Rob MacKillop

Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

NEW! DADGAD Old-Time, Flatpicking and Bluegrass

In Music on February 21, 2017 at 11:36 pm

The fourth of five in my DADGAD series, this time devoted to Bluegrass and related styles. Although I wrote the arrangements with pick/plectrum in mind, they can also be played fingerstyle. Every tune is a classic, and is presented in a simple style for Beginner and Intermediate levels. The book is available as a hard copy, or as an eBook. Soundfiles available for every track.

Publisher’s Listing:

Here’s a promotional video:



Introduction To The Lute – Mel Bay

In Music on January 9, 2017 at 9:54 am

Delighted to announce the launch of my Introduction To The Lute – for Lute and Guitar players!!!


The book contains 31 great tunes, all in both guitar tab and lute tablature, from easy to advanced, and sound files for every piece and exercise.

The text deals with finding a lute, resources, technique for both hands, learning to read tablature, notes on composers and pieces, etc, etc.

Available as a hard copy book, or online eBook from

The book is focussed on the six-course Renaissance lute, but has lots of tips for guitar players as well.

Any questions, ask away.


DADGAD Blues – New Book & Audio

In Music on August 3, 2016 at 10:40 pm



The third in my series of DADGAD books for Mel Bay Publications is dedicated to the Blues!

I’m really proud of this one folks, so please don’t miss out. The book is available as a paper copy, and also as an eBook from here:

Here’s promo video, where I play through a few pieces:

Here are some of the soundfiles:

The standard goes from Easy to Intermediate, knocking on the door of Advanced.

Eventually it will be available from your local music store, and can be ordered through any bookshop that sells Mel Bay products. Any problems getting hold of it, ask me.








Easy DADGAD Classics for Acoustic Guitar

In Music on July 4, 2016 at 1:03 pm


I’m delighted to announce the publication of my Easy DADGAD Classics for Acoustic Guitar, from Mel Bay Publications.

Music by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Vivaldi and others, arranged from Easy to Advanced levels.

It can be purchased from Mel Bay stockists, or from their websitewith the option of downloading it as an eBook. All sound files for every piece in the book also available from the Mel Bay site.

Promo video, where I read through several pieces from the book, culminating in the Prelude from Bach’s first cello suite:

Any questions, just ask. This is the second is a series of DADGAD books I am doing for Mel Bay.



The Easy DADGAD Celtic Guitar Book

In Music on March 27, 2016 at 8:41 am

My latest Mel Bay publication is the first in a series exploring DADGAD tuning on acoustic guitar.



The edition is available as a book or download eBook, with in either case, download soundfiles of my performances of every piece in the book.

Here’s the promo video for the book, where I play a few of the 30 pieces in the book:

Read more about this series on my DADGAD page.

New Website!

In Music on September 6, 2015 at 7:06 am

I’ve started a new website devoted to my classical guitar studies.

As I play without using fingernails, I’ve devoted half of the site to players of the past and present who did or do likewise – some interesting videos there.

You are welcome to visit…

New Scores-For-Sale Page!

In Music on March 18, 2015 at 2:58 pm

I’ve added a new page HERE for selling pdf scores, many of which I’ve worked with for years. They are the product of two decades of researching, arranging, recording and typesetting. I’ve kept the prices VERY low.

Feel free to fill your boots on the way to the checkout!

Various instruments are included, and a short extract can be seen for each publication.

I’m using SELLFY for PDF distribution. Just click “BUY” and you will be asked by them to pay via your PayPal account. Then the pdf will be automatically delivered to you. It should only take a minute or two.

More scores to come, so do return.

Playing Edward Light’s Harp Lute

In Music on January 6, 2015 at 9:51 am

Ian Grant loaned me his original Georgian Harp Lute, invented by Edward Light in the late 18th-century.

Sadly, I only had the instrument for four days before Ian flew back to Australia, during which time I made this video. It has a delightful sound.

Ian sent me not only the instrument by Edward Light, but also Light’s publication, Introduction to the Art of Playing On the Harp-Lute & Apollo-Lyre with suitable Lessons &.c Composed and Adapted BY Edward Light, Inventer.

This volume gives some instruction and twenty seven or so pieces of increasing difficulty. I recorded three pieces from pages 10 and 12, ‘Dance’, ‘Haunted Tower’ and ‘Scotch Air’. I offer them here as an introduction to the instrument and its repertoire. I’m told that it was immensely popular in its day, and that there are many hundreds of pieces for it.

The tuning, from bass to treble is, G CDEFGA Bcegc’ – the last five notes lying on the fingerboard. Three of the basses have semitone levers, or an early version of such, and therefore keys other than C Major can be played. The tuning is not too far from the so-called English Guitar, or ‘guittar’ of the second half of the 18th-century, and much of the repertoire is similar – Scotch Airs, popular songs, a little bit of Haydn…etc.

Bach for the Tenor or Cello Banjo – New Book/CD

In Music on January 9, 2014 at 12:01 am

My arrangements for tenor banjo (or any 5ths-tuned instrument) of the first three cello suites by Bach, is now available from Mel Bay and other outlets.

The book has a CD recording of my performances of the suites on three different banjos.


Bach’s cello suites are among the most famous solo instrumental works of all time. The cello and the tenor banjo share the same tuning, and banjo players might be surprised at how well this great music fits on the fretboard.

Here is a chance for tenor banjo players to explore Bach on their instrument, which could be tuned to either regular, CGDA, or Irish tuning, GDAE.

Accompanying audio is included, using three different tenor banjos: a regular tenor (Deering Eagle II), a gourd tenor (Jaybird Banjos), and a cello banjo (Gold Tone) which has the same low pitch as the cello. A ‘suite’ is a collection of dances of varying speeds and time signatures, conceived to be performed as a whole, and preceded by a prelude. Bach’s Prelude to the 1st Suite is magnificent and justly famous. The Bourree from the 3rd Suite is also very popular.

Enjoy playing Bach on the Tenor Banjo!



New Photo Blog Post, plus other stuff

In Music on October 13, 2013 at 9:50 pm

I have a photography blog – photography is my hobby. As I’ve just updated it with a new post, I thought I’d provide a link here.

This is the site: – and the latest blog post is at the top of the page: Meditations On Kolbenneblok.



What else is new? Well, I’ve added a new page to this site, devoted to my study of the plectrum banjo. LINK.

I will be performing a 30-minute plectrum-banjo recital at THIS EVENT is Huddersfield on the 26th October.


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