Mandolin iBook from Adam Tanner

shuffleOld time fiddler and mandolinist Adam Tanner has put together a mandolin tune book for Apple’s iBook format. It combines audio files with standard notation and tablature for on-screen display, in what should be a very convenient learning system for anyone with an iPad, iPhone, or Macintosh computer.

Titled The Shuffle Of The Pick – 12 old time fiddle tunes for the intermediate and advanced mandolin player, the book also contains valuable commentary from the author, many photographs, and original artwork. Especially useful should be Adam’s thoughts about converting fiddle tunes for mandolin, and the information about the various fiddlers whose playing inspired these mandolin arrangements.

Adam focuses primarily on old time and roots music these days, but his start in music was as a bluegrass player. He tells us that this book was written for serious students of the mandolin, those who really enjoy the challenge of learning fiddle tunes, but who may not have much experience in the old time style, with its quirky rhythmic motifs and unorthodox phrasing – at least from a bluegrass standpoint.

He discovered that there a lot of players who fit that description through his role as an instructor in the ETSU Bluegrass, Old Time and Country Music Studies program, where he teaches private lessons for mandolin and old time fiddle, and coaches student bands. There he encounters many young players who want to focus mostly on instrumental music, but are looking for something beyond Blackberry Blossom and Bill Monroe tunes.

Covered in The Shuffle Of The Pick are:

  • Folding Down the Sheets
  • Kitty Puss
  • Frankie
  • 9 Miles Outside of Louisville
  • Polly Put the Kettle On
  • Catlettsburg
  • The Cuckoo’s Nest
  • Bob Walker
  • Lundy’s Durang’s Hornpipe
  • Big Hoedown
  • Georgia Belle
  • 16 Days in Georgia
  • Chinquapin Hunting
  • Lost John

Several of them are presented as medleys, hence the number greater than the 12 in the title.

The Shuffle Of The Pick is available for download purchase in iTunes for $14.99.

Tanner addressed the issue of creating this iBook as exclusively available on Apple products, something he said many potential purchasers had asked him about.

Adam Tanner“The truth is, the software Apple has for bookmaking is beautifully designed, making it very easy to put something like this together. There are free conversion tools online that allow you to take something created for Apple iBook, and convert it for use with a Kindle.

I understand that it’s asking a lot for people to buy and download my book expecting to be able to then convert it for use on Kindle, but it really does work, even if some of the graphics may not display exactly the same.”

He also mentioned that despite finding the Apple iBook creation software to be the best by far, it shared the downside with other ebook systems of being deficient in accommodating video within the format. Electronic bookmakers seem to have overlooked this tool for instructional texts, as Adam sees it, which is why this book includes audio and printed music only.

You can learn more about Tanner and his music on his web site.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.