Ask Marilynn

Marilynn has included some of her most commonly asked questions and answers here. If you don’t see your specific question addresses, feel free to send her an email.

Pettine picks & self-teaching

Q: I am 49 years of age and just purchased a mandolin.  I have played the piano and have found the mandolin, or it found me, after much consideration for a new adventure and furthering my range of music. When I purchased my mandolin I purchased your new instruction book “The Complete Mandolinist”.  I have tried to find the Pettine picks but without success. I have tried locally and have searched the internet. Will you please help me find them … Read More »

Posted August 17th, 2010 | 1 Comment

What speed should I tremolo?

Q: I am a student of your mandolin method (after 13 months of studying in earnest, I am on page 78) and I have been working since the first Branzoli tremolo exercise on my tremolo. Could you please tell me how fast one should reasonably be able to tremolo?  Say in terms of four strokes for each beat of the metronome (so 120 b/m would be 480 tremolo strokes), how many beats per minute would be reasonable? It is important … Read More »

Posted July 27th, 2010 | Leave a comment
  • "A lovely concert! We estimate your spell-bound and enthusiastic audience at close to 1800 people…" - Lincoln Center Out-Of-Doors (USA)
    Marilynn Mair on mandolin...touches the deepest and most engaging reaches of the ancient and passionate 'Latin soul'. - Carlos Agudelo, Billboard Magazine
    "A brilliant concert from beginning to end…The performance was extraordinary." – La Rioja (Spain)
    Bring a talented ensemble of gifted musicians together playing some of the great concertos and chamber music pieces of the 1700s, present the extraordinary classical mandolinist Marilynn Mair front and center, and you have a rare combination of the right musicians performing the right music at the right time. – David McCarty, Mandolin Magazine (USA)
    "Smudging the lines between folk and classical is an intrepid endeavor... Mair's a superb mandolin player who has brought the instrument to unexpected places..." - Jim Macnie, The Providence Phoenix (USA)
    "Marilynn Mair has always had the keen ability to balance classical mandolin traditions and repertoire, while constantly breaking new musical ground…a superb and versatile mandolinist and composer." - – Butch Baldassari, Mandolin Magazine (USA)
    "Mair is unstoppable… capable of evoking any landscape, past or present, you’d care to conjure." – Mike Caito, Providence Phoenix (USA)
    "Marilynn Mair é uma bandolinista americana de formação erudita" -- Paulo Eduardo Neves, Agenda do Samba Choro (Brasil)
    "Marilynn Mair lives up to her reputation as an excellent mandolinist, with clear tone, a beautiful tremolo, and creative expressiveness." – Zupfmusik Magazin (Germany)
    "She’s a fabulous player with a wonderfully clear and lyrical sound." – The Ottawa Citizen (Canada)
    "Stepping back to the 18th-century masterworks gave her the opportunity to highlight her technique with a fresh light... her playing is thoughtful, vibrant and a delight to listen to." -- Terence Pender, Mandolin Quarterly (USA)
    "Marilynn Mair acquits herself very well indeed, a most accomplished player, able to deal with the many intricacies the repertoire demands of her." - Chris Kilvington, Classical Guitar (England)
    "Mair displays an exceptionally gifted approach to this music, using her formidable mandolin technique with grace and sensitivity… It’s the next best thing to a trip to Rio." – David McCarty, Mandolin Magazine (USA)
    "Marilynn Mair performs Brazilian mandolin music... she plays the mandolin as an instrument for all occasions." – Vaughn Watson, The Providence Journal (USA)
    "The final repeat of the melody transmitted a strong feeling of peace and tenderness that escaped no one in the audience. It is this sensitivity and subtleness that characterized the overall performance." - Brian Hodel, Guitar Review (USA)
    "A sparkling concert… absolutely brilliant!" – Guitar Magazine (England)
    "Mair travels by mandolin to Brazil and brilliance... her commitment to the music shines through." - Rick Massimo, The Providence Journal