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Thread: First song to learn on mandolin

  1. #1

    Question First song to learn on mandolin

    Hi there

    What are the first songs to learn on mandolin? I'm looking for easy songs for beginners.

    TIA
    Music enthusiast and owner of All Stringed

  2. #2

    Default Re: First song to learn on mandolin

    Here is a link to some great lessons - note the beginner stuff at the top

    https://www.mandolessons.com/lessons/all-lessons/

    Amazing Grace is something everyone knows and is pretty easy, also Wildwood Flower is a great song

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  4. #3

    Default Re: First song to learn on mandolin

    I taught my wife Angeline the Baker as her first tune. She had a few banjo lessons but is not very strong musically and picked it up in a couple of days. It was also the first tune I picked out on mandolin but I already knew it on guitar.

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  6. #4
    Pittsburgh Bill
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    Default Re: First song to learn on mandolin

    Rhythm. Blow’n in the Wind (chord changes very recognizable)

    Most Hank Williams tunes are easy play for melody or rhythm.

    Melody : Beatles “Yesterday” (don’t try this for rhythm)

    When I first started many people recommended a book by Bruce Dix. I bought the book but found almost nothing I had ever heard. Just my humble opinion. Hopefully you will get many recommendations more suitable than mine. These are just what worked for me.
    Stiver A style (MAS has stopped here)
    Kentucky KM-950
    Keith Edward Coleman A style, oval hole Mandola
    Weber Gallatin A Mandola "D hole"
    Rogue 100A (current campfire tool)
    Harley Benton A style (grandchildren's learner)

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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: First song to learn on mandolin

    One you can sing ?
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

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  10. #6
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: First song to learn on mandolin

    This question depends entirely on what sort of music you want to play. I learned simple Italian tunes first.

    Most other mandolin players in the USA seem to play other musical styles first.

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  12. #7

    Default Re: First song to learn on mandolin

    A simple tune, but one appropriate for these last several months, would be the first tune I learned from my father over 60 years ago: The Chinese Breakdown.

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    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
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    Default Re: First song to learn on mandolin

    If you're an absolute beginner and want something really simple, a standard first tune for violin and fiddle (tuned the same as a mandolin) students is "Twinkle, Twinkle." Undoubtedly, you know the tune. Start by picking twice on the G string then pick twice on the D string. It's easy to work out from there without written music or tabs, just by finding the right sounds. When you've got it, repeat, starting on D and moving to A this time. It won't be your show-off piece five years from now, but it'll give you a sense of accomplishment, and familiarize you with the mandolin's tuning, in fifths.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

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  16. #9

    Default Re: First song to learn on mandolin

    Thank you very much for your answers!

    To recap (and note to myself):
    - Amazing Grace
    - Angeline the Baker
    - Rhythm: Blow’n in the Wind
    - Most Hank Williams tunes
    - Melody: Beatles “Yesterday”
    - The Chinese Breakdown
    - Twinkle, Twinkle.
    Music enthusiast and owner of All Stringed

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    Dan Scullin dscullin's Avatar
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    Default Re: First song to learn on mandolin

    Soldier’s Joy in the key of D was my first tune.
    Dan Scullin
    Louisville, KY

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  19. #11
    bon vivant jaycat's Avatar
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    Default Re: First song to learn on mandolin

    This old favorite is a good one to start out with.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    "The paths of experimentation twist and turn through mountains of miscalculations, and often lose themselves in error and darkness!"
    --Leslie Daniel, "The Brain That Wouldn't Die."

    Some tunes: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa1..._as=subscriber

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  21. #12
    String-Bending Heretic mandocrucian's Avatar
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    Default Re: First song to learn on mandolin

    Eruption
    Giant Steps
    Ornithology
    Peaches in Regalia
    The Claw
    Limerock
    Wild Thing


    (just goofin' on you!)

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  23. #13
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: First song to learn on mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by mandocrucian View Post
    Eruption
    Giant Steps
    Ornithology
    Peaches in Regalia
    The Claw
    Limerock
    Wild Thing


    (just goofin' on you!)
    Niles, I thought you were going to recommend he tune into his inner jukebox. I was thinking about quoting you on that one!

    Sue

  24. #14
    Registered User Sue Rieter's Avatar
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    Default Re: First song to learn on mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by jaycat View Post
    This old favorite is a good one to start out with.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    That's pretty darned funny

  25. #15

    Default Re: First song to learn on mandolin


    I will print it and put it on the wall in my bedroom :-))
    Music enthusiast and owner of All Stringed

  26. #16

    Default Re: First song to learn on mandolin

    Yeah, that's the same one I started out with. Piece of cake.

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  28. #17
    Registered User Bobby Hall's Avatar
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    Default Re: First song to learn on mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by jaycat View Post
    This old favorite is a good one to start out with.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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  29. #18
    Hands of Pot Metal
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    Default Re: First song to learn on mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by jaycat View Post
    This old favorite is a good one to start out with.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	faerie's aire.jpg 
Views:	110 
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ID:	188471
    The B part always gave me trouble, the A part wasn't so bad
    Play it like you mean it

    Not all the clams are at the beach

    Arrow G
    Clark 2 point
    Ratliff CountryBoy A
    00-21 (voiced by Eldon Stutzman)

  30. #19

    Default Re: First song to learn on mandolin

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinRikk View Post
    Thank you very much for your answers!

    To recap (and note to myself):
    - Amazing Grace
    - Angeline the Baker
    - Rhythm: Blow’n in the Wind
    - Most Hank Williams tunes
    - Melody: Beatles “Yesterday”
    - The Chinese Breakdown
    - Twinkle, Twinkle.
    I am mainly working on playing fiddle these days, but I was thinking about this from that perspective recently, and I would recommend someone learn songs that will easily translate to picking up other tunes. From that perspective I think Angeline is a great choice as is Amazing Grace. You can play them in A, then move them to another key fairly easily by moving over a string and then learn them in G, also fairly easily. I think if you get those two songs in A, you can transition to a ton of other songs. Also, you can sing along with either one, so there is another skill you can work on with your two base foundational songs. Just my thought.

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    Ranald 

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