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Designing Mandolin Solos for Bluegrass Songs

Designing Mandolin Solos for Bluegrass Songs

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6964-2 CDs + Booklet

Designing Mandolin Solos for Bluegrass Songs

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Songs Include:

I'm Goin' Back to Old Kentucky
Little Cabin Home on the Hill
Sunny Side of the Mountain
White Dove
Cabin In Caroline
Banks of the Ohio
Think Of What You've Done
Head Over Heels
On and On
No Mother Or Dad
Little Maggie
Fox on the Run
Ocean of Diamonds Head over Heels
Why Don't You Tell Me So
My Walkin' Shoes Don't Fit Me Anymore



There's more to soloing than learning a bunch of licks... Don't under-estimate this course! It is far & above the most powerful, exciting & valuable instruction ever made for Mandolin! This course is much more than just learning licks that fit a chord progression. It's how to change a simple bluegrass melody into a fancy, tasteful, driving solo. A solo that sounds like the true melody of the song, while being hot at the same time. Paul analyzes & teaches 15 songs on these 2 (one hour) tapes. Each solo is broken down into its component parts, with Paul explaining why he played what he played every step of the way. By learning this approach you will be able to invent your own intelligent, melodic solo for any Bluegrass song.


Designing Guitar Solos for Bluegrass Songs by Chris Jones is a book and audio tape course that systematically examines the construction of tasteful guitar solos for 10 songs from the bluegrass repertoire. The 26-page booklet and two hour-long cassettes are well produced, with very good sound quality. Aimed at intermediate level students, the book includes helpful hints for developing good practice skills, a refresher course on reading tablature and rhythmic notation, and 10 complete arrangements for solo guitar. The first tape begins with an introduction to harmonic theory, identifying elements of the major scale and simple chord construction. Each song is presented with a sung verse and chorus, followed by a guitar solo. The solo then is played slowly, and finally broken down to its various constituents. Author Jones has a wonderful sense of pace as he guides the student through this very thoughtful method—and he’s a great singer and guitar player to boot! He takes the student through the logical (and repeatable) process of locating the melody on the guitar, isolating the important notes of the melody, adding simple kick-offs and connector licks, and finally filling in with different embellishments to really make the solo stand out. The overall emphasis on melody-oriented solos is commendable, especially in this day and age when many players seem to value hot licks more than expressiveness. In a similar vein, Paul Kramer’s Designing Mandolin Solos For Bluegrass Songs (also from Musician’s Workshop Publications, $24.95) gives mandolin players the opportunity to learn the same kinds of skills on their instruments. As with the guitar method, the emphasis is on developing solos that showcase the melody. Fifteen different bluegrass standards are examined (the mandolin and guitar books share four songs in common) with the same systematic approach: Locate the melody on your instrument; identify the strong melody notes; add appropriate lead-ins and connector; and finally make the solo your own with a few tremolos, passing tones, and other ornaments. The format of the two courses is identical, including the brush-up on tablature and simple music theory. Kramer is a fine player and singer who interacts well with the student through this medium—no mumbling or fluffed notes. These projects are professional productions with scripts for the teachers and a good deal of forethoughtâ?¦. These are a pair of very good packages, which I highly recommend. By Richard Bamman, © May 1987 Frets Magazine, "In Review," Pg.72


Customer Compliments

"I still recommend the Paul Kramer Designing Mandolin solos to my students all the time. It is a classic. Cheers." Alan Epstein, Greenwich, NY

"Just a note to say that I think Designing Mandolin Solos is the best I've seen yet." F Claybrook-Roanoke, VA

"I recently received Designing Mandolin Solos and was very impressed. This is some of the best instructional material I have seen and without a doubt the best for working out nice solos to vocal songs." L Swanson-Aurora, CO

"I love these lessons. I ordered Designing Mandolin Solos a few months ago. These lessons have helped tremendously. Paul Kramer really knows what he's doing and knows how to teach it to other people. I'll be telling my friends about this company. Thanks for making them available." B Dier, Greenville TN

I personally am growing with the help of your Designing Mandolin Solos. This is the best I've run across. Thanks N Carroll-Greer SC

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