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.


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.

If you live within the USA:
Priority Mail is the fastest option. It usually takes between two and three business days to arrive. That's an average and not guaranteed. If you need a guaranteed delivery, e-mail us about Express Mail.

If your order weighs just a few ounces, for example our Dawg Picks, we send it via First Class Mail unless you specify that you want it sent by Priority Mail. First Class Mail usually takes around three days to arrive. For slightly faster service, Priority Mail is the way to go. Most of our products (excluding "The Parking Lot Picker's Songbooks" which weigh two plus pounds) weigh under 16 oz. and can be shipped for the minimum Priority Mail rate, which is currently $7.75. For book/CD sets like our "Gypsy Swing & Hot Club Rhythm" we can usually ship two for one Flat Rate price.

If your order weighs over 16 oz., the Priority Mail rate is calculated both by weight and how far the package has to travel. For example, a two pound package shipped to Palo Alto, CA will cost $7.75. The same package shipped to Jacksonville, FL will cost over $13.00. But most of our book/CD sets can be sent at the Priority Mail Flat Rate of $7.75. Our shopping cart will calculate these amounts for you based upon where you live. We always double check these figures to make sure we are giving you the best value possible. If your shipping total is over $13.00, we can usually fit your order into a USPS Flat Rate box and the maximum shipping you pay is $15.05.

Media Mail is much less expensive than First Class or Priority mail: only $2.80 for the first pound. Media Mail takes ten days to two weeks to arrive. It's also restricted to printed matter such as books, CDs, DVDs, etc. Regular merchandise may not be mixed with books, CDs or DVDs and sent via Media Mail. For example, if you order, "Getting into Bluegrass Mandolin" book/CD set and Dawg Picks and click the "Media Mail" box in the shopping cart, we can ship the "Getting into Bluegrass Mandolin" book/CD set by Media Mail, but we'll have to send the picks via First Class and there will be an additional charge for the second package.

If you live outside the USA:
Air Mail (six to eight days to arrive) is the best option. Canadians should choose "Canada" for shipping their choice, Europeans should choose "E.U." Our shopping cart only calculates by the pound but we'll adjust your shipping rate down if at all possible. For example, if your package weighs 2lbs and 4oz, we may be alble to give you the 2lbs and 4oz rate rather than the 3lb rate, depending upon where you live and how the postal service calculates fees. If you'd like to know the cost of shipping BEFORE you order especially for PayPal customers, just drop us an e-mail ( ), tell us which products you want and where you live in the world. We'll calculate the amount and e-mail it back to you.

If you have questions on shipping, please e-mail us: