MEL BAY’S SCHOOL OF BLUEGRASS MANDOLIN—BY JOE CARR—Mel Bay 9780786681600. CD included, 32 pp., $14.99. (Mel Bay, 4 Industrial Dr., Pacific, MO 63069, www.melbay.com.)
As part of its School Of Mandolin series, which includes instructional books on blues, classics and Italian mandolin, Mel Bay Publications has released the bluegrass book in the series, written by Joe Carr.
As most readers of this magazine know, Joe is a widely respected mandolinist who performed with the influential band Country Gazette in the ’70s, and who is currently a music instructor at South Plains College in Levelland, Tex. He’s also a regular columnist in several instrument publications and has developed over thirty instructional music videos. That’s all to say that Joe Carr knows his stuff.
This book is an introduction to bluegrass mandolin with brief forays into rhythm; major, minor and pentatonic chords and scales; Monroe-style playing; turnarounds; and tips for soloing. It includes a CD with recorded examples of all the tablature. Songs include “Long Journey Home,” “Feast Here Tonight,” “Salt Creek,” and “Soldier’s Joy.” This is an excellent starting place for a rank beginner or someone coming from another instrument who wants to pick up the bluegrass mandolin. Highly recommended.CVS