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"Good improvisation communicates harmonic progression melodically. Effective melodies manipulate harmonic content through the use of guide tones and preparatory gravity notes, masterfully woven in systematic tension, release, and transparent harmonic definition."

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December 17, 2006 | Available in ebook: The Bickford Mandolin Method

As convenient as a click of the mouse, you have access to purchasing one of the all-time great mandolin method books at This is truly slick; visit the site and you can download a PDF of this amazing 89 page war-horse comprehensive method for conquering the basics of mandolinning, The Bickford Mandolin Method. Though there are exercises for the advanced beginner, even an experienced player can brush up on crucial picking techniques, and seasoned veterans like Evan Marshall are quick to point out a Bickford influence...

Djangobooks site administrator and Django curator Michael Horowitz writes: "I stumbled across this book while doing research on the right hand picking styles of pre-war guitarists, banjo players, and mandolinists. I had always suspected that the Gypsy Picking technique was employed by most plectrum players before WWII. Bickfords instruction clearly describes the same picking technique that Django and most other Gypsies use on the guitar. The use of predominately down strokes, all played as rest strokes, was the preferred technique of early 20th century mandolin virtuosos. And judging by the incredible playing of Dave Apollon, who I assumed used this same technique, it's just as effective on mandolin as it is on guitar."

This ought to be standard issue in any serious mandolinist's library; download it for yourself (only $8.00!) and print off pages as you need. It will be one of the best pedagogical investments you'll ever make!

Highly recommended: The Bickford Mandolin Method

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Posted by Ted at December 17, 2006 6:50 PM

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