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Hal Leonard Mandolin Method Format Kindle
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L'ouvrages mêle "exercices" et "vrais morceaux", ce qui permet d'une part de parfaire sa technique, et d'autre part de se faire plaisir. Le CD inclus est très pratique pour repérer ses éventuelles erreurs rythmiques, et permet aussi de disposer uniquement des "accompagnements de fond" quand on joue les morceaux, ce qui est très sympa.
Seul regret minime : l'auteur passe peut-être un peu vite sur la technique du trémolo, qui constitue pourtant la base du jeu à la mandoline. Cependant, il est vrai que c'est très difficile d'apprendre (ou d'enseigner) cette technique si particulière par écrit.
Vraiment très satisfait de cet achat : enfin une méthode claire, ludique, efficace et motivante ! Bravo à son auteur.
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But though I would consider this book the best all-around book, I consider it to have a few problems:
1. The accompanying CD is poorly done. That's Mr. DelGrosso himself performing the songs, but that's not the problem. The problem is that they tried to make every song sound nice, so usually there's accompaniment by either steel-stringed guitar or even bagpipes to flesh things out. The problem is you didn't buy the CD to hear nice music, but to learn how to play yourself! What many other instructional CDs do is have the melody on the right track, say, with the accompaniment on the left track, so that the student may turn down the accompaniment and listen only to the melody, or vice-versa. You can't do that on this CD, which is unfortunate. Both the melody and the accompaniment are on both tracks. There's some rather hairy accompaniments herein: you'll doubtless want to isolate a few of them and listen to them carefully before trying them yourself, but there is no way to do this.
2. What's the need for learning so many alternate voicing of various chords? This strikes me as something an advanced player will need to know -- not just starting out. As it is, after finishing with this, there will be many popular songs you'll be unable to play because chords for them never appeared in the book. Meanwhile you know 4 different voicings of a G and D chord but never learn any B, Bm, Cm, Fm, Gm, etc. And by the way: of those 4 different voicings of a D, none of them is the super-simple one with just two fingers at the second fret!
3. Heck, it's not just that: why does the book start you with hard chords when easier voicings will do just fine? For example, why, on p. 29, do we learn our first G voicing as G:0 D:5 A:3 E:2 instead of the much easier for beginners G:0 D:0 A:2 E:3?
4. The book's progression from simple to more difficult pieces is uneven. If you're really going through this song by song, there are a few here and there that you will find so difficult as to be discouraging. The fact that they're difficult is not the problem: it's the lack of smooth buildup. You'll have several easy pieces, then WHAM! -- a monster that really takes the wind out of your sails. You've just been introduced to the G string and two pages later you're supposed to play Texas Gales at MM = 160?
5. The book has you do like three or four version of the same song (e.g., "Nonesuch" and "Angeline the Baker"). It's true these versions get progressively more difficult, but the sensation of doing the same song over and over again can get discouraging for a beginner.
6. The book doesn't seem to have been very carefully proofed, as when Mr. DelGrosso tells you (on p. 45) to use a "chop" style with some chords that contain open strings! Here are some other things I've noticed:
Page 30: Offers a mixolydian scale but doesn't tell you what it comes from, what it's used for, or how to recreate it in other circumstances.
Page 34 ("Nonesuch"): The bottom two notes in the chord in the 7th measure should look like the bottom two notes in the 11th measure.
Page 35: The first chord of the second measure: this can only be done by fretting these at 7 on the G and 5 on the D, which isn't clarified and is a bit advanced for this stage in the book anyhow.
Page 46: The diagram of the Em chord. This simple-looking chord is undoable for many students, owing to the flesh on the underside of their 3rd finger muting the open E; DelGrosso should have provided an alternate voicing.
Page 49 ("The Black Nag"): Though the first three notes of the 6th full measure have to be barred, that concept is not introduced until later, on p. 55.
Page 58: The two accompaniment chords in the 4th full measure have got to be wrong.
Additionally, this book needs to be updated with a section on all the free chromatic tuners available on the Net.
Incidentally,the cover grandly says "Book 1," implying there's a book two. At least as of my writing, there's not. There's this: Easy Songs for Mandolin: Supplementary Songbook to the Hal Leonard Mandolin Method, published just recently, but that's just a songbook of popular melodies at slightly below the finishing level of this book, not a continuation of the course into more complicated realms. Note that while the songs may be simpler, they did the CD right on that one: separate tracks.
Lacking is an audio CD with examples of the runs and tunes that are in the book. That would make it a 10 instead of a 9.
It's a bit like a really cute but unpleasantly violent kitten. You can't give it only one star; but I can't go any higher than two.
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