Getting into Bluegrass Mandolin by Dix Bruce.

Designed to quickly get you up and playing Bluegrass Mandolin. Begins with general mandolin topics and then dives directly into all the things you’ll need to know to play Bluegrass mandolin: chords, rhythm, single note playing, double stops, fiddle tunes, playing in all keys, playing backup, transposing from one key to another, introductions or kickoffs, and tremolo. Includes downloadable audio with every tune from the book.

Book or eBook with downloadable audio 

This book is sold by Mel Bay Publications.
Click the button below to view and purchase the book from Mel Bay.

Additional Details

Getting into Bluegrass Mandolin uses classic Bluegrass songs and tunes in the process so that by the end of this book, you’ll have the beginnings of a great Bluegrass repertoire!

For a complete list of songs, samples from the downloadable audio, and a sample pages from the book, see below.

Table of Contents:
The Mandolin and its Parts
Holding the Mandolin
Holding the Pick
Tuning the Mandolin
“Open” Chords
First Chords, First Song
Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms
John Hardy
Will the Circle Be Unbroken
Great Big Bad Bluegrass Chop Chords
East Virginia Blues
Bury Me Beneath the Willow
Long Journey Home
All the Good Times are Past and Gone
Aura Lee
Fiddle Tunes & eighth notes
Old Joe Clark
Bluegrass solos
Ragtime Annie
Nine Pound Hammer
Crawdad Song
Fretting Hand Techniques: Slides, hammers, pulls
When the Saints Go Marching In
Somebody Touched Me
Double Stops
Will the Circle Be Unbroken solo
Bury Me Beneath the Willow solo
Transitions Back Into Rhythm
Right Hand Technique: Tremolo
Banks of the Ohio solo with tremolo
Down in the Willow Garden solo with tremolo
Pass Me Not solo with double stops and tremolo
Playing Back Up
Wash of Notes Back Up
A Beautiful Life back up
New River Train “Call and response” back up
Modulation & transposing
In the Pines back up
Lonesome Valley
Transpositon Chart
Transposing Up and Down the Fingerboard
Little Maggie
Minor chords
Shady Grove
Bluesy Solos
Wayfaring Stranger
Moveable Blues
Man of Constant Sorrow
Kickoffs and Turnarounds
So Long!
Chord Dictionary

Bluegrass Unlimited magazine:
“If you want to get in on the ground floor as a budding bluegrass mandolinist, putting yourself in the guiding hands of Dix Bruce and Mel Bay Publications is a fine place to start … His instructional book, which comes with a companion CD, takes the novice from square one: tuning, reading music and tablature, chords, etc. All are patiently and playfully dealt with in easy to read charts and commentary. The author skillfully balances a wide array of songs and keys with one eye always on the idiomatic quirks that distinguish bluegrass from other styles. Bruce’s writing “voice” is very accessible, and he does a good job of simply explaining challenging concepts in an encouraging way… A good choice for a starting player … this book should have any mandolinist chopping in their woodshed in no time.” —HK

Customer comment:
“….your new (Getting into) Mandolin Bluegrass book is THE BEST bluegrass book I have ever had; you give us words, tablature, musical notation, CD and history and humor to boot, and some classic pictures, all for under $30. I applaud you for so great a gift to bluegrass musicians. I foresee your book being THE book to have in the bluegrass world. I give you a 10.5 outta 10. I will tell everyone in the world to get it. ”
K.R. San Ramon, CA

“….Just gotta say ‘Moveable Blues’ is the most fun song we’ve ever played!!!
Thanks again for sharing.”

Hope you’re doing well.


The Moveable Blues

Video of the song  The Moveable Blues from Getting into Bluegrass Mandolin teaches where the “blue” notes are located in the key of G on the mandolin relative to the “G chop chord” and how to locate these notes in different keys/positions on the mandolin. Click here to view the video, download the sheet music with chords and tablature, and to download the Blue Notes Mapped to Mandolin Chords sheet shown in the video.

The Magic Mandolin Shape

Hundreds of mandolin chords include what Dix Bruce calls The Magic Mandolin Shape. Hundreds more can be made by simply moving or modifying this basic shape. Unlock one of the most useful secrets of mandolin chords by identifying and understanding The Magic Mandolin Shape. Click here to see a short video about it.