THE ADVANCING MANDOLINIST
with Joe K. Walsh

Sponsored By

About This Course

Explore all the modern mandolin techniques, from tremolo, chords and double stops, and soloing and improvisation tips, with plenty of bluegrass, old-time and swing tunes to keep you moving forward.

JOE K. WALSH

Hailed by Nashville’s Music Row magazine for his “lickety-split mandolin work” and by Vintage Guitar magazine as “brilliant,” Portland, Maine-based Joe K. Walsh is emerging as one of the best mandolinists of his generation. 

Joe_Walsh_Press_Shot.jpg

Walsh is known for his exceptional tone and taste, and his collaborations with acoustic music luminaries, including legendary fiddler Darol Anger, flatpick guitar hero Scott Nygaard, folk legend Jonathan Edwards, and pop/grass darlings Joy Kills Sorrow, have taken him all over the musical and figurative map. He’s played with everyone from John Scofield to Bela Fleck to Emmylou Harris, and performed everywhere from bluegrass festivals to laundromats to Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. After a number of years helping bluegrass supergroup the Gibson Brothers rise to the top of the bluegrass world, Joe now splits his time between a group with Grant Gordy and Darol Anger called Mr Sun and a trio with Brittany Haas and Owen Marshall.

An avid mandolin educator, Joe is a mandolin instructor at the Berklee College of Music. He teaches regularly at music camps throughout North America and beyond, and has taught hundreds of students near his home in Portland, Maine. Joe is also co-director of the Berklee American Roots Festival camp in Boston and the Ossipee Valley String Camp in Maine. 

skinnyelephantmusic.com

 
 

The Advancing Mandolinist Overview

Latest Mandolin Lesson

Telluride

Contemporary mandolin guru David Grisman recorded the tune “Telluride” on his 20th-anniversary recording DGQ20. You’ll learn the melody, a harmony part, and Grisman’s solo to “Telluride” in this lesson. With Notation/Tab and Play-Along Track

Feedback and Discussion

Let Joe know what you think of the course and interact with fellow Advancing Mandolinists.

Peghead Play-Along Tracks

Peghead Nation is creating a library of accompaniment videos (and downloadable MP3s) for songs and tunes that are taught on the site, classics that you'll find at many jams and picking parties. As a subscriber, you have access to this library and can use the tracks to practice playing tunes and songs at a slow or medium tempo with guitar accompaniment. New songs will be added regularly. 

Mandolin Lessons

Subscribe to The Advancing Mandolinist for access to all these mandolin lessons and new material every month! All mandolin lessons include notation and tablature

MANDOLIN TECHNIQUE

    Chord Boot Camp

  • Chord Boot Camp, Part 1: G-Shape Chords Joe shows you how to take the basic open-G chord shape to create major chords—as well as minor, dominant seventh, major seventh, and minor seventh chords—in any key anywhere on the neck.
  • Chord Boot Camp, Part 2: C-Shape Chords Use the open-C chord shape to create major, minor, dominant seventh, major seventh, and minor seventh chords in any key. 
  • Chord Boot Camp, Part 3: D-Shape Chords Use the open-D chord shape to create major, minor, dominant seventh, major seventh, and minor seventh chords in any key. 
    Pick Technique
  • Pick Technique, Part 1: Down-Up Picking Learn alternating picking, in which you play downstrokes on the 1, 2, 3, and 4 beats of every 4/4 measure of and upstrokes on the ands between the beats.
  • Pick Technique, Part 2: String Crossing One of the trickiest things to get right is string crossing, the motion of the pick as it moves from string to string. Learn simple exercises to practice your string crossings.
    Arpeggios Everywhere
  • Arpeggios Everywhere, Part 1: Two Basic Patterns Sample Lesson Arpeggios are the notes of a chord played one at a time. Learn two positions you can use as templates to give you major or minor arpeggios anywhere on the neck. 
  • Arpeggios Everywhere, Part 2: Two-Octave Arpeggios and the Circle of Fifths Combine the major arpeggio positions you learned to create closed-position two-octave arpeggios you can play in any key. 
  • Arpeggios Everywhere, Part 3: Minor and Seventh Arpeggios Learn how to modify the templates for major arpeggios to create minor and seventh chord arpeggios. 
    Tremolo and Double Stops
  • Kentucky Waltz, Part 1 Learn the melody to Bill Monroe’s popular “Kentucky Waltz,” a great vehicle for working on tremolo and adding double stops to a melody. 
  • Kentucky Waltz, Part 2: Tremolo and Double Stops Learn to add tremolo to the longer notes of the melody in “Kentucky Waltz” and add a few double stops to the melody to fill out the sound. 
  • Kentucky Waltz, Part 3: Play-Along Track Use this video to practice playing “Kentucky Waltz” with guitar accompaniment.
BLUEGRASS MANDOLIN TUNES AND SOLOS
    Tennessee Blues
  • Tennessee Blues, Part 1 Learn the classic bluegrass blues tune “Tennessee Blues.” Joe takes it apart phrase by phrase, showing you a slide that doubles an open-string note and variations on the melody. 
  • Tennessee Blues, Part 2: Blue Notes Joe shows you what the  “blue notes” are in relation to the major scale—the flatted third and flatted seventh—and how to find them in the A and D scales. 
  • Tennessee Blues, Part 3: Play-Along Track Use this video to practice playing “Tennessee Blues” with guitar accompaniment.
    Banks of the Ohio
  • David Grisman’s “Banks of the Ohio” David Grisman’s simple version of the classic song “Banks of the Ohio” is a great example of how to enhance a simple melody with tremolo and double stops. 
  • “Banks of the Ohio” Play-Along Track Use this video to practice the David Grisman version of “Banks of the Ohio” and try out your own interpretations.
    Chinquapin Hunting
  • Chinquapin Hunting, Part 1 Learn the old-time tune “Chinquapin Hunting,” which has become quite popular on the bluegrass jam scene. 
  • Chinquapin Hunting, Part 2: Backup Joe talks about ways to backup another musician in a duet setting, using “Chinquapin Hunting” as an example.
  • Chinquapin Hunting Play-Along Track Use this video to practice “Chinquapin Hunting” at slow and medium tempos with guitar accompaniment.
    Cuckoo's Nest
  • Cuckoo’s Nest The fiddle tune “Cuckoo’s Nest” is a good tune for working on triplets, as well as being a jam session favorite. Joe plays through the tune and then talks about his technique for playing eighth-note triplets. Then he walks you through the melody of “Cuckoo’s Nest” phrase by phrase. 
  • “Cuckoo’s Nest” Play-Along Track Use this video to practice “Cuckoo’s Nest” at slow and medium tempos with guitar accompaniment.
    Lonesome Moonlight Waltz
  • Lonesome Moonlight Waltz, Part 1: A Part Melody Bill Monroe’s instrumental “Lonesome Moonlight Waltz” has a unique chord progression and uses some atypical triplet rhythms in the melody. Joe starts by breaking the A part of “Lonesome Moonlight Waltz” down phrase by phrase, showing you how he plays it in closed position with a specific kind of tremolo. 
  • Lonesome Moonlight Waltz, Part 2: B Part Melody The A part of “Lonesome Moonlight Waltz” is in D minor but the B part goes to F. Joe takes it apart phrase by phrase and talks about playing triplets with a down-up-down pattern. 
  • Lonesome Moonlight Waltz, Part 3: Chords and Soloing Joe talks about the chords to “Lonesome Moonlight Waltz” and some of the things he thinks about when he’s playing a solo on the tune. 
  • Lonesome Moonlight Waltz” Play-Along Track Use this video to practice playing “Lonesome Moonlight Waltz” at a medium tempo with guitar accompaniment.
    Road to Columbus
  • Road to Columbus, Part 1: A Part Melody The Bill Monroe tune “Road to Columbus” was recorded by the great bluegrass fiddler Kenny Baker on his album Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe. Joe plays the melody of the A part through slowly, explaining how to pick some of the syncopated lines and play the slides and triplets. 
  • Road to Columbus, Part 2: B Part Melody The B part of “Road to Columbus” has some long held notes, which are easy for the fiddle to play because they can sustain long notes with the bow. Joe shows you the B part to “Road to Columbus” in this video, first the way Kenny Baker plays it and then the way Joe has adapted it to the mandolin to fill out the long melody notes. 
  • “Road to Columbus” Play-Along Track Use this video to practice playing “Road to Columbus” at slow and medium tempos with guitar accompaniment.
    Dry and Dusty
  • Dry and Dusty, Part 1 Learn the Texas fiddle tune “Dry and Dusty,” specifically the version recorded by Brittany Haas. Brittany’s version includes a vamp intro and some unusual chords. Joe breaks down the A part in this video, showing you some of the fiddlistic ornaments he adds. 
  • Dry and Dusty, Part 2 The B section of “Dry and Dusty” repeats a simple idea over changing chords. Joe breaks it down and shows you some subtle variations using slides. You'll also learn the chords in Brittany Haas’s version of “Dry and Dusty,” the intro vamp from her recording, and how to add an occasional note or two to the melody to evoke the chord changes. 
  • “Dry and Dusty” Play-Along Track Use this video to practice “Dry and Dusty” at a medium tempo with guitar accompaniment.
    Faded Love
  • “Faded Love” with Double Stops, Part 1: Melody The Bob Wills song “Faded Love” makes a great instrumental tune for mandolin and fiddle, and Bobby Hicks’ fiddle version, which you’ll learn in this lesson, has some cool double stops and intricate voice leading. 
  • “Faded Love” with Double Stops, Part 2: A Part Double Stops Bobby Hicks version of “Faded Love” with double stops is a great example of how to use different contrapuntal lines and harmonies to put some harmonic motion into your playing. 
  • “Faded Love” with Double Stops, Part 3: B Part Double Stops The double stops in the B part of “Faded Love” include some similar harmonies and a few new ones, including a classic fiddle double stop lick with the lines moving in opposite directions. 
  • “Faded Love” Play-Along Track Use this video to practice playing “Faded Love” at a medium tempo with guitar accompaniment. 
     Cheyenne
  • Cheyenne, Part 1: Melody and Chords Bill Monroe’s classic instrumental tune “Cheyenne” has been recorded by many people. The version you’ll learn here is based on the way Kenny Baker played it on Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe. One notable thing about “Cheyenne” is that the A part is in the key of G minor, while the B part is in Bb, the relative major of G minor. You’ll learn the basic melody and chords to “Cheyenne” in this video.
  • Cheyenne, Part 2: Play-Along Track You can use this video to play “Cheyenne” along with Joe and guitarist Grant Gordy at a medium tempo.
  • Cheyenne, Part 3: Double Stops and Improvising There are some cool double stops you can play on the B section. Joe plays the original melody of each phrase and then shows you how you can add double stops to those phrases. He also talks about improvising over the chords, and the kind of minor scales you’ll want to use when playing over the Gm chord in the A part. 

    Brilliancy

  • Brilliancy, Part 1: A Part Melody Newgrass mandolin star Sam Bush’s roots in Texas fiddling are displayed in his ornate version of the contest fiddle favorite “Brilliancy,” which he recorded on his album Glamour and Grits. You’ll learn Sam’s version in this lesson, both the basic melody and a variation. The tune illustrates how Sam embellishes a fiddle tune, as well as how he shifts positions on the mandolin. It also makes a great solo mandolin tune. Joe starts by showing you the basic melody of the A part phrase by phrase.
  • Brilliancy, Part 2: B and C Parts The second part of “Brilliancy” starts with a repeating sequence up the neck and then goes into some long arpeggios. Joe walks you through each phrase and shows you how to shift in the phrases that move up and down the neck. You’ll also learn a simple variation on the B part that uses a triplet and hammer-on in the first phrase. Once you’ve got the B part, Joe shows you the C part, which is played in first position, with a couple of chromatic phrases.
  • Brilliancy, Part 3: Variations The second time Sam Bush plays “Brilliancy” through, he uses some variations that you’ll learn in this lesson. The A part just has a couple of simple variations while the B part has a long descending series of triplets played with a slur. Joe walks you through all the variations, showing you how to finger the triplet-and-slur combinations. You’ll also learn a short variation in the C part using the triplet/slur technique.
SOLOING SECRETS
    Closed-Position Solos: “I’ll Fly Away” 
  • Closed-Position Solos, Part 1: “I’ll Fly Away” Learn to play melodies and solos in closed-positions, including a simple solo to the gospel classic “I’ll Fly Away” in closed position in the key of G. 
  • Closed-Position Solos, Part 2: Blue Notes Learn the “blue notes” in closed position and a complete closed-position solo using double stops and blue notes.
  • “I’ll Fly Away” Play-Along Track Use this video to practice “I’ll Fly Away” at a medium tempo with guitar accompaniment.
    Melodic Improvising: “Cluck Old Hen” 
  • Melodic Improvisation: “Cluck Old Hen” Learn a bluegrassy version of the traditional tune “Cluck Old Hen” recorded by Alison Krauss and Union Station. Joe talks about improvising melodically by boiling down a melody into the important notes and creating variations that target those notes.
    Double Stops: “Irene, Goodnight”
  • Double Stops Learning double stops can give you roadmaps for finding things all over the fingerboard. Joe shows you three double-stop shapes you can play for any major chord all over the neck and uses them to play a solo on “Irene, Goodnight.” 
    Mixolydian Scales and Circle of Fifths Progressions
  • Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down, Part 1 Circle of fifths progressions occur in lots of tunes, including “Salty Dog Blues,” “Sweet Georgia Brown,” and “Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down.” Learn what circle of fifths progressions are and how to negotiate these kinds of chords. 
  • Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down, Part 2: Mixolydian Scales The chords in “Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down” are E7, A7, D7, and G. Joe talks about the function of the A7 and E7, and shows you a Mixolydian scale you can play over these chords. 
  • Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down, Part 3: Mixolydian Licks Learn some movable Mixolydian melodic ideas you can use over any dominant seven chord. 
  • “Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down” Play-Along Track Use this video to practice “Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down” at a medium tempo with guitar accompaniment. 

CONTEMPORARY BLUEGRASS TUNES

    Two Béla Fleck Tunes

  • Two Béla Fleck Tunes, Part 1: “Up and Around the Bend” In this lesson, you’ll learn two Béla Fleck tunes from his classic bluegrass instrumental album Drive: “Up and Around the Bend” and “Down in the Swamp.” These are great tunes to play and also to jam on. Joe gets you started with “Up and Around the Bend” by playing the melody through and then walking you through each phrase of the melody slowly. 
  • Two Béla Fleck Tunes, Part 2:  “Up and Around the Bend” Play-Along Track Use this video to practice playing “Up and Around the Bend” at a medium tempo with Joe and guitarist Scott Nygaard.
  • Bonus Tab: Chris Thile Solo on “Up and Around the Bend” Joe’s transcription of a live Chris Thile solo on “Up and Around the Bend,” recorded in Louisville, Kentucky, in 2000.
  • Two Béla Fleck Tunes, Part 3: “Down in the Swamp” The second tune in your Béla Fleck “twofer” is “Down in the Swamp.” Joe plays it through and then takes it apart phrase by phrase, pointing out some fingerings and cool ornaments.  
  • Two Béla Fleck Tunes, Part 4: “Down in the Swamp” Play-Along Track Use this video to practice playing “Down in the Swamp” at a medium tempo with Joe and guitarist Scott Nygaard. 

    Salt Spring

  • Salt Spring, Part 1: Melody and Chords Mandolinist John Reischman’s tune “Salt Spring” has become a modern standard, played at jam sessions by many people who think it’s a traditional old-time fiddle tune. You’ll learn the basic tune and a version that imitates a clawhammer banjo, something that John does a lot, filling in basic melodies with strums and chord tones. 
  • Salt Spring, Part 2: Play-Along Track Use this video to play the basic melody and chords to “Salt Spring,” along with Joe and guitarist Grant Gordy at slow and medium tempos.
  • Salt Spring, Part 3: Banjo-Style Variations You’ll learn the banjo-inspired version of “Salt Spring” in this video. Joe starts by playing it through and then breaks it down phrase by phrase, showing you how John Reischman adds open strings to the melody to fill it out. 
  • Salt Spring, Part 4: Performance with Grant Gordy Joe and Grant play “Salt Spring” through a few times at a performance tempo.

    Jessamyn’s Reel

  • Jessamyn’s Reel, Part 1 Chris Thile’s “Jessamyn’s Reel” (from his recording The Deceiver) has become a modern solo mandolin classic and illustrates his style of combining quick arpeggios and melodies with slides and chords. Joe plays it through and then starts breaking down the A part, phrase by phrase, repeating each phrase slowly, so you can play along with him. He gives you tips on fingering some of the chord voicings and then plays the whole A part through slowly.
  • Jessamyn’s Reel, Part 2 You’ll learn the second part of Chris Thile’s “Jessamyn’s Reel” in this video. Joe plays it through and then takes it apart phrase by phrase. There are a lot of up-the-neck arpeggios in this part, and Joe shows you when to shift positions and when to stay in the same fretting-hand position. Joe ends by playing both parts through and then showing you the four-note chord in harmonics Chris plays at the end.

    Dawg’s Waltz

  • Dawg’s Waltz, Part 1: A Part Melody David Grisman’s tune “Dawg’s Waltz” is a great tune from his Garcia/Grisman album. Joe shows you the basic tune and then walks you through some of the different ways Grisman phrased the melody on his recording, with some syncopated rhythms, slurred grace notes, tremolo, and hammer-on/pull-off embellishments.
  • Dawg’s Waltz, Part 2: B Part Melody Now it’s time to learn the second part of “Dawg’s Waltz,” much of which is above the seventh fret. Joe starts by playing it through and then takes it apart phrase by phrase, showing you where to finger the phrases up the neck. Joe also shows you a cool variation that Grisman uses on the repeat of the A part, including some nice chromatic runs between the main melody notes.
  • Dawg’s Waltz, Part 3: Chords and Improvising The chord progression to “Dawg’s Waltz” is an unusual one. Joe shows you the chords and how it relates to the melody, and then talks about how he improvises a solo based on the melody. He also gives you some arpeggio exercises in which you play an arpeggio for every chord of the song starting on different notes of the chord. 

    Itzbin Reel

  • Itzbin Reel, Part 1: A Part Melody John Reischman’s “Itzbin Reel” is a contemporary mandolin classic. John recorded it in the early ’80s with the Good Old Persons and recently re-recorded it with Chris Thile on harmony mandolin for his record Walk Along John. In this lesson, you’ll learn the version of the melody John played on Walk Along John, as well as Chris’s harmony. Joe starts by showing you the intro, breaking it down phrase by phrase, and then goes on to the melody of the A part, repeating each measure slowly and finishing by playing the whole A part through a few times so you can play along. 
  • Itzbin Reel, Part 2: B Part Melody The B part of “Itzbin Reel” opens with a melodic phrase that is repeated starting in a different part of the measure, giving it a nice syncopation. The B part has ten measures, two more than the standard eight-bar fiddle tune length. Those extra bars feature a rising pattern that sets you up to play the last A part in a higher octave (the tune’s form is AABA). Joe plays the B melody through and then takes it apart phrase by phrase. You’ll also learn how to play the A part an octave up. Joe finishes by playing the whole tune (with the intro) at a slow tempo so you can play along with him. 
  • Itzbin Reel, Part 3: Harmony In this video, you’ll learn the harmony that Chris Thile plays on John Reischman’s recording from Walk Along John. Joe talks a bit about how to start finding harmony parts (starting a third above the melody) and then plays the harmony, pointing out some of the interesting rhythmic and harmonic choices Chris makes. He walks you through the harmony part phrase by phrase, and shows you the fingering to use when the harmony starts moving farther up the neck. Joe finishes by playing the harmony for the whole tune at a slow tempo.
  • “Itzbin Reel” Play-Along Track Use this video to play the melody (or harmony) to “Itzbin Reel” at a medium tempo along with Joe and guitarist Scott Nygaard. 

    Scotch and Swing 

  • Scotch and Swing, Part 1 Mike Marshall’s tune “Scotch and Swing,” from his album Gator Strut, is another classic modern mandolin tune from one of the great modern mandolin players. Joe starts by playing it through and then takes it apart, phrase by phrase. The A section includes a couple of ornaments that, along with a melodic reference to Bill Monroe’s tune “Scotland” make the A part the “Scotch” part of the title. 
  • Scotch and Swing, Part 2 The B part of “Scotch and Swing” starts right after you end the A part with a little chromatic phrase. This part has a number of chromatic lines and some syncopation, with a nice swing sound. Joe plays it through and then breaks it down, phrase by phrase, showing the position shifts that will make the chromatic lines easier to finger. You’ll also learn the chords to the whole tune, including a diminished seven chord, in this video.
  • “Scotch and Swing” Play-Along Track Use this video to play the melody (or chords) to “Scotch and Swing” at a medium tempo along with Joe and guitarist Scott Nygaard. 

    Black’s Fork 

  • Black’s Fork, Part 1 Continuing Joe’s tour of mandolin tunes composed by great contemporary mandolin players, in this lesson you’ll learn a three-part tune in A from Matt Flinner, “Black’s Fork,” which you can hear on Matt’s album The View from Here. Joe plays it through at its usual tempo with guitarist Scott Nygaard and then begins breaking down the melody, phrase by phrase, starting with the A part, which includes some important position shifts. You’ll learn the melody of the A part in this first video. 
  • Black’s Fork, Part 2 You’ll learn the B and C parts of “Black’s Fork” in this video, starting with the B part. Joe plays it through slowly and then takes it apart, phrase by phrase. The C section begins with a couple of extra beats and a syncopated strum figure on the E chord. Joe shows you the transition into the C part and then the C part melody. You’ll also learn the chords to the whole tune in this video. 
  • “Black’s Fork” Play-Along Track Use this video to play “Black’s Fork” at a medium tempo along with Joe and guitarist Scott Nygaard. 

    Telluride

  • Telluride, Part 1: A Part Melody Contemporary mandolin guru David Grisman recorded the tune “Telluride” on his 20th-anniversary recording DGQ20. You’ll learn the melody, a harmony part, and Grisman’s solo to “Telluride” in this lesson, beginning with the A part melody, which features a few crucial position shifts. 
  • Telluride, Part 2: B Part Melody The B part of “Telluride” has a more improvised feel and the melody isn’t as specific as the melody in the A part, but you’ll learn what Grisman played for the B part on DGQ20 in this lesson. Joe plays Grisman’s B part melody through and then takes it apart phrase by phrase, showing you how Grisman’s lines relate to the chord progression. 
  • Telluride, Part 3: A Part Harmony In this video, you’ll learn the harmony line to the A part of “Telluride” that Mark O’Connor played on the fiddle on DGQ20. It’s mostly played above the fifth fret, so you’ll need to pay attention to the position shifts. 
  • Telluride, Part 4: Dawg’s Solo David Grisman’s solo on “Telluride” from DGQ20 is a classic and very illustrative of his soloing style. Joe starts by playing the first A part of Dawg’s solo through and then takes it apart, showing you how Grisman constructs some of his typical lines to fit the chords he’s playing over. He also explains some of Grisman’s quirky phrasing, in which he ends or begins phrases on unexpected beats. 
  • “Telluride” Play-Along Track Joe plays the melody to “Telluride” with guitarist Scott Nygaard so you can practice the melody or the harmony part at a medium tempo.

SWING AND JAZZ

    Roly Poly
  • Swing Mandolin: “Roly Poly,” Part 1: Melody Joe talks about playing swing on the mandolin, using the western swing classic “Roly Poly.” Learn how to make a simple melody swing and a swing-style solo. 
  • Swing Mandolin: “Roly Poly,” Part 2: Chords Learn the difference between playing swing rhythm and bluegrass rhythm. 
  • “Roly Poly” Play-Along Track Use this video to practice “Roly Poly” at slow and medium tempos with guitar accompaniment.
    Dark Eyes
  • Dark Eyes, Part 1: Phrasing and Syncopation The minor-key melody “Dark Eyes” is a Gypsy jazz standard, and a great tune for working on playing in minor keys. Joe begins by breaking the melody down, with tips on phrasing and syncopation.
  • Dark Eyes, Part 2: Improvising “Dark Eyes” is a great “blowing tune”: a vehicle for improvisation. Joe gives you ideas on what scales to play over the chord progression. For example, you can use the D natural minor scale over the D and G minor chords, but for the A7, you change the C natural to a C#, creating a D harmonic minor scale. 
  • Dark Eyes, Part 3: Chords Joe shows you a few new chords: an A7b9, which adds a Bb note to the A7 chord, and a Gm6 chord, which adds an E note to the Gm chord. He also talks about playing rhythm with a four-beat closed-chord swing feel. 
  • “Dark Eyes” Play-Along Track Use this video to practice “Dark Eyes” at a medium tempo with guitar accompaniment.
    Panhandle Rag
  • Panhandle Rag, Part 1: Swingin’ the Melody The Bob Wills Western swing classic “Panhandle Rag” has become a bluegrass jam session favorite. You’ll learn a swingin’ version of “Panhandle Rag” in this lesson. Joe shows you the basic melody, which, can be interpreted in a number of ways and shows you how to make the melody swing by using syncopation and emphasizing upstrokes. 
  • Panhandle Rag, Part 2: Chords and Soloing Learn the chords to “Panhandle Rag,” including where to use a D7 chord to get to G. Joe also gives you some soloing ideas based on reinterpreting the melody and plays an improvised solo, which is transcribed in the accompanying music. 
  • Panhandle Rag” Play-Along Track Use this video to practice playing “Panhandle Rag” at a medium tempo with guitar accompaniment.

    Darol Anger’s “Key Signator”

  • Darol Anger’s “Key Signator,” Part 1 This jazzy “new acoustic” tune comes from fiddler Darol Anger. Joe plays the melody of “Key Signator” through with guitarist Scott Nygaard, and then shows you the chords and rhythm to the vamp that starts the tune. Then he teaches you the melody, phrase by phrase. 
  • Darol Anger’s “Key Signator,” Part 2 Once you’ve learned the melody of of “Key Signator,” you can try playing it along with Joe and guitarist Scott Nygaard as they play it through slowly. Then Joe shows you the chords for the entire melody as well as the “blowing” section, which is the part you’ll improvise on. He also talks about improvising on the chord changes. 

    Daphne

  • Daphne, Part 1: Melody and Chords Django Reinhardt’s tune “Daphne” has a simple melody over standard swing-style “rhythm changes” in the keys of D and Eb. In this lesson you’ll learn the melody and chords to “Daphne” as well as some ideas for soloing with closed positions. Joe starts by playing the melody to “Daphne” with guitarist Grant Gordy and then breaks down the melody and shows you a couple variations, including how to play the melody in octaves. Then Joe shows you closed voicings for a I–vi–ii–V progression, which you’ll use to play the chords for the A sections in D as well as the bridge in Eb. 
  • Daphne, Part 2: Soloing Ideas In this video, Joe talks about soloing on “Daphne,” particularly over the bridge, which is in Eb. He begins by showing you a closed-position Eb major scale, which, because it’s “closed” (it doesn’t use open strings) can be easily moved to other keys, as well as some scale exercises you can do to get more comfortable in Eb. He also gives you ideas about playing over the chords in the A section, as well as some arpeggio exercises for the chord progressions in both keys. 
  • Daphne, Part 3: Play-Along Track Use this video to play the melody and chords to “Daphne” along with Joe and guitarist Grant Gordy at a medium tempo. 

    Swing 42

  • Swing 42, Part 1: Melody The Django Reinhardt tune “Swing 42” was recorded by David Grisman and Tony Rice, and besides having a cool melody, is another good vehicle to practice improvising. Joe starts by showing you the melody, phrase by phrase, pointing out the rhythmic syncopation and phrases that start with an upstroke. The bridge of “Swing 42” modulates to the key of E, and Joe shows you that melody, a simple repeated riff, with a couple different rhythmic interpretations. He finishes this video by playing the entire melody through at a medium tempo. 
  • Swing 42, Part 2: Chords The chord progression of “Swing 42” uses repeated I–vi–ii–V progressions in the key of C in the A part and I–vi–ii–V progressions in the key of E in the bridge. In this video, you’ll learn the chords to “Swing 42” and the chord shapes that Joe uses. He finishes by playing the chords for the entire tune at a slow tempo.
  • Swing 42, Part 3: Soloing In this video, Joe talks about soloing over “Swing 42” using closed positions for the bridge in the key of E in particular and using the notes of the E major scale in different ways. He also talks about emulating the phrasing of the melody in your soloing. 

Advancing Mandolinist Source Material

Check out these tunes and artists featured in the Advancing Mandolinist course.


See Other Peghead Nation Courses

Want to offer feedback
or suggest a lesson?
Need help with the site?