This page will deal with my mandolin activities. I have three new mandolin books, published by Mel Bay:



This book contains perennial tunes which all kids learn at a young age, Twinkle Twinkle, Frère Jaques, etc, with standard notation and tab. The arrangements are simple, all single notes, though chord names are indicated for anyone who wants to jam along. I see it as a Tune Book to complement a Method Book.


It is important for kids to play the melodies they already know, and there are sound files to play along with.





Easy Popular Classical Tunes For Kids has standard notation plus tab, with music from Vivaldi, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Haydn, MacDowell, Bizet, Albéniz, Brahms and Joplin.

A great way into classical music for kids. Of course, adults are allowed to use these books too 😉







25 17th-century Scottish Tunes For Mandolin, taken from Scottish lute manuscripts.







All books are available in hard copy or as a download eBook. See for more details.

And below are some videos I made earlier…

Here’s a video to promote the forthcoming book of 17th-century Scottish music:


Here is an unusual piece for scordatura mandolin – a mandolin with an altered tuning, in this case: eg  dd  aa  c#e, by Marlo Strauss. It’s a technical study for the Glide Stroke – the right-hand goes down, down, down, up:



One of the greatest of all Embergher endorsees was Silvio Ranieri, who published at least four volumes of a mandolin Method in the early 20th century. His school relies heavily on the tremolo technique. Here’s an attempt at his Study 26, Volume I. I am using a mandolin by the de Meglio company, loaned to me at the time by Andrew Burnside.


James Oswald published 18 Divertimentis for two Guitars or Mandelins in 1759, though we are not 100% sure what mandolin he had in mind. I recorded a CD of his 12 Divertimentis For The Guittar, and John Goodin arranged them for solo mandolin. See publication on the Mel Bay website. Here’s number six of twelve:


The afore-mentioned Andrew Burnside also loaned me a Wappen mandolin, probably by Herwig, mid 20th-century Germany. I made a quick video, but found the instrument very hard to play fluently. The action was very high, and the strings very high in tension. It is tuned an octave below a regular mandolin:


Finally, I was also a member of EMGO – the Edinburgh Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra, and amateur group of enthusiasts who are worth supporting. Here is their website. Our repertoire covers everything from baroque to modern, and is always on the lookout for new members..


More to follow.