18 Best Mandolin Book Reviews 2020 (Best Books to Learn Mandolin)

 Best Mandolin Books & Best Books to Learn Mandolin

Best Mandolin Books & Best Books to Learn Mandolin

The Mandolin is a stringed musical instrument that has similar features with the guitar. They are played by plucking. Mandolins were originally invented in Italy, over the years; these unique musical instruments have been introduced in other parts of the world.

The interest in playing mandolins can be attributed to the beautiful sounds and different pitches that can be created while playing. Fans of this instrument can first buy a mandolin and then teach themselves how to play by buying one of the instructional books sold online.

What are the Best Mandolin Books to Buy?

2) Alfred’s Teach Yourself to Play Mandolin

  • Easy To Comprehend
  • Suitable for Young Children & Older Adults
  • Included Folk Music, Country Music, Pop & Blues

1) Mandolin for Dummies

  • Start From The Basics
  • Step By Step Process
  • Clear Pictures & Illustrations To Guide Readers
  • Tips on How to Buy High-quality Mandolins

3) Hal Leonard Mandolin Method

  • Simple Steps To Guide Readers
  • Chord Learning
  • Learning Guide in Simple Layout
  • Practice Sessions

Interested to Learn Mandolin Online? Check These Websites!

Professional mandolin players have discovered many tips and tricks to improve their techniques with this musical instrument. There are many musicians who have also undergone formal education to learn how to play the mandolin. These instructions have been packaged as books and DVDs and sold online.

However, before making a purchase, it is important to read about the content featured in the book. There are books that teach beginners how to play mandolins; you can also find books particularly written and structured for only intermediate learners.

Children also enjoy playing mandolins. If you are looking for children’s mandolin books, online, it is important to read the instructions and confirm that the lessons have been made easy for children to comprehend. These lessons are simple, and they include popular children songs to engage the children.

Some common areas covered in the mandolin guides you can find online include special tips to master how the mandolin should be held while playing. Jamming sessions usually last for many minutes even up to an hour. This is why it is important to build endurance to play to the musical instrument and enjoy the melodies for longer hours.

Mandolin fans have also gone as far as searching the internet for notable musicians who are known for their super mandolin techniques. After finding these popular musicians, they search for their books online. It is however most important to buy mandolin book guides that cover all the learning useful to students at all skill levels.

18 Best Mandolin Book Reviews

1) Mandolin for Dummies

Everyone looking for mandolin lessons that have been made very easy will find this mandolin learning guide helpful. The mandolin lessons start from the basics. Readers are guided through a step by step process through the initial lessons which are introductory until they learn enough skills to start jamming along with friends.

The lessons are suitable for people who want to learn traditional Celtic songs, American songs, or blue grass music among other music genres. The files also include clear pictures and illustrations to guide readers. These illustrations help readers understand aspects such as how to hold the mandolin while playing and the process of tuning the musical instrument.

The lessons are ordered in a pattern to give readers the confidence to strum with precision and steadily to increase speed. Practical sessions are also made more engaging with the use of songs from the audio files. By following the exercises presented by the author, readers will be able to improve their skills and master the preferred music genre easily. There are also tips on how to buy high-quality mandolins, and how to know the right accessories should the need for replacement arise.

2) Alfred’s Teach Yourself to Play Mandolin

Alfred’s Teach Yourself to play Mandolin learning guide contains a series of lessons that are self-explanatory and easy to comprehend. Following the lessons in the book, readers can independently learn how to play the mandolin.

The lessons cover basic areas and are suitable for young children and older adults. The lessons include a brief history of the mandolins, how to tune the musical instrument, picking techniques, and the basic methods of notation. Readers will also understand the concept behind notation when playing the mandolin.

The genres of music covered in the mandolin lessons include folk music, country music, pop, and blues. Readers will also learn about the different notes, scales, and how to read sheet music. After studying these instructions, the following benefits have been highlighted as expectations from the readers- the ability to play the mandolin among groups of musicians.

The references in this mandolin learning guide cover vast areas to help readers find more useful information online. The references include links to find more chord charts, mandolin accompaniment, and advanced resources for the fingering charts.

The simple instructions found in this online mandolin learning package make up mandolin lessons that can help young children and older adults achieve their dreams of becoming expert mandolin players. Intermediate learners will also find the lessons useful as a refresher course to remember some helpful tips to improve their strumming and picking techniques.

3) Hal Leonard Mandolin Method

The Hal Leonard Mandolin method described in this instructional guide covers everything a beginner needs to know about playing the mandolin. The first lessons introduce the musical instrument to the reader. This content points out the features and how to buy a good mandolin.

The next set of instructions guide the readers to learn about the chords, switching chords, the real notes, licks, and how to start and improve their strumming techniques. Readers will also learn how to read music and the best ways of using the tablature. At the end of the course, readers are expected to understand the concept behind single note picking, blue grass chops, double stops, tremolo picking, and drones.

The practice sessions are more impactful because there are so many songs to be played. This mandolin package features the use of real music to improve the strumming experience. Intermediate mandolin players who are interested in improving their blue grass techniques will also find the lessons in this mandolin guide helpful.

Beginners who have not had an experience using the audio files will be presented with instructions on how to perform this action. It is good for mandolin tips and tricks that have worked for renowned players.

4) Play Mandolin Today

The Play Mandolin Today learning package for beginners contains a comprehensive guide to learn how to play the mandolin independently. It includes the book, an audio CD and DVD. In these learning materials, users will find lessons tailored to meet the needs of beginners.

The lessons start from the basics which include learning alternate picking techniques, strumming techniques, understanding the chords, tablature, and the notations. The comprehensive beginner’s guide will help users advance to the intermediate level.

The lessons in this learners guide have been carefully structured and presented to guide all users. The instructional DVDs are also well recorded to ensure users can hear and view the practice sessions. The tablature for mandolin featured in these learning materials has been presented to guide users on how to play a wide range of songs with the mandolin.

It is a good learning package for beginners who are adults, but children may find some difficulty understanding the lessons. This is because the learning materials mainly cover music theory and introductory strumming lessons.

5) Mandolin Chord Book

The Mandolin Chord Book is authored by James Major, a popular music writer with vast experience. He has created a series of simple steps to guide readers who need to understand the mandolin chords. The book presents the chord patterns in a simple and precise way to make the theoretical knowledge easily applicable to every reader when they begin playing songs with the mandolin.

The precise format that has been used in presenting the lessons is a plus and will encourage beginners to continue reading the book. The author has also included chord diagrams to help readers comprehend these instructions to play the mandolin. The best mandolin players have a good understanding of the chords, so it is a good place for beginners to start. The book also contains essential tips that can help intermediate mandolin players.

The structure of this mandolin learning guide has been presented in a simple layout. This makes it easy for readers to quickly view and understand the chord diagrams and how to apply the knowledge during practice sessions. The author has also identified the chords by their different keys.

The vast coverage of the mandolin chords also makes this instructional guide a good reference for intermediate mandolin players or music students who are preparing for exams. The illustrations and how they are organized in the book is commendable.

6) Bluegrass Mandolin

The author of the Blue Grass Mandolin Complete Ignoramus Book has also included a CD in the package. The lessons are presented using a simple approach that keeps the reader interested in learning the techniques. Readers will learn how to hold the mandolin, picking techniques, the harmony chord positions, reading the tablature, and strumming.

Other lessons cover areas such as how to improvise using the mandolin; understand the chords, variations, and how to improve their sounds using different creative rhythms. The CD contains a large number of songs. These songs include simple tunes that beginners can easily play at the initial stages of their practice sessions.

There are also some complex songs to help learners improve their mandolin techniques by applying the theoretical knowledge they have acquired while studying the mandolin instructions and playing tips.

To get started with this course, readers need to have a mandolin. Following the simple instructions, they can start playing their favourite songs in only a few weeks. The tablature has been well designed. It helps readers understand the particular notes while playing the mandolin. The simple approach of these lessons makes it easy for readers to creatively enhance their sounds by including suitable licks during practice sessions.

Understanding how to use real notes is essential to improve mandolin techniques, and the instructions in this online mandolin learning guide cover this area satisfactorily.

7) Mandolin Scale Finder

Learning about the mandolin scales is one of the basic areas of the beginners’ lessons. It is the main focus of this mandolin book. The author makes it easy for readers to study the scales by presenting them in as scale diagrams. These diagrams show the commonly used scales and how they can be applied by beginners during practice sessions.

Readers are also introduced to the different features of scales and how each distinct feature can be used to improve the mandolin sound. The lessons also cover instructions on how to read the fingerboard charts. The eBook will also stand out as a reliable resource for intermediate mandolin players because it contains over one thousand scales and their multiple features.

The scales covered in this learning guide include the melodic minors, diminished scales, harmonic minor, and the whole tones. Readers will also find a few tips on fingerpicking while learning about the scales.

After understanding the basics, it will be easier for readers to identify the scales because their individual features have been well described. It is a good book, the descriptions are precise and the concept easy to understand even by beginners.

8) Complete Mandolin Method Book

In creating this mandolin learning manual, the author compiled a list of simple instructions that can help people who have never played the mandolin before start learning the techniques. The mandolin methods described in the instructional manual makes it easy for beginners to start jamming in groups quickly.

The lessons include basics such as tuning the mandolin and the correct position to hold the musical instrument during play. Readers will also learn basic skills such as cross picking techniques, rolls, pull-offs, hammer-ons, and other essential areas.

The theory lessons cover areas such as studying the strumming patterns, reading sheet music, and understanding the tablature. After learning the basics about playing the mandolin, readers can proceed at their pace to study other advanced areas such as improvisation, changing rhythms and the chord melodies.

The theoretical lessons are backed by the MP3 files which help readers enjoy a more satisfactory practice session. The files are of high quality, so it is easy to play along with the songs. The lessons are structured in a way that readers can decide the duration of each session.

This way, even busy people can find time to improve their mandolin techniques. The mandolin method book is easy to use; all the reader needs to do is follow the lessons in the right order and practice the exercises to gain speed and confidence while strumming.

9) Mandolin Songbook

This mandolin instructional guide is a special collection of songs that can help mandolin players improve their repertoire. The genres covered in this book include jazz, blues, rock, gospel, and others. The content and lessons presented in the content have been developed for learners at all skill levels. The content features songs already arranged in order to encourage beginners.

The songs start from the easy compositions to more complex tracks. The package also includes an external link to online audio recordings that will be helpful to all users. The mandolin lessons aim to teach students how to pick the mandolin using different styles, improvising, alternate licks, and the best techniques most suitable for their preferred genre.

Buyers can also benefit from the online audio feature. When accessed, users can stream pre-recorded strumming sessions performed by the instructors. The online audio experience can also be customised to help users’ playback the audio to listen and learn at their own pace. The lessons will be beneficial to intermediate players who are interested in improving their repertoire for bluegrass music.

The availability of alternative licks also makes the learning process more engaging and exciting. The instructional text in the book is easy to read and understand. Following the instructions properly will help all users improve their mandolin techniques over time.

10) Irish Mandolin Playing

Students at all skill levels can use this Irish Mandolin playing manual which offers a complete guide to playing the mandolin according to the traditional Irish techniques. The lessons in this mandolin manual are for beginners, intermediate, and advanced players.

The first lessons cover the basics of playing the mandolin using the Irish methods. After studying these chapters, readers proceed to study other important topics such as learning about the chords, how to perform variations, improvisation, strumming techniques and how to play in groups.

The package comes with an audio CD which contains about sixty-three recorded files. These audio files help students practice the theoretical knowledge they have read in the book.

One thing that stands out is that many of the pieces include tablature and notations. There is also a small segment dedicated to teaching about notations. There is also an introductory section in the book about the Irish mandolin techniques. The information here helps the readers understand the terms used in the book and the inclusion of fiddles and pipes in the context.

The CD is a good addition to the package because its content complements the content written in the book. The comprehensive instructions make it easy for readers to stay engaged all through the period they have decided to have mandolin lessons.

11) Hal Leonard Mandolin

This is one of the Hal Leonard Mandolin instructional manuals which will be most suitable for students who need hundreds of books for their mandolin practice sessions. The mandolin book features over three hundred songs.

These songs cover a wide range of genres and the author apparently selected songs that are interesting to encourage the readers. It also features the lyrics of songs, a description of the chords and the corresponding chord diagrams to aid the readers’ comprehension.

Readers have access to study some of the works of prolific songwriters who have made a name in the music scene. The lessons help readers also to apply the theoretical mandolin techniques to play the songs better.

The most outstanding feature of this mandolin instructional content is the numerous options readers are offered. There are exercises for people who wish to play the mandolin in groups or as solo renditions. However, beginners may not find it very easy to understand the descriptions. The lessons presented in this instructional manual for playing the mandolin are most suitable for intermediate learners.

People who want to extend their lessons to include other resources will also find many valid references in the book. Every aspiring mandolin player will probably need such a learning package with a vast collection of songs.

12) First 50 Songs

The author has compiled a series of mandolin playing instructions and exercises mainly for beginners who have already acquired some knowledge about music theory regarding playing the mandolin. It features fifty outstanding songs which are also very popular. These songs are simple and can be used by beginners to start enjoyable practice sessions.

The songs have been compiled from many music genres such as folk, gospel music, country music, and blue grass. To aid the people who will study this book, the author has included the lyrics of the songs featured in this learning guide.

The compilation has also been arranged in a simple order to help readers find their favourites. Also, chord diagrams have also been included to help readers understand and study the chords for any song they are interested in playing with the mandolin.

The author has also added popular songs to follow an arrangement that is easy for readers to choose their favourites. Groups can also use the book as a source of songs to make their jamming sessions more fun. The concept used to create the mandolin learning guide is encouraging. Beginners will find it easy to use while starting their journey to becoming better mandolin players.

13) Mandolin Primer

This mandolin learning package includes the book, a DVD and an audio CD. The mandolin lessons in this book have been particularly created for beginners. The lessons are structured in a professional order to help beginners quickly progress to the intermediate level.

The lessons begin with the basics such as how to hold the mandolin, techniques that can be used to tune the musical instrument, learning about the chords, tablature, and notations, and well as tips to switch chords and variation.

After learning the basics, readers can access the DVDs to view the simple play-along songs that will improve practice and developing endurance. There are also practice tracks that help users to play along with songs in a way that helps them understand the process of playing in a group.

The mandolin instructional content also features pictures and illustrations to guide the readers. The learning approach is quite basic, and it is easy for readers to learn how to play the mandolin independently. The practice lessons recorded in the videos are also quite engaging and exciting.

This is important because it helps beginners enjoy the first jamming sessions and willing to proceed to learn the intermediate mandolin lessons. The author has also included popular blue grass songs that people love to make the learning process even more interesting.

14) Chord Songs for Mandolin

The author of the Chord Songs for Mandolin, Wayne Erbsen, has included mandolin playing instructions, tips on how to pick the strings, holding the mandolin, and a step by step approach to understanding the chords. The book’s content also contains thirty—six songs which also feature the lyrics.

It is a good buy for people who do not want to play the mandolin using different chords. The music genres covered in this book include blue grass, country music, and gospel songs. Other beneficial lessons found in the book include how to play simple scales, changing rhythm, and playing the tremolo.

If you buy this book, you will also have access to an audio library which contains popular songs which can improve practice sessions. Also, there is an audio CD included in the package. It contains about sixty-two audio tracks, using this mandolin instructional guide is easy; you can learn how to play the mandolin by simply following the instructions.

The basic approach used in preparing lessons in this mandolin instructional guide will make it easy for people who need to improve their mandolin techniques. Advanced players will also find some useful tips to add more rhythm creatively, while the jam with friends. After reading the parts about music theory, you can structure practice sessions to last for a particular duration in a convenient way.

Following the playing instructions will give readers a guided process of playing the mandolin in a few weeks, even for beginners. The simple context makes music theory less intimidating.

15) The 100 Mandolin Techniques

The author of the 100 Techniques Exercises Mandolinists eBook made a comprehensive learning curriculum featuring the theories and techniques that have been used by the renowned mandolin player and teacher Marilynn Mair since the beginning of her musical career. The mandolin lessons presented here describe the author’s public and private recordings with a particular focus on explaining the techniques that were applied to produce the desired sounds.

Students who need careful guidance in addition to tips and tricks on how to improve their sounds will find a lot of useful learning materials in this book. The educational content has been enhanced to help students at all skill levels. Advanced players will also be able to find tips to improve particular areas of their playing techniques.

The learning materials in this package have been produced and written in the English language. The content also includes targeted exercises to help users improve their techniques. These exercises cover specific areas that beginners and intermediate mandolin players may encounter some problems while playing the musical instrument.

It is a good choice for students who need proper guidance to have good warm-up sessions and follow up with practice sessions to learn at their own pace. The context used in the book is simple and also quite easy to understand.

16) Alfred’s Basic Mandolin Method

Everyone who is interested in learning how to play the mandolin will find the necessary instructions in this mandolin learning package. The lessons are presented as simple and precise instructions to guide the users. The simple concept used to improve the instructions contained in this guide will make it easy for people who have never played the mandolin before learning the basics and start strumming in a few weeks.

The mandolin lessons covered here include- a guide to holding the mandolin while strumming. There are also easy to follow instructions about tuning the mandolin to produce the best sounds. The book’s content has been improved with the addition of pictures and illustrations to guide the readers.

In addition to the music theory, there are a number of songs that can be used by readers to warm up and have better practice sessions. Intermediate mandolin players who need to understand how to read the tablature will also find useful tips while studying the content.

The coordinated approach used in preparing the mandolin instructions makes it possible for readers to cover the basic and more in-depth aspects of playing the mandolin.

However, advanced mandolin players will find the content too basic hence not very useful. For beginners, they can start making attempts to play songs after understanding the basics.

17) Mandolin Chord Encyclopaedia

This is the kindle edition which covers the essential aspects of learning the mandolin chords. The content includes over two thousand mandolin chords. It can be used by all learners who wish to study and learn the chords easily. The theoretical aspect of these lessons covers how the chords are developed and careful explanations of the intervals.

With this mandolin instructional guide, learners should also expect to read about the fingerboard charts, major and minor scales and how to identify the different chord positions. Another area that has been covered in this book is the aspect of chord variations. Learners can read and understand how the chords change while strumming.

Considering the extensive scope covered in the eBook, it is also quite easy to use. The author has carefully arranged the topics in proper order. This makes it easy for users to locate any topic they wish to study easily.

This mandolin learning guide is specially created for beginners and intermediate learners. There is also a vast array of tips and information that the advanced mandolin players will find very useful.

18) Mandolin Song Book

The author has created this mandolin instructional guide to include features of a song book such as American folk songs, Celtic tunes, blue grass music, and other interesting songs mandolin students will enjoy playing.

The classic songs have been backed up with the inclusion of tablature and notations much to the benefit of readers. This learning guide is a good option for beginners who already have some knowledge about playing the mandolin at the intermediate level.

After reading the book, the student should have a good knowledge of how to read sheet music, using the chord charts and gaining confidence during practice sessions. The lessons include direct instructions that will help students increase their tempo to match the rhythm.

The mandolin lessons in this book are adequate for beginners and intermediate students. However, the lessons will seem too basic for people who need advanced instructions.

The package includes access to online audio streaming which will help students improve their picking techniques. The online audio library contains a large number of songs to choose from during practice.

Students can find simple songs for their practice sessions and then proceed to play more complex songs. The online audio files can also be customised to give the user a better experience.

The lessons can generally be described as simple, and easy to understand. The exercises give readers a chance to practice their theoretical knowledge. Players can also choose to improve their left or right-hand techniques during the practice sessions according to their preferences.

Choosing the Best Books to Learn Mandolin

Comprehension is crucial to understanding books written to teach people how the mandolin is played. This is why it is necessary to read the authors notes about the book before purchase. Some authors have thoughtfully combined the use of pictures, illustrations, and text in their books. These illustrations go a long way in improving comprehension.

2) Alfred’s Teach Yourself to Play Mandolin

  • Easy To Comprehend
  • Suitable for Young Children & Older Adults
  • Included Folk Music, Country Music, Pop & Blues

1) Mandolin for Dummies

  • Start From The Basics
  • Step By Step Process
  • Clear Pictures & Illustrations To Guide Readers
  • Tips on How to Buy High-quality Mandolins

3) Hal Leonard Mandolin Method

  • Simple Steps To Guide Readers
  • Chord Learning
  • Learning Guide in Simple Layout
  • Practice Sessions

It is also common to find books that have been bundled with DVDs or audio CDs. These extra learning materials give the user a more practical approach to becoming more proficient with the mandolin. It is also necessary to find books that cover areas such as how to take care of mandolins. Knowing how to handle the musical instrument will make it last longer. Overall, the mandolin book you buy should be a match for your mandolin skill level.