "Likewise, if you want to learn to be a bluegrass rhythm player it helps to have a guide or a "map" to take you through the initial learning stage. To help you in that effort, we've provided a small but powerful set of starter used in this style of music." --snip--


    Copy and paste from amazon, written by Mel Bay in their description with map highlighted.

    This encyclopedia is designed to provide mandolin players with a wide variety of chords in different voicings. This book is intended as both a starting point of learning chord voicings and patterns, as well as a dictionary of common mandolin chords. Each key section includes the first position scale for that key, as well as the chord formula and notes for each chord. If you want to learn to be a bluegrass rhythm player it helps to have a guide or "map"to take you through the initial learning stage. This book provides a small but powerful set of starter chords used in this style of music. Once these chords are learned, you'll be able to jam with other musicians in no time. These are the same chords used by greats like Bill Monroe, Doyle Lawson, David Grisman and hundreds of other bluegrass players in this genre. While there are only a few chords presented in the "map" section, they form the foundation of bluegrass mandolin and with them you can play literally thousands of songs in every key. Chords are presented by key.

  16. #14
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    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe chord book?

    Thanks for this. It makes perfect sense! I THOUGHT I'd been jamming with other musicians (not exactly in "no time," but jamming nonetheless!) And after the easy two-finger chords didn't produce much of a BG sound, I moved on to 4-finger chop chords. Now I'm trying to go ahead from here (and having a great time doing it, with this site's copious assistance). I see also that on the left margin, where I suggested clicking on A chord, you can also click on "Movable Chords" and there are the familiar 4-finger chop chords! And Mark, I just wish I'd had the wisdom to take up mandolin at the age of 62! I might be decent by now, but I doubt I could enjoy it any more than I do....

  17. #15

    Default Re: Mandolin Cafe chord book?

    I use an app called guitar toolkit. It has an option to change to mandolin tuning and it will show just about any chord in positions up the neck or I can use the search mode where I put notes on the string and it tells me what chord it is...it’s pretty helpful and I reference it say when I’m on a C chord up the neck and think...now where IS that pesky G chord hiding out around here...

    As far as a “map” the mandolin is laid out in a logical way so if you know where a 1 or 4 or 5 or 6, etc...chord is it’s easy to find the others, heck John Moore has his “L” pattern and he taught Thiele so I’d say it’s a good thing to know.

    And, I’ve seen plenty of pros and jammers alike use those 2 finger chords to get a big chop with (seems it’s more a right hand thing) so just remember...it’s music and if you get to thinking too strictly about how it’s “supposed” to be done you’re limiting yourself. Have fun!
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