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Thread: Best Book for learning Mandolin

  1. #1

    Post Best Book for learning Mandolin

    I do not have any musical background what so ever. Picked up the mandolin 6 months ago. With great frustration and determination I've been able to turn the corner and am able to sound like I know what I'm doing. My husband gave me the Hal Leonard beginner book and it has been most helpful. Can anyone recommend any other books for me. I've been going online and printing off chords to practice. My husband plays guitar so that in itself has been beneficial to me to hear and play. The one thing I can say is that I never in my wildest dreams thought I'd be playing a mandolin!

  2. #2
    Registered User SincereCorgi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Book for learning Mandolin

    Mandolin for Dummies is a good starting point and resource, written by a Cafe member.

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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Book for learning Mandolin

    have a music style preference to work on?

    How about reading standard Notation?
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

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    Registered User zedmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Book for learning Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by SincereCorgi View Post
    Mandolin for Dummies is a good starting point and resource, written by a Cafe member.
    I've just taken this one, and the same author's Mandolin Exercizes for Dummies out of the library--and I am seriously considering getting my own copies of them--great books.
    Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?

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  8. #5
    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Book for learning Mandolin

    It's been my experience that the best book[s] are the ones that get used. I've seen a lot of musicians buy a lot of books/DVDs thinking one will be like a magic pill, when the truth is, most anything that is faithfully used will help. I personally like Allan Alexander's books, though they are tune books and not method books. I also like his attitude, which basically says that in order to improve one's playing, find music that you can't stop playing.
    "If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man's life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility." -Longfellow

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    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Book for learning Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleb View Post
    I also like his attitude, which basically says that in order to improve one's playing, find music that you can't stop playing.
    There is the real truth.
    Indulge responsibly!

    The entire staff
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  12. #7

    Default Re: Best Book for learning Mandolin

    I like bluegrass & Celtic. I know both are so very different. Will be concentrating more on the bluegrass. Trying to find the right book or dvd that will help me advance. I had purchased a beginner dvd from Homespun but it was very advanced. The instructor went way to fast and really did not explain anything just played music. I've learned more by listening to my husband pick guitar. Eventually, when time allows, I will try and find an instructor. Meanwhile, I'm trying to find as much useful information to advance my learning.

  13. #8
    Registered User Bigtuna's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Book for learning Mandolin

    For bluegrass, Roland Whites's book is great.

    http://www.rolandwhite.com/bluegrassmandolin.htm
    "They say the ocean, she is a woman, who waits for her man to come home." M.Houser

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    Registered User Martin Jonas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Book for learning Mandolin

    Simon Mayor: "The Mandolin Tutor". Readily available in the UK, but seems to be difficult to get in the US -- Elderly list it but say it's "out of stock (more coming soon)".

    Also check Nigel Gatherer's web site for a good introduction of the basics and a great selection of Celtic mandolin tabs.

    Martin

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  17. #10

    Default Re: Best Book for learning Mandolin

    [QUOTE=Martin Jonas;1381899]Simon Mayor: "The Mandolin Tutor". Readily available in the UK, but seems to be difficult to get in the US -- Elderly list it but say it's "out of stock (more coming soon)".

    Also check Nigel Gatherer's web site for a good introduction of the basics and a great selection of Celtic mandolin tabs.


    This is AWESOME!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing this information.

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    Default Re: Best Book for learning Mandolin

    I have learned a lot from Greg Horne's Beginning and Intermediate Mandolin books. The Advanced one, I am sure, will eventually be helpful for me.

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  20. #12
    Registered User sgrexa's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Book for learning Mandolin

    I agree with Caleb. I have bought many books and DVDs over the years and the most helpful by far were the beginners books written by Joe Carr, who sadly passed away only last December (RIP). His Mel Bay books are all very good, and some of his stuff is archived for free on jazzmando.

    http://jazzmando.com/new/archives/001993.shtml

    Sean

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  22. #13
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    Default Re: Best Book for learning Mandolin

    Six years ago I was at the same place you are at with no music background and first instrument. Tried to go the route of books and dvd's and made some progress. I strongly suggest you also consider lessons though. I was able to hack out tunes, but my technique was pretty bad on so many levels. It was also helpful to have specific answers as to the why of what I was playing musically. If you have a good instructor locally that is great. It is also very helpful to do Skype lessons if you have a good internet connection and computer. Keep up the good work!
    Mark

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  24. #14
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    Default Re: Best Book for learning Mandolin

    another aspect would be looking online. i can highly vouch for these two websites:

    artistworks with Mike Marshall, a wonderful way to learn

    mandolessons.com (a very very good site with tons of info especially for starting out)
    http://www.mandolessons.com/lessons/all-lessons/

    d

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  26. #15
    Shredded Cheese Authority Emmett Marshall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Book for learning Mandolin

    I must second darylcrisp on the Artistworks w/Mike Marshall for home learning. I had a private bluegrass teacher when I lived in Colorado, but then I moved to a place where, as far as I can tell, I'm probably the only detectable person within 100 miles who is playing the mandolin. To be completely candid, my teacher in Colorado was more interested in teaching Bluegrass than the mandolin anyway. He was 99% player and 1% teacher, and didn't care much about my technique either. I was pretty discouraged by the experience.

    On the other hand, Mike Marshall's online school has been a tremendous help for me. From day one, he's kind, but still a "taskmaster." He gets a little pissed if he is sent a video by a student who isn't sitting correctly, or holding the instrument properly. It may seem like just video sometimes, but the reality is that you're still getting lessons from one of the "best" there is, and he isn't "stuck on genre" either. For about $200 (US) a year, it's a real bargain in my opinion. With just an iphone, or something similar, I can send him videos of my struggles and he will fully critique them - along with solutions in usually less than 10 days. He also responds to email. I feel like I'm being guided by the best on my mandolin journey. In addition, how many people can subsequently brag that Mike Marshall was their mandolin teacher? (laughing)

    I've also found "Mandolin Method Complete (Book & MP3 CD) (Complete Method)" by Greg Horne to be a very good lesson book. I donated away most of the others I tried. It is divided in three sections, Beginning, Intermediate, and Mastering. I believe it is also a great value at about $20(US). I would recommend it to anyone who is on their own. Braid Laird, who is a member here I think, has also put some good eBooks on the internet. I also found them to be quite helpful. Brad goes into things that other books seems to ignore, or just touch upon. I would like to thank him in person someday for his "Mandolin Handbook." It's like an owner's manual for Mandolins.

    Good luck and happy picking!
    Last edited by Emmett Marshall; Mar-11-2015 at 12:49am. Reason: can't spell
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  28. #16

    Default Re: Best Book for learning Mandolin

    I do plan to take lessons. When things lighten up with my job (Administrator for a Nonprofit). There is someone in my neck of the woods that teaches. He also builds mandolins and has many many years experience. He came highly recommended. I am a bit bashful about playing around others. Guess I'll need to get over that. Will continue picking away. I try to learn something new everyday that I play. I will say this, I am truly devoted to learning this instrument.

  29. #17

    Default Re: Best Book for learning Mandolin

    For $20 you could try Banjo Ben, who also has lots of mandolin videos, for a month. He also has longer subscriptions if you find you like it.

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    Shredded Cheese Authority Emmett Marshall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Book for learning Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by PickingGal View Post
    I will say this, I am truly devoted to learning this instrument.
    You don't say? (laughing) You'll get over the "bashful" thing in due time. One thing I learned about learning the mandolin is that it has a "snowball" effect. The better you get, the more you want to play. The more you play, the better you get!
    Weber F5 Bitteroot Octave - "...romantic and very complicated."
    My instruments professionally maintained by...RSW
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7UmUX68KtE

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  33. #19
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    Default Re: Best Book for learning Mandolin

    Thumbs up for Brad Laird's eBooks. Highly recommended.

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    Registered User lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Book for learning Mandolin

    +1 for Mandolin for Dummies

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  37. #21
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    Default Re: Best Book for learning Mandolin

    I found Eddie Collins ASAP Bluegrass Mandolin to be super helpful. I liked the way the CD's would play the tracks through more than once to help keep the flow, which also meant less time to have to restart the track over (if that makes sense). Been recommending it to friends who are beginning, looking forward to hearing how it works for them. We all learn in different ways...

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    Registered User haggardphunk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Book for learning Mandolin

    Anyone know of a good one full of tabs/music for Bill Monroe tunes? I want to take my learning towards his stuff and really root myself in classic bluegrass.

    Also, I once saw a David Grisman book (being sold at a David Grisman show) but I didnt buy it. Wish I had. It was full of tabs and stories
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  41. #23
    Registered User zedmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Book for learning Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by emmettw View Post
    You don't say? (laughing) You'll get over the "bashful" thing in due time. One thing I learned about learning the mandolin is that it has a "snowball" effect. The better you get, the more you want to play. The more you play, the better you get!
    Funny how that works, isn't it.
    Would it save you a lot of time if I just gave up and went mad now?

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  43. #24
    Registered User stringsattached's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Book for learning Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by SincereCorgi View Post
    Mandolin for Dummies is a good starting point and resource, written by a Cafe member.
    Who ?
    ==================
    Ken

    Eastman Fan

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    Registered User Rick Jones's Avatar
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    Default Re: Best Book for learning Mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by Emmett Marshall View Post
    You don't say? (laughing) You'll get over the "bashful" thing in due time. One thing I learned about learning the mandolin is that it has a "snowball" effect. The better you get, the more you want to play. The more you play, the better you get!
    The other thing I have learned with both guitar and mandolin, or music in general - the more you learn, the more you realize you don't know. It truly is a never-ending journey. I have to keep stopping to remind myself it's not about the destination - you have to be enjoying the journey. There will be days when things just don't click - then the next day they'll be effortless. It's all part of the process.
    "I don't want to get technical or anything, but according to chemistry, alcohol actually IS a solution."

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