Mandolin Lessons

Lessons Are offered at my Columbus, Ohio studio or online using Skype.

 

It is my goal as a teacher that you learn not only precision and technique but also that you develop the musical understanding that will allow you to create your own mandolin solos and accompaniment, that will empower you to perform in what ever musical setting you find yourself in.

 

My Teaching Philosophy

 

-Left Hand-

Scales and arpeggios are the bedrock of music.  They are the foundation of everything harmonically and melodically.  We will begin with learning our major, minor and pentatonic scales and corresponding arpeggios.  Once we have an understanding of those we will delve into our modes and more “exotic” scales.

 

A focus on ease of movement and proper hand positioning will also be addressed.  Every students hands are different, so we will look at multiple left hand techniques and approaches. Providing you with options to facilitate the best fingerings for any passage of music you might come across.

We will also learn all the "chop" and barre chords these are crucial for a mandolinist to master.

 

-Right Hand-

The right hand is our time machine.  It gives us the ability to play in time and with groove and feel.  We will work on rhythmic studies, string crossings and practicing with a metronome.  Remembering music is harmony, melody and rhythm working as one. 

 

For those who are new to playing music the hardest thing for some to master is rhythm/time keeping.  It is the black and white right or wrong of the music world.  Often times our want to progress quickly is hampered by skipping over the basic building blocks of rhythm and time keeping.

 

The first critical step is the concept of subdivision.  Subdivision is the mind process used to keep accurate time.  It is mentally filling in the gap between the major beats. In 4/4 time it simply begins as counting 1+2+3+4+.  I will constantly be emphasizing the need for unrelenting subdivision.  But one can work on subdividing while you listen to recorded music even as you walk down the street humming a tune.

 

Steven Fox Playing the mandolin 

 

-Fiddle Tunes, Old Time, Bill Monroe, Chris Thile and more-

In your mandolin lesson we will work on a large variety of fiddle Irish and bluegrass tunes. 

With in each song we will learn the following:

1. Chord Structure and Rhythm

2. Scale

3. Basic Melody

4. Ornamented Melody

5. Improvisation off the melody

6. Improvisation off the chord changes 

 

-Feel/Groove-

Through out our learning of scales and styles we will constantly focus on the feel and groove of everything we play.  The right feel/groove not only can make or break a song it can help heal the soul.

 

 

-Music Reading-

When you first start taking mandolin lessons one of  the first questions I will ask is can you read music notation. If you can great, if you can’t fear not! Most students will start out using Tablature or TAB which has a line that corresponds to each string and number that represent which fret on that string to play.  Within the first couple of lessons we will start learning the letter names of the strings and frets. Eventually replacing the numbers with the corresponding letter.  The reason I want my students to think in letter names is because that is how musicians talk with each other about music.  The letter names will also aid in the understanding of music theory.

 

I highly encourage learning to read music notation though it is not a necessity it has the following benefits: 

 

  1.It will help you understanding of the mechanics of music theory.

 

  2.Enables you to look at any piece of music and play it and have basic understanding of the song.

 

  3.Gives a visual representation of an auditory art.

 


I have had quite a few students who were resistant to learning to read music notation. However once they switched wished they had done so years earlier.  The reason being they were able to learn songs and grasp musical concepts at a much faster rate.

 

Which ever route you choose be it TAB or standard notation your lesson sheets will be tailored to your individual needs.

 

 

-Skype Mandolin Lessons-

I now offer mandolin lessons online using Skype. You must have a Skype account, a webcam, and a high-speed internet connection.

 

Please contact me via the contact page of this website to setup times

 

Lessons should be paid for in advance. Simply use the Paypal buttons below to purchase lessons. 

 

30 minute Mandolin Lessons

 

Hour Mandolin Lessons

 

1373 Grandview Ave Suite 213 Columbus, OH 43212 (614)262-9586

 

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