The 100 – Techniques & Exercises for Mandolinists

How to play faster, cleaner, louder, more musically, and with greater confidence

The 100 cover imageThis book is a master class in musicianship for mandolinists, written and recorded by one of the most highly regarded performers and teachers of her generation.

Buy it now at Amazon.

Marilynn Mair is a world-renowned mandolinist with over a thousand concerts, two dozen CDs and two previous Mel Bay books to her credit. In The 100 -Techniques & Exercises for Mandolinists, she presents 100 tips and techniques distilled from her musical journey, developed over the course of her career, and used in her private lessons, workshops, and her own concert preparation.

For the first time ever, Marilynn has included TAB for all 100 exercises and the musical examples included in the book. Because these are exercises, she wanted the material to be accessible to all mandolinists whatever their choice of music, not only to those who read music. She also personally recorded 50 examples, specifically tailored to illustrate the book’s exercises and ideas, and access to that online audio is included with the book.

Here’s an excerpt from the book’s introduction:

“You play the mandolin; you want to play it better. It’s a noble quest pursued by many, one with several different components—improving technique, developing musicianship, learning to read and listen better, developing a roadmap to guide you through a piece from beginning to end, finding a style that makes your heart leap up, and discovering people to make music with. But the most important aspect of all may be understanding when you need to step back from your playing to survey the situation and develop a game plan, to hear what you want before you can play it, and to be able to figure out where you want your music to go.

I can help with that. I’ve most likely been playing mandolin longer than you have. I’ve had teachers who opened doors and students who asked questions, concert repertoire I’ve had to learn by a deadline and recording sessions that demanded perfection, stylistic questions that required research and situations where I had to jump without knowing where I would land. Along the way I’ve developed a methodology to improve my ability to listen, critique, work out problems efficiently, assess, and decide what is needed to bring a piece of music to life.

Blind hope is never the answer, and no one magically plays better at the gig than at home. Well, maybe sometimes, but those moments are rare and, though thrilling, can’t be counted on. To truly improve your playing you need to know how to practice, to understand that practicing is different from playing, and to realize that performing brings a greater level of intensity that you will not overcome unless you have done the requisite work.

You need to become a mechanic to develop as an artist. You have to take the engine apart to see how it works and figure out why some parts aren’t running smoothly. You need to see the big picture and then be able to deconstruct it down to a single problematic note. You have to know when to think and when to take your mind out of the equation so your fingers can learn their specific tasks. Simple ideas can bring powerful results. This book presents 100 tips and techniques distilled from my musical journey that may help you on yours.”

Posted October 1st, 2017. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
  • “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)

    “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)

    “Marilynn Mair lives up to her reputation as an excellent mandolinist, with clear tone, a beautiful tremolo, and creative expressiveness.”

    – Zupfmusik Magazin (Germany)

    “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)

    “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)

    “A sparkling concert… absolutely brilliant!”

    – Guitar Magazine (England)

    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)

    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)

    “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)

    “Marilynn Mair é uma bandolinista americana de formação erudita”

    — Paulo Eduardo Neves, Agenda do Samba Choro (Brasil)

    “She’s a fabulous player with a wonderfully clear and lyrical sound.”

    – The Ottawa Citizen (Canada)

    “Marilynn Mair performs Brazilian mandolin music… she plays the mandolin as an instrument for all occasions.”
    – Vaughn Watson, The Providence Journal (USA)

    “Mair travels by mandolin to Brazil and brilliance… her commitment to the music shines through.”

    – Rick Massimo, The Providence Journal

    “Mair is unstoppable… capable of evoking any landscape, past or present, you’d care to conjure.”

    – Mike Caito, Providence Phoenix (USA)

    “A lovely concert! We estimate your spell-bound and enthusiastic audience at close to 1800 people…”

    – Lincoln Center Out-Of-Doors (USA)