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Thread: More on August Watters’ Exploring Classical Mandolin

  1. #1
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Jun 2017
    Shutesbury, MA

    Default More on August Watters’ Exploring Classical Mandolin

    I have commented on this book once or twice in other threads, but as I get increasingly familiar with it I feel the need to restate how informative and useful this book is. If you are just starting to explore classical mandolin, like me, I believe this is the single most important book you can buy - especially if you are not fortunate enough to be a trained classical musician. Why? Part 1 on technique is the single best “please put me in the ballpark” survey and explanation of classical techniques I have ever seen. You will walk away from it with a substantial understanding of the historical background and mechanics of the techniques. With this “big picture” in mind your understanding of and reasoning for exploring and concentrating on certain techniques will be very solid. People like me, hobbyists lacking higher musical education, suffer from not knowing where to begin - which can lead to many false starts and confusion - and for that audience especially this book is an absolute treasure. Part 2 on literature of the classical mandolin gives you a superb survey of the music. The commentaries and on-line audios are simply great. I love Part 3 which are various arrangements of non-mandolin literature, by Mr. Watters, for mandolin. They are so, so helpful. For example, I have always wanted to learn Bach’s Sarabande from Partita 2. Mr. Watters’ arrangement, his fingering, has made that piece far more accessible for my feeble brain - I am very excited about that.
    I think my gushing is a bit clumsy, but I am trying to say that, in my opinion, Mr. Watters “gets” what it takes to communicate a subject. I think he has a real gift for communicating to his audience. For me this book is a pedagogical triumph. I really recommend it!

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674 (Thomastik 154-M strings)
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    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia (Dogal R92-M strings)

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  3. #2
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    Nov 2002
    So Oregon

    Default Re: More on August Watters’ Exploring Classical Mandolin


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  5. #3
    Registered User
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    Oct 2012
    Indepndence OR

    Default Re: More on August Watters’ Exploring Classical Mandolin

    Also agreed; an easy going book that does not go too fast for a novice but still has valuable material for more experienced players. I must also recommend August's excellent (and only modern!) book on the mandocello, a much neglected instrument in the mandolin family.

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  7. #4

    Default Re: More on August Watters’ Exploring Classical Mandolin

    I recently picked it up. Interesting suggestions for picking patterns. Not simply the down/up altering stroke. I can see this useful for a fluid style necessary in some classical and general melodic musics.
    2017 Eastman MD805/V mandolin
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