As it says on the tin…..my favourite sites either dedicated to or featuring a lot f content about mandolin playing and technique. I think anyone interested in the mandolin will enjoy these sites. The internet is a big place, so please let me know of ay other great sites out there that I may have missed:
Nigel Gatherer – www.nigelgatherer/mando.html
Large site, by well known Scottish mandolinist Nigel Gatherer, which leans towards playing Scottish traditional music but also has Irish, American and other tunes. The site has a beginners tutorial for those completely new to the mandolin with a LOT of nicely laid out tunes with performance notes. There are links to classes, workshops and slow sessions across Scotland, with a slow session being people meeting to play through tunes slowly on a variety of instruments. Normal sessions (if your in Glasgow check out the Ben Nevis on a Sunday, Wednesday or Thursday night) can be fast and furious and seem impossible to get into, so slow sessions are a great way to get into playing with other people and learn a repertoire of tunes. Nigel also offers tunes arranged for the tin whistle….if your new to the mandolin or (or tin whistle) this is a great place to start.
mandolin cafe – www.mandolincafe.com
Another “community” site similar to, although not associated, with the banjo hangout (see previous post). A ton of tunes in both text and tabledit format covering many styles including rock and jazz as well as the usual suspects. As a little aside, a few of the tunes on the can also be found on Nigel Gatherer’s site above, but without being identical which doubtlessly reflects regional differences…an interesting topic in its own right.. Theres extensive and well used forums, news of workshops in europe and the U.S, an interesting blog and a section called eye candy showing pictures of classic mandolins with price tags to make your eyes bleed. Make sure you have a bit of time free as you’ll be on mandolin cafe. for a good while
Mel Bay mandolin Sessions – http://mandolinsessions.com/
In compiling this list, I tried not to use the sites that would come up on the first page of google if you type in mandolin lessons for example. That’s not to say that some or all of these sites arent excellent, but I just wanted to talk about some that may be slightly more buried under the weight of internet traffic. Mel Bay offer(ed) a fantastic bi-monthly newsletter series of guitar, banjo, mandolin, dobro or fiddle sessions. These came with no pressure to buy anything from Mel Bay books and featured lessons and workshops across a variety of styles. Mel Bay have stopped providing new mandolin sessions, but all the archive issues are there stretching back over nearly 10 years.
Banjo Ben Clark – www.banjobenclark.com/
As in the roundup of banjo sites, Nashville’s Banjo Ben Clark’s site has a with arrangements of bluegrass tunes for bluegrass mandolin in tab and with video lessons. Great arrangements are divided into into levels where starter player and those new to bluegrass can get their teeth into the music for the first time, and also has tunes n common with Nigel Gatherer’s site, but with very different arrangements. Theres a handful of free tabs with video lessons, or tabs can be purchased individually, or through a subscription or $4.95 a month.