You Can Teach Yourself Mandolin by Dix Bruce.

Gets you started playing the world’s most fascinating, yet small, stringed instrument. Join the fun! Aimed at beginners and intermediate players.

Book or eBook with downloadable audio and video

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

Additional Details

  • You will learn:
  • Tuning the Mandolin
  • Nineteen Easy Songs (see listing below)
  • Nineteen Mandolin Solos
  • All Common Mandolin Chords
  • Elementary Note & Music Reading
  • Beginning Music Theory
  • Scales, Keys, & Transposition
  • Mandolin Accompaniment Strums
  • Complete “Split-track” Stereo Play-along audio
  • Basic Pick Technique
  • Tremolo • Double Stops
  • Handy Scale, Chord, and Transposition Chart
  • “Sources” section for further study
  • Chord Appendix & More!

All the tunes and exercises can be heard on the downloadable audio recordings, most at both slow and regular speeds.

Sample page of music: No Name Rag

Table of Contents:
Beginning at the Beginning
The Mandolin & Its Parts
Getting in Tune
Preparing to Play
Part I: Chords
Chord Diagrams (G & C)
He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands
Hush Little Baby (F & D)
Streets of Laredo (waltz time, A)
Kumbaya (E)
John B. Sails (Calypso strum, Bb & C7)
I Ride an Old Paint (Bb chop & F7)
Careless Love (G7)
Sportin’ Life (diminished seven, triplet strum, E7, Am, Adim, C,47, F,47, B7)
Fair and Tender Ladies (Em)
The Cuckoo (Gm, D7)
The Cruel War (F#m, Bm)
Nine Pound Hammer (bluegrass)
Take a Drink on Me (A7)
Part II: Basic Note Reading
Notes on the Mandolin
Rhythm, Rests
Stringin’ (lead picking)
Key Signatures
Major Scales
The No-Name Rag (eighth-note leads)
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (dotted notes)
Sally Goodin (fiddle tunes)
Fair & Tender Ladies (tremolo)
All Through the Night (double stops)
Beginning at the End
Scale, Chord, and Transposition Chart
The Chord Appendix


Customer comments:
Hello Dix,
I used your “You Can Teach Yourself Mandolin” several years back when I first started to learn the instrument…I wanted to take a minute to thank you. What a great learning tool that was. I am taking private lessons now, and my instructor was quite pleased with where I was when I first went to see him. Thanks again for a great introductory textbook and CD set.
P.M. – Columbia, MO

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.