How to Play Bluegrass Mandolin
The bluegrass mandolin is a great part of any bluegrass band. Great bluegrass mandolin players like Bill Monroe and Ricky Scaggs had popularized the instrument so much that many people wish to play it like them. However, learning to play mandolin reasonably well takes time and hard practice. If you wish to know how to play bluegrass mandolin, the following tips on mandolin lessons might be useful to you.
There are two types of bluegrass mandolins, the F-5 and the A-5. Bill Monroe played the F-5 and it is more popular among mandolin lovers. Before you start your mandolin lessons, listen to several bluegrass mandolin players like Ricky Scaggs. In bluegrass mandolin, the main chop chords are G, C, and D. Thousands of songs are based on these three chords. You should become an expert in playing them before you move on to the other chords like A, B, Bb, and C. In any advice for mandolin for beginners, the most important one is to learn to play the G chop chord thoroughly, since it is the hardest one. Next to practice when you learn to play mandolin is the D chop chord. If you had mastered these two properly, your further mandolin lessons would become very easy.
A fundamental rule in your effort to learn how to play mandolin is never lift the finger unless absolutely neededí. However, you should not try to hold down the strings of bluegrass mandolin like you do when you strum the guitar. Your fingers should be just resting on the chord that you are going to play. When you are going to strike with the pick, you should depress the strings and should let them up the moment you strike the strings with the pick. This is known muting or dampening the chord as soon as it is played.
You could use an electronic tuner for tuning the mandolin but you should constantly practice how to tune your mandolin until you become perfect. It is advisable to change the strings at least once a month, if you are regularly playing the bluegrass mandolin for a few hours every day. The frets should be kept in good shape and repair work would be needed if the grooves become deep.
In the beginning, when you learn to play mandolin, practice slowly. Too much speed when you start your mandolin lessons would never make you an expert but could easily get you into unwanted bad habits. The downstrokes should be played on the bear and the upstrokes should be played off the beat. If you do not understand how this is done, get the assistance of an expert in learning how to play the bluegrass mandolin in the correct manner. Moreover, you should listen to several styles and types of mandolin CDs. This is an important step in any effort on mandolin for beginners. This is the best method to become versatile in your quest for learning mandolin. If you follow the above tips, you could easily learn to play mandolin properly.