Mandolin Accompaniment Techniques of the Masters

Simon Dunson

Mandolin Accompaniment Techniques of the Masters

$ 180.00

Mandolin Accompaniment of the Masters with Simon Dunson

This class will meet online - an invitation to a recurring Zoom meeting will be included in the orientation email sent upon checkout.


Course Overview & Objectives 

We will be taking a deep look at the mandolin's role in a band. We will discuss things like traditional chop chord style accompaniment, background fills behind singers, open chords, incorporating bass lines, voice leading, and discussing the mandolin’s strengths and weaknesses (and how to play to these strengths!). We will study a different notable mandolin player weekly to see how they play in a band. Transcriptions will be provided (in standard notation & tablature) for background fills and different accompaniment techniques each mandolin player uses. 


- Have a mandolin and be excited to learn! 

Prerequisites - A mandolin and some knowledge of reading tablature or standard notation!

Week One 

- Bill Monroe 

- Chop Chord, Monroe’s Model and why Monroe is so good! 

- Monroe with the Bluegrass Boys 

Week Two 

- Bill Monroe (cont.) 

- Monroe with Doc Watson and how we approaches this ensemble differently - What is the role of fills and what is going on harmonically & melodically 

Week Three 

- David Grisman 

- How does Grisman incorporate his own style? What is he doing differently than Monroe? - Playing with open chord shapes 

Week Four 

- Sam Bush 

- How does Sam Bush differ from Grisman & Monroe? What makes these three players so identifiable? 

- Incorporating Bass lines with open chord shapes 

Week Five 

- Ricky Skaggs 

- How does Ricky differ from Monroe and create his own sound despite many similarities and Monroe’s incredible influence over Ricky’s playing. 

- How to do more with your chop shape!

Week Six 

- Adam Steffey 

- The evolution of tone. What is Lost? What is Gained? 

- Chop shape Elaboration cont. 

Week Seven 

- Chris Thile 

- Virtuosity. What does Thile do differently to be so recognizable? Is virtuosity important? What does Thile do differently than many other players? 

- How to learn songs & how to deeply internalize songs. 

Week Eight 

- Jesse McReynolds 

- Cross Picking & Split strings. One of the most unique and challenging techniques on the mandolin and why did McReynolds style not become as popular as Monroe’s?