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1930s Country Mandolin: Bluegrass Roots

By Joseph Weidlich

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Fretted. Bluegrass, Country, Folk, Instruction. Softcover. With guitar tablature. 84 pages. Published by Centerstream Publications (HL.234819).

Item Number: HL.234819

ISBN 9781574243475. 9x12 inches.

Examine the development of country mandolin performance during the 1930s with this book by Joseph Weidlich. During that decade, the mandolin became a featured solo instrument requiring players to quickly develop a new style of playing in order to give vocalists a break from singing, particularly in the popular “brother act” format. As the decade progressed, numerous idiomatic techniques were tested, discarded and refined leading to instrumental solos that were eventually based more on playing over chord changes than on the actual melody itself. The techniques outlined here, based on period recoridngs, clearly establish the roots of that new solo approach which blossomed in the looser ensemble format of early 1940s “bluegrass” music.

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