Mandolin Tutorial

Learn to Play Blues Mandolin

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6 Videos | Length: 59min 32sec
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  • Chapter 1 11:47

    Chapter 1

    Steve plays a tune and introduces him self before diving into this series on Blues Mandolin.

  • Chapter 2 14:38

    Chapter 2

    In this video, Steve and John focus on a tune called Divin' Duck Blues. After they play it through, Steve talks about chords and helps you learn the tune.

  • Chapter 3 10:42

    Chapter 3

    Steve talks about his Mandolin, Picks, Double Stops and Blue Notes. Next, Steve talks about the historical side of Blues Mandolin, and shares some music made by Charlie McCoy.

  • Chapter 4 7:30

    Chapter 4

    Steve and John continue with a tune called "The Lonesome Train That Carried My Gal Away". Next, Steve talks about alternate stringing techniques before moving onto a new Rockin' Blues styled tune by Big Joe Williams titled "The Juanita Stomp".

  • Chapter 5 6:50

    Chapter 5

    Continuing with "The Juanita Stomp", Steve performs the entire song. Next, Steve says a few words about blues mandolin players from over the years, and talks about a tune he wrote himself called "Saturday Night in Jail" in the key of G.

  • Chapter 6 8:05

    Chapter 6

    Steve plays his tune "Saturday night in Jail" all the way through. Finally, Steve plays one last tune after thanking John for helping with the guitar.

Product Overview

In this Homespun video series you’ll Learn to play traditional blues and old-time string band music on the mandolin. Steve James knows this music and its history well, and he brings it clearly into focus in this video series filled with “fun-lovin’ high-jinks.”

Steve starts out with the basics, but quickly gets into blues scales, pick strokes, tremolo technique, and other tools needed to play with style and authenticity. He lays out some blues chords on the mandolin, showing rhythm comping for song accompaniment along with turnarounds, double stops, blue riffs, and variations on a walking boogie-woogie line—all essential elements for developing a blues repertoire.

Accompanied by the fellow blues and jug band enthusiast John Sebastian, Steve performs each of the pieces and then takes it apart for the learning player.

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