Crafting jazzier solo lines on mandolin

How to sound “in the style” in your improvisation.

Don Stiernberg

$40

The sequel to Don’s popular rhythm course, this course gives you a wealth of information about lead playing for jazz mandolin. Read full description...

The sequel to Don’s popular rhythm course, this course gives you a wealth of information about lead playing for jazz mandolin.

The course has two parts:

1. First, an hour’s worth of video instruction gives you deep insight into improvising over jazz/swing tunes on mandolin. How to approach major/minor 2-5-1 progressions, what to do over dominant chords, how to incorporate bluesy sounds and much more.

2. Next, Don performs five standards, which he chose as representative tunes in the style. He plays several choruses on each, taking care to use the specific concepts and techniques covered in the first hour. The performances are fully transcribed in tab and standard notation, synced with close-up videos. Use these to study “how Don thinks” when he improvises — and learn them as etudes for your own practice.

With Don’s expert instruction together plus the state-of-the-art Soundslice learning interface, this is a fantastic way to improve your jazz mandolin lead chops. And it’s all available for less than the cost of one of Don’s workshops. Enjoy!

85 minutes across 29 parts

1. Intro Free
2. Major ii-V-I chord tones
3. Major ii-V-I etude
4. ii-V-I in closed position
5. Leaning into notes
6. Arpeggios
7. Altered notes for dominant chords
8. Altered dominant trick
9. Enclosures
10. Whole tone scale
11. Diminished sounds
12. Minor ii-V-i
13. Playing a full cadence
14. Tritone substitution
15. The harmonized scale
16. Chords in the cracks
17. Bluesy sounds
18. The Charlie Parker embellishment
19. Tune #1 introduction
20. Tune #1
21. Tune #2 introduction
22. Tune #2
23. Tune #3 introduction
24. Tune #3
25. Tune #4 introduction
26. Tune #4
27. Tune #5 introduction
28. Tune #5
29. Conclusion

About Don Stiernberg

While still in his teens, Don learned to play the mandolin from the innovative and influential virtuoso Jethro Burns. Jethro referred to Don as his “graduate student,” hired him to play in his band, and guided him to a career as a professional musician which has already lasted forty years.

A leading exponent of jazz mandolin style, Don has eight recording projects of his own and appears on many others by a variety of artists in all styles. He wrote the book “Jazz Mandolin Appetizers,” published by Mel Bay in 2013.

In addition to touring coast to coast and abroad, Don stays busy around his native Chicago with performing and recording work. He also contributed a regular column to Mandolin Magazine and has been an instructor at many mandolin events around the world.

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