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What does it take to learn to play the mandolin?

I've been teaching mandolin since I graduated from Hampshire College in 1985.  I teach all ages and all styles.

One of my earliest students was DJ and radio personality "Johnny Memphis".  At the time, he was playing celtic music and wanted to be able to play the mandolin to compliment the sounds of his band, and he wanted an instrument that he could play and sing at the same time.

The first thing you have to learn is how to hold the instrument.  Of course a good strap will keep the instrument from falling to the floor, but you'll need to understand how to position it so that your right arm and hand is in the right place for picking the notes, AND for playing rhythm and chords.

Next, you need to learn the best way to hold the pick for picking out melodies, and for chording.

In the same hour, you will learn how to hold the neck of the instrument, where to place the fingers of your left hand, and how to position your left arm, elbow and wrist for the most advantageou…
Recent posts

5.7.17: River Roll and Stroll on the Rt. 116 Bridge

Holy S.Had! Take to the street and come together on the bridge that connects Holyoke and South Hadley for a vehicle-free, care-free Sunday celebration and experience the Connecticut River in a whole new way! The Route 116 Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge will be closed to traffic for this free, open streets event featuring music, art, activities, food, and fun for all ages. Free admission; rain or shine. An ‘open streets’ event presented by the Bike/Walk Committees of the City of Holyoke and the Town of South Hadley, with support from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT); MassBike; and the Cultural Councils of South Hadley and Holyoke, local agencies supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. Event sponsors include E-Ink, Holyoke Medical Center, Republic Services, Mount Holyoke College, Big Y, PeoplesBank, Conklin Office Furniture, and Holyoke Youth Soccer League. Adam Sweet's Mandolin Project will be performing works of Mozart and Bach at …

Mandolin concerts coming up

Adam Sweet's Mandolin Project will be performing on Sunday, May 7th at the River Roll and Stroll in South Hadley Falls.

The festival will start at 9 and go until late in the afternoon.  The mandolin project will play Bach and Mozart in the morning, and Schubert in the afternoon.

For more information about that, or to register to take mandolin lessons, visit http://mandolinorchestra.org



Mandolin, mandola, mandocello lessons!

I am now offering mandola and mandocello lessons at the studio in addition to mandolin.  Mandola is the "viola" equivalent in the mandolin family of instruments.  Mandocello is the "cello" equivalent.

Mandola players often read the Treble Clef, only an octave higher and with different fingering.  Sometimes called the "Tenor Clef".  Many mandola players also play viola and therefore read the standard viola "Alto Clef".

Mandocello players read the Bass Clef.

The fingering on both instruments is identical to the fingering on the bowed-string counterpart, so viola and cello players could switch over to the fretted versions quite easily.  In fact, if you have a little guitar background, the transition is even easier as you will already have experience with frets and a pick.

To learn more about taking lessons, visit my website where you can check the schedule and contact me about lessons.  Thank you!  Adam Sweet

Accepting New Students: 2017

Sweet Music Studio has partnered with South Hadley Music to provide private and group music lessons at the First Congregational Church in South Hadley, MA.

Check the available slots below then use the contact form or call 413-224-8600 to find out more

Lesson slots are available according to the following schedule:

Mondays

5-6pm Available6-7pm NA7-8pm NA8-9pm NA

Tuesdays

5-6pm Available6-7pm NA7-8pm NA8-9pm Available

Thursdays

5-6pm Available6-7pm NA7-8pm NA8-9pm Available

Additional Slots Are Available Online With Google Hangouts.  All you need is a webcam and microphone.

Instruments Offered:

Violin: Suzuki, ClassicalFiddle styles: bluegrass, old time, celtic, Irish, jazz, blues, swing, improvisationViola: Classical, improvisationMandolin: any styleMandola: any style

I Manage Music for Weddings

Since 1986, I have been working with a variety of musicians including solo/strolling violinists, harpists and singers; trios and quartets; chamber ensembles; rock and blues bands; and DJs.
I'm happy to answer any question you might have about planning music for your special day including ceremony music, cocktail hour, dinner music, reception/dance, soiree music as well as music for the various transitions in an event.
FWIW, I am located in Western Massachusetts, near Amherst College. Most of the weddings I work with are in New England, specifically Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island and Connecticut, although I have managed music for weddings in Maine and New York state.
To learn about the musicians and ensembles I can provide, as well as ask me any questions, feel free to call 413-224-8600 any time or use the contact box on the sidebar!

I buy mandolins! Any condition.

I buy mandolins, mandolas and mandocellos.

If you or someone you know has an old (or new) mandolin kicking around the place that nobody wants, send me some pictures of the front, sides and back, details of the scroll, endpin and any damage.  If you know the provenance of the instrument (where it was made, the brand, serial number), include that information.  If you don't know anything about it, that's fine also.

Why do I buy mandolins?

I am the founder and director of the Springfield Mandolin Orchestra, a 501(c)3 Nonprofit dedicated to providing educational performances and events throughout the Metro Springfield area.  I offer a program for beginners called "Play to Own", where people that would like to join the orchestra may borrow a mandolin, mandola or mandocello, and come to rehearsals and mandolin lessons.  At the end of the year if they are still playing, they may purchase it at my cost!  Learn about the orchestra here: http://mandolinorchestra.org