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Weekly Posts


I generally try to add new song breakdowns and lessons about once a week. Generally I post a theory or lesson concept on Mondays and a song breakdown on Thursdays.

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Lastest Posts

Mandolin Song Breakdown: Angeline the Baker

Today’s mandolin song breakdown covers the fantastic song Angeline the Baker. I first heard the Crooked Still version of this tune which is a great variation with a few quirks. It was a rarity to hear in San Diego jams, but in Seattle it’s alive and well. Sometimes it’s a vocal tune, sometimes it’s a…

Mandolin Chord Shapes Series: 6th Chord

Learning mandolin chord shapes can seem tricky but an easy start is to focus on some of the basic chord shapes. In this series, I’m going to cover various chord shapes of a particular type. You can see the full series here. Now that we’ve covered the basic major, minor, and diminished chords, it’s time…

Mandolin Song Breakdown: There’s More Pretty Girls Than One

Today’s song breakdown covers one of the first bluegrass tunes I can remember learning – There’s More Pretty Girls Than One. The simple melody and chord structure on this tune really make it a fun one to play. As I’ll explain later, the melody is composed entirely with the notes from the Major Pentatonic, which…

Mandolin Song Breakdown: Garfield’s Blackberry Blossom

Today’s mandolin song breakdown is Garfield’s Blackberry Blossom (which is not the same as “Blackberry Blossom”). The main story of how this song came to be is essentially that general James A Garfield (later President Garfield) heard this tune being played on a harmonica during the Civil War but couldn’t remember the name of the…


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