Beyond Bluegrass Mandolin

Etudes and Ides for the Modern Mandolinist

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  • Suggested Retail Price: $19.99
  • Format: Book/CD
  • Pages: 64
  • Dimensions: 9 x 12
  • ISBN: 0-87639-113-7
  • SKU: 50449609
  • Publication Date: March 01, 2011

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A solid understanding of music theory is no mere academic exercise but a common language that will enable you to concisely communicate with other musicians, a core component of any collaborative endeavor with music. From basics like reading and writing music notation and using scales to advanced topics such as modal and pentatonic melodies and harmonic tensions, you’ll leave this program with a concrete foundation in music. As a result, you’ll approach your next project with a full set of tools and much more confidence.

Improvise with more expression and freedom in bluegrass and related styles.

These ideas, exercises, and etudes will help you expand your palette of improvisational techniques and sounds. Develop your versatility over the fingerboard, and master harmonic and rhythmic ideas on the violin. The CD has demonstration and play-along tracks, performed by an all-star band.

You will learn to build solos using techniques such as:

  • Uncovering a melody’s most defining notes, and using it in a new context
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  • Using position shifts, string crossings, and double stops
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“Hats off to Matt Glaser and John McGann for effectively tackling a subject that has been near and dear to me for nearly half a century!”

—David Grisman, Mandolinist/Composer/Producer, Father of Dawg Music, Grisman/Garcia, DGQ

“My good friends Matt Glaser and John McGann have created a wonderful new study guide and play-along CD for the aspiring mandolinist. They’ve broken down some hard to define concepts hidden in the deep parts of the improvising musician’s psyche. The layout is simple and understandable, with a progressive approach that should help all mandolinists unlock some of these mysteries.”

—Mike Marshall, Mandolinist/Multi-instrumentalist (Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer, Mark O’Connor, David Grisman and Béla Fleck, ex-Modern Mandolin Quartet)

Beyond Bluegrass Mandolin is an insightful and fun step-by-step primer for any mandolinist interested in expanding their musical vision by diving deeper into melodic and rhythmic improvisation.” 

—Andy Statman, Mandolin and Clarinet Master of Bluegrass, Jazz, and Klezmer (Bob Dylan, David Bromberg, Vassar Clements)

“Matt Glaser and John McGann are among an elite group of teachers who can combine musical theory with musical expression in a way that is not only interesting but aesthetically desirable. In this book, they make it all make sense, in a surprising, funny, affably abrasive way. It’s an approach to music and ideas that brings us back to the living essence of what it is to be a feeling and thinking human being. Dig them now.”

—Darol Anger, Violinist and Producer


John McGann

John McGann was a gifted multi-instrumentalist and composer/arranger, specializing in mandolin family instruments as well as electric and acoustic guitar….