Beginner Mandolin Lessons


In these 3 videos from, Baron Collins Hill takes us through everything you need to know to get started playing the Mandolin. Learn the best technique, your first chords and proper strumming. Great for Beginners.

Use these Free Mandolin Tabs, to get you going.

Video Text: Mandolin Technique

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hi everybody welcome to mando lessons this is the first lesson in the beginners series and in this lesson I’m going to talk a little bit about proper technique while holding the instrument there’s lots of lessons over at mando lessons calm and here on my youtube channel there’s a couple ways to donate that said the lessons will always be free so find what you’re interested in and start playing right off the bat what you want to do is sit up nice and straight but comfortably feet firmly planted on the floor and you’re just gonna without the mandolin even in your hands at this point you’re just gonna shake out your arms so you feel nice and relaxed and take a moment to understand what this feels like so you can come back to this feeling at a moment’s notice from there we’re gonna pick up the mandolin I recommend having a strap if you don’t have one I recommend you can use a piece of string anything like that but you can also get some fairly inexpensive straps on the internet or at your local music store and what you’re gonna do is get it to a nice comfortable height you know some people have it down lower some people up higher I kind of

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have it just floating slightly off my lap and with the strap around my neck we’re gonna think about our right hand first and nice loose right arm you’re gonna bend at the elbow and flop your arm you’re about ninety degrees and then flop your arm over the instrument kind of a nice loose fist on your right hand another important aspect of physically holding the mandolin is that when I’m looking straight at you like I am right now you’ll notice that my mandolin it’s kind of pointed off to my right a little bit and what that is coming from is my elbow on my left arm being nice and relaxed and my shoulder being looked nice and neutral and if the mandolin was straight ahead of me and I went and grabbed the neck of the instrument my shoulder gets pushed back my elbow gets pushed back and everything gets much less comfortable but again if I leave my arm nice and neutral bend at the elbow put the mandolin into my hand

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everything that stays relaxed right here it angers the mandolin off to the side a little bit but it creates a much more pleasant playing experience and you’ll sound better for it another thing to keep in mind is the Aang of the neck of the mandolin while you’re playing if you flop your right arm over the instrument like we talked about and it’s in your forearm is fairly parallel to the floor and the neck of the mandolin is up at about 30 degrees or so what that allows is if you’re looking down with the pick the left edge of the pick it becomes the forward edge and goes through the string first and will roll off the string a little easier and not create as much friction as if the mandolin was flat and the pick hits flat to the string this reduces pick noise and makes for a more comfortable playing experience so that’s flat and this is with the neck of the mandolin top little rounder tone people

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do it lots of different ways but that’s the way that I like to do it in the way that I like to teach it now that you’re sitting up straight holding the instrument comfortably and ergonomically it’s time to jump into some music take a moment to just realize what it feels like to be nice and relaxed with the instrument in your hands using proper technique and it’ll make it easier to come back to this point because as we play and get into the music our technique will naturally degrade and will start punching over and tightening up and we just want to be able to come back to this nice relaxed position so check out more lessons in the beginner series to get into the music thanks for watching check out more lessons at mando be sure to subscribe here on YouTube and I’ll see you in the next one bye bye

Video Text: First Mandolin Chords

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hi everybody welcome back to mando lessons my name is Baron Collins Hill and this is the second lesson in the beginner series where we’re gonna look at our first couple chords on the mandolin all of these lessons are available over at mando where all my lessons are always free that said there are a couple ways to donate you can also subscribe here on youtube to keep up with new lessons I put out every week let’s jump right into the music and get these chords under our fingers as a short little introductory primer our lowest pitched string is a g-string and I call that the fourth string next up we have the D string which is the third string the a string is the second string and the E string is the string closest to the floor and the first string our G chord is going to have an open fourth string or G an open third string or D 2nd fret with your pointer finger on the a string and third

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fret with your middle finger on the E string so we have open open two three can play all four strings and you get a great G chord [Music] for the court of see we’re gonna take that little shape we have in our left hand and we’re gonna move it to the middle two sets of strings so now we have an open G 4th string 2nd fret on the D string or the 3rd string 3rd fret on the a string and open first string E and so we have open two three open again all four strings are great to strum it sounds great our third chord is a D major chord and for this one we’re going to move our fingers a little bit more starts with this first with the 4th string on the second fret so that’s an a on the g

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string and then an open D string and open a string and 2nd fret on the E string our first string again we have two open open two so let’s go back to our G chord for a moment open open two three let’s do a couple strums on that just nice down strokes great now let’s go to our C chord open two three open for down strokes and our DX chord to open open two four down strokes [Music] and back to G alright let’s pick up the pace a little bit we’re gonna now play

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those without pauses in between and four down strokes of each here we go one two three four again G so once again those three chords make up tons of folk songs and other kind of other songs throughout many genres of music see if you can find some old bluegrass songs or folk songs or whatever you’re interested in and see if it’s a three chord song start strumming away that’s all for part two of the beginner series here at mando

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lessons check out mando lessons com for lots more lessons and subscribe to my youtube channel for new lessons every week thanks so much for watching and hope to see you again soon bye bye

Video Text: Basic Mandolin Strumming

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hi everybody welcome back to mando lessons my name is Baron Collins Hill in this lesson lesson 3 of the beginner series we’re going to work on a right hand strumming pattern using the chords that we learned in lesson 2 of the beginners series all of my lessons are available over at mando lessons calm and here on YouTube so don’t forget to subscribe here all my lessons are always available for free that said there are a couple of ways to donate over at mando lessons calm which is always appreciated let’s jump into that strumming pattern in lesson 2 of the beginners series we worked on our G chord our C chord and our D chord all major chords and used simple right hand down strokes as our strong pattern you’re unfamiliar with those check out lesson 2 in the beginner series what we’re going to do now is we’re going to spice up our right hand strum pattern to make it sound a little more like this [Music]

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so to start what we’re doing here is we’re breaking our strum pattern into two parts we have a bass note and then a strum note this is sort of imitating what a lot of acoustic guitar players will do a lot of guitar styles especially in the American folk tradition use sort of bass strum patterns and with alternating bass lines so our first stroke we’re gonna hit the open we’re gonna have a G chord in our left hand and we’re gonna hit the open g string as a bass note and then we can strum through all four sets of strings so another piece of the pattern that we

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haven’t gotten to yet is we’re going to alternate our bass so rather than just playing open G strum open G strum we’re gonna play open G strum and then our open D string and then stroke G strum D so we’ve the alternating bass pattern G strum D stroke and the last piece of the puzzle is we can add a little bit of an upstroke in between these strokes we already have just to spice things up a little bit and when I’m coming up on that upstroke on the E string I’m usually just playing the e string maybe sometimes the E and the a strings but we don’t need to go through

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all four sets of strings coming back up and that’s the whole pattern and now it just requires moving our fingers on our left hand so let’s get that pattern moving in our right hand and then start changing chords so one two three four no start opening the base G D G D soon our C chord G back to C let’s go to D G

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so as you can see that pattern in the right hand stays totally static as we go through all these chords that alternating bass is always the g string and the D string and our chords will just change in our left hand sometimes like when going to the D chord you really need to get your pointer finger over to that second fret on the g string quickly so you can have time to hit that bass note so that’s a great guitar style strumming pattern to use on the mandolin next it’s time to get into a song so check out lesson 4 in the beginners series thanks so much for watching as always more lessons at mando lessons comm don’t forget to subscribe here on YouTube and keep on picking thanks so much bye-bye

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