Entitled Mandolin For Seniors, it is a beginner’s manual especially geared for older learners. Larger fonts are used with an nod towards eyes that are “formerly young,” and the songs taught were chosen to be familiar to a more mature audience. A CD is included with audio all of the songs being played.
Carr has a long history in the bluegrass world, playing for many years as a member of Country Gazette, and as an instructor in the bluegrass music program at South Plains College in Texas. He explained how this new book came to be.
“The Mandolin For Seniors book was inspired by Mike Christiansen’s Guitar for Seniors. After Mel Bay published that book, they contacted me about writing the same title for mandolin and ukulele. I used Christiansen’s book as a model, even using the same wording and tunes. At first, I had planned to present the music in the same keys so a band of various instruments could play together, but I soon realized that an ‘easy’ key on the guitar was not necessarily easy on mandolin or uke.
The real challenge of the work was to choose easy to play chord voicings for the instrument that made sense for a beginning student. The goal of this book is to get players strumming rhythm to familiar tunes in several open keys. Written in a larger font that usual. the book is designed to be friendly to older eyes and fingers.
In my imagination an older student who has never played is sitting in his living room or RV learning how much fun it came be to make music for yourself. As an older guy now, I realize I’m not that far away from this scene myself!”
Mandolin For Seniors runs to 32 pages, and is offered with the CD for $14.99. You can find more details (including song list, sample pages and audio) on the Mel Bay site.