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What Kind of Mandolin Should I Get?

Excerpted from Easy 2-Chord Songs for Mandolin by Wayne Erbsen, published by Native Ground Books & Music.  Unless a free mandolin just falls in your lap, you’ll need to purchase one. When you go shopping for a mandolin, I strongly suggest that you don’t buy a cheap one off of the Internet. Most of these cheapo instruments will… Read More »

lady banjo players c 1900

Playing Bluegrass Back-Up on Fiddle, Mandolin & Banjo

As you might guess, there are numerous differences between old-time and bluegrass music, although they share a lot of similarities too. In old-time music, the banjo, fiddle and mandolin generally play the melody all at the same time. During an old-time tune, the guitar generally refrains from playing the melody and concentrates on providing the… Read More »

Very Easy Mandolin Songs

Very Easy Mandolin Songs

The Internet is abuzz with people wanting to learn to play the mandolin. My guess is that you are one of them! Of course, you want to learn the easiest songs possible. Who wouldn’t? The songs that are the easiest to play are the tunes you already know. They’re the ones you’ve had in your… Read More »

How to Tune a Mandolin

How to Tune a Mandolin

Mandolins are fun to play, but they’re a pain in the you-know-what to tune. Why? Because the double strings are like quarreling siblings who never seem to agree with each other. Nonetheless, in this easy article, I will show you how to get your mandolin more or less in tune. As you already know, your… Read More »

How to Jam on the Mandolin

How to Jam on the Mandolin

By now you’ve learned to play a few tunes on the mandolin. You know some of your basic chords and you’d love to be able to play with other musicians in a jam, but you’re “chicken.” That’s because up to now, you’ve just been playing by yourself in the closet, so to speak. Well, it… Read More »

bluegrass-jamming-on-mandolin

Easy Two-Finger Mandolin Chords

Compared to the guitar, mandolin chords are EASY. In fact, most mandolin chords only use two fingers or sometimes only one. In the mandolin chord charts below, each horrizontal line represents a pair of mandolin strings. The E string is the one closest to the floor, as you hold your mandolin in playing position, and… Read More »

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