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Mandolin Sheet Music Breakdown: Old Home Place


Today’s Mandolin Sheet Music Breakdown focuses on one of my favorite jam songs, Old Home Place. The progression is pretty simple but includes the dominant 3rd (III7) which makes it a little more interesting without being too complex.

I like playing this song in A so this breakdown will be using that key. It’s a good idea to be prepared to play this in G, Bb, and B as those are other commonly called keys. As with most music, the singer gets to call the key – so make sure you are ready!

Here’s a chart for the breakdown – Old Home Place mandolin sheet music breakdown


The first step to playing is listening, so here’s some recordings to get you started.

Scales and Practices

The basic melody of Old Home Place uses all the notes from the A Major Pentatonic scales (A B C# E F#) – so using that scale for soloing clearly will work.

While using the A Major Pentatonic will sound fine, using only those notes can sound a little boring or flat. This is mostly because the listener expects to hear those notes so there’s no new tension or interesting change. With that in mind, pay close attention to where the tension notes are – in this case C natural (the b3rd of A major) and G natural (the b7 of A major) are great notes to throw in your solos to spice things up a bit.

Another note, pay attention to ascending lines as they can be great lines to exploit for your breaks. For example, the

Song Form

Old Home Place is an AABA tune. That means each full “turn” of the song means you’ll play the A part (or verse) twice, followed by the B part (or chorus) once, then the A again.

Mandolin Sheet Music: Chords

For the most part, this is a standard I IV V song – so A D and E chords for the key of A. The verse however adds the C#7 (III7) which is a fun change.

Like with my other breakdowns, I’ve provided a few different voicing options. Try playing these as written until you have the changes down – then start mixing things up a bit.

Mandolin Sheet Music: Melody

Below are a few different voicings for a basic melody.

Mandolin Sheet Music: Harmony

As with any really popular jam tune, having a harmony line ready is a great idea. Below is a basic harmony line based off the 6th degree.

Double Stops

I love double stops. Knowing where basic double stops are can really improve your soloing. I’ve laid out 5 different voicings for the verse melody and one for the chorus.

Wrap Up

I hope you enjoyed this dive in to the jam classic Old Home Place. If you’d like to take a deeper dive into this song or any other tune click here for information on private coaching. Do you like the free content I’m providing? If you do, considering donating to my site here – donations really help keep things going!

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