Mel Bay Publications has two new titles that should be of interest to bluegrass musicians, and those studying to become ones.
First up, Hot Banjo Licks in the Different Musical Genres, written by Italian banjo player Claudio Parravicini, who has also contributed a previous project to Mel Bay, Classical Masterpieces for Banjo. This latest is designed for banjo pickers who want to experiment a bit outside the standard bluegrass envelope, and includes both theoretical and practical steps to build improvisational skills.
After using multiple examples of licks based on a number of different scales, he incorporates them into a number of familiar tunes (Cripple Creek, Devil’s Dream, Blackberry Blossom) and some from outside the bluegrass realm (Blues for Rudy, Thinking Yule, Tico Tico). The scale section is presented in standard notation, but switches to tab for the licks and tunes.
Hot Banjo Licks in the Different Musical Genres is available now in an ebook edition for $19.95 online.
Also new is the third volume in The Complete Mandolinist series by renowned classical mandolinist Marilynn Mair. Volume 1 is a classical method book, offering tips and techniques to develop the ability to play in that style, while Volume 2 offers a compendium of important pieces to learn. Now Volume 3 shows Mair the composer, presenting 60 of her own pieces for mandolin.
Certainly anyone who has worked through the first two editions will want to sample her compositions, many of which she wrote while live performing was forbidden during the pandemic shutdowns.
The Complete Mandolinist Volume 3 is available as either an ebook ($24.99) or in print ($34.99), both in standard notation, with audio samples online.
You can see the rich and deep Mel Bay catalog of instructional materials online.