Rob MacKillop – Musician

WELCOME! There are many recordings and videos on this site, as well as a lot of information, so do take some time to have a browse around.
There are Blog Posts archived on the left, and specific Pages above.
I am happy to hear from you:


New Album!!

Just Out!!


Read all about it HERE


Two volumes have been released as a follow-up to my Introduction To The Lute for Lute and Guitar Players, one in lute tab, the other in guitar tab. 80 pages of great lute music:

Renaissance Lute Repertoire-Guitar Tablature Edition can be viewed as either a supplement to the popular Introduction to the Lute: for Lute and Guitar Players or as a standalone edition of 16th-century lute tablatures. Play from beautifully-typeset scores, music by John Dowland, Francesco da Milano, Vincenzo Galilei (father of the famous astronomer) and many others, including vihuela composers Narváez and Milán. Together, this collection provides a beautiful and extensive overview of music for the renaissance lute.

This edition is in Guitar tablature. There is a separate edition in lute tablature, see below.

TUNING: To get Renaissance lute tuning on a guitar, all you need to do is tune the 3rd string, G, down one semitone to F♯. That’s it. Then just read the tab as normal.


Renaissance Lute Repertoire-Lute Tablature Edition can be viewed as either a supplement to the popular Introduction to the Lute: for Lute and Guitar Players or as a standalone edition of 16th-century lute tablatures newly-set in French lute tab. Play from beautifully-typeset scores, music by John Dowland, Francesco da Milano, Vicenzo Galilei (father of the famous astronomer), and many others, including vihuela composers, Narváez and Milán. Together, this collection provides in lute tablature a beautiful and extensive overview of music for the Renaissance lute.



24 Pieces for guitar (plectrum/pick – though fingerstyle/classical technique possible too) by Gilbert Isbin. Available HERE.

Gilbert Guitar Cover

New Mel Bay publications, three for mandolin, one for bass guitar:


41 thoughts on “Rob MacKillop – Musician”

  1. Dr Brian Davies said:

    Thank you so much for providing so much interesting and valuable material-especially the ‘Solo Flight’ parts for big band. I am about to try and persuade our leader to do this one meanwhile off I go to try and learn to play a suitable homage….

    • Excellent, Brian. I hope you get the opportunity to play it. Good luck.

      • jean cameron said:

        Thanks for doing the mandolin books! I just ordered the 17th Century and then the Kids book. Each will keep me busy this fall and winter! Love your books! Interested in the guitar lute book but worried it’s above my skill level. Maybe later on. Glad you did the mandolin books! THANK YOU!

      • Cheers, Jean. Have fun with them! As for the kids’ books, there’s no age limit on being a kid!

  2. Alan Birkinhead said:

    Rob, I really, really like your black & white photographs ( very artistic ) thank you

  3. Hello Rob, I’ve been following your page for a while now, there’s a lot of great information on here. Iv’e been hesitant about picking up Flamenco due to most players using long fingernails. After browsing through your site however, I’ve decided to make the plunge and give Flamenco a try. Now for the hard part, choosing a guitar, I’d be looking for a guitar to last me for a decade or so without searching for the need to upgrade after 2 years of playing. Any suggestions? Thanks for the inspiration sir!

    • Hi Eduardo. I love flamenco, and do feel nails can help, but not all flamenco guitar needs to be played the same way, and I enjoyed my research into early flamenco guitar. Of course, the feeling is what it is all about, like Blues. So, I’m sure you’ll enjoy your nailless study of it. As for guitars, I’m no expert, and I don’t know your budget. But there are roughly two types – bright and percussive, or warm and slightly less percussive. The former are usually made with cypress back and sides, the latter with rosewood. These are sweeping generalisations. As flesh playing gives a mellow sound anyway, I enjoyed playing the cypress-made instruments. I also don’t know in which region of the world you live, but I have found this website to be informative:
      Good luck with your search. Let us know how you get on.

  4. Tom Oskar Ortleb said:

    Your videos, displaying beautiful music played so calm and mild, encouraged me to start nailless playing in the end of the summer of 2017 after having played over four decades with nails. Today, while still a beginner on this “new” (old) style of right hand technique, I am almost happier with my tonal quality than ever before. Though this is still the beginning of a romance, I believe I will stay with and develop this capability further on forver due to the wonderful tonal outcome.

    Thank you for your very inspiring work and performance,

    • Cheers, Tom. You are not alone – I’ve had many similar messages this last couple of years. All I can say is, Stay With It! It took me a couple of years before I was 100% happy, and now I’ll never go back.

  5. Manuel Morais said:

    Dear friend Rob, Do you know the sources that say that Fracesco da Milano played with two silver thimbles with bird feathers? Abraço, Manuel Morais

  6. congratulations.
    It is the most profound, heartfelt and beautiful guitar.

  7. the antique guitar: Ángel Torrisi

  8. skaekhund said:

    Hello. I recently bought a copy of your 20 easy fingerstyle book and I’m delighted with it. However I can’t find the online audio snippets of each one that I think used to be on a CD. Do you know where I can download them from?

    • There should be an address on the first page, the title page, for downloads. If not, please contact Mel Bay through their website, as I have no control over such things. Good luck!

  9. is your torres model still for sale

  10. Philippe Callu said:


    I bought recently through Amazaon your method : (online audio)

    20 easy fingerstyle studies for Ukulele by Rob MacKillop.

    I have some difficulties to go on ‘on line audio’ and it will be easier for me to work with a CD.

    Is that possible to get it ? can you tell me the price included sending to France.

    Thanks in advance for you kind answer,

    Best regards,
    Philippe Callu
    2 Les Marottières
    41310 Villechauve (FRANCE)

    • Hi Philippe. I have no control over that. Just email Mel Bay from their website, and ask them. If you do manage to get the online audio, you can possibly burn it to a CD for future use. Sorry I can’t help you further.

      Best wishes,


  11. Nestor Guillermo Duce said:

    Toco guitarra clasica. Amo la musica de Lauro. Así descubrí su versión de La negra, que me impactó mucho. De ahi llegué a su página, y el impacto es mucho mayor por la enorme capacidad, talento, y versatilidad a un altísimo nivel musical, y la enorme capacidad que hay que tener en la vida que es tan corta para hacer todo lo hecho hasta ahora por ud. Así que felicitaciones. No hablo ni escribo inglés, sepa disculpar el texto en castellano. La sencillez y belleza de su arreglo para manha de carnaval me gusta muchísimo. Ese arreglo tal cual ud lo toca está escrito? de ser así quisiera adquirirlo. Muchas gracias. Y mis mas sinceras felicitaciones

    • In English: I play classical guitar. I love Lauro’s music. That’s how I discovered your version of La negra, which shocked me a lot. From there I reached your page, and the impact is much greater because of the enormous capacity, talent, and versatility at a very high musical level, and the enormous capacity that you have to have in life that is so short to do everything done so far. by you So congratulations. I do not speak or write English, I know how to excuse the text in Spanish. The simplicity and beauty of your arrangement for carnival manha I like very much. That arrangement as you touch it is written? if so, I would like to acquire it. Thank you very much. And my most sincere congratulations

      Ese arreglo está en mi cabeza, no en una página. Lo siento.

  12. Phyllis Williams said:

    Would you please share the tab for your version of Norwegian Wood in modal D?

    • Hi Phyllis. I just made it up a few minutes before making the video, and haven’t played it since, so there is no tab. Just try working it out by ear – which is the way I learned when I was a teenager. It’s the best method of learning this stuff. Good luck.

  13. John Gilbert Colman said:

    Hi Rob, Can you tell me where to find the complete A.J.Weidt Tenor Banjo Method?


  14. Hey Rob!
    Great work! I was primarily interested in the DADGAD stuff and I really like the pieces you chose in the book for classical music.
    However, when I heard your examples on youtube I was missing the “basso tones” (not sure whether this is the right term, since I’m no native).
    Is there a reason you didn’t include them?
    I guess the pieces would be even more beautiful with those “basso tones”.

    Have a great time!

  15. Janice Mask said:

    Rob, watched an old vid of short scale, 60cm, classical guitar technique using no nails. Just what I need, loved it. Having trouble finding a store brand guitar with that scale length though. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thank you. Janice

    • Hi Janice. That was my wife’s guitar. The Spanish guitar business is quite sexist, so that instrument was called a lady’s guitar…It is no longer in production, however, so I suggest you do a search for a lady’s classical guitar, or señorita guitar or guitarra. I have to say it was fun to play, so much so I am now banned from touching it 🙂 Good luck!

  16. I have been told that The Tanbur Metodu Emin Akan and Tambur Method Murat Aydemir are not for the Yayli Tanbur and I don’t know what the reason is. Wondered if you could shed some light on this please Rob, otherwise will these books be defunct for me.

    • I don’t know, John. I thought they were the same tuning and fret placement, but perhaps they are different. I don’t speak or read Turkish, and, as you know, finding reliable information is extremely difficult. I know there were tanbur players who played both, so I made the assumption the skills were directly transferable. I’m afraid I can’t help you further. Best of luck! Rob

  17. Hello! I am a Malagasy guitarist and singer and I recently discovered your YouTube video where you play a piece by Bach on the banza gourd tenor banjo. I immediately fell in love with the beautiful and warm sound of that instrument and I am wondering where one could find such an instrument? Where did you buy it or do you make them yourself?
    Many thanks for a reply and all best

  18. Hello Rob, I recently purchased a fretless banjo, and ran across your videos playing tunes on one. I am a true beginner with now musical back, and would appreciate it very much, if you could suggest some beginner exercises I could practice to become more proficient on my instrument. Thanks, I love the videos and look forward to learning to play some of the tunes.



  19. Anonymous said:

  20. Steven Bentham said:

    Hi Rob

    I’m very new to DADGAD, and I bought
    your DADGAD Blues.
    Just thought I’d say thank you for the
    work you’ve put in.
    The book is a cracker, very easy to follow,
    I’ll be trying out a tune at Ramsey Folk
    Club in a few weeks. A good test.
    And plenty to keep me busy this Summer.
    Thanks again
    Isle of Man

  21. said:

    Thank you I will.

    Sent using Hushmail

  22. Daniel Vissi said:

    Thank you, Rob, for all your work and musical ideas!

    Dear Rob,

    A few days I beg to the Ning network if any member has the tablature file: Tomb[e]au sur la mort de Madame la contesse de Logi, Sarabande, and Menuet, attached by Hans Hockelmans (but now isnt upload). Any member answered me. Please, can you help me? Im working on transcriptions and I need a pic of the tablature: Tomb[e]au sur la mort de Madame la contesse de Logi, Sarabande, and Menuet.

    Thank you in advance!


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