Mandolin: Dead Man's Tuning - How to Tune Your Mandolin | Willy Minnix | Skillshare

Mandolin: Dead Man's Tuning - How to Tune Your Mandolin

Willy Minnix, Check Out Dead Man's Tuning at

Mandolin: Dead Man's Tuning - How to Tune Your Mandolin

Willy Minnix, Check Out Dead Man's Tuning at

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4 Lessons (22m)
    • 1. Course 1 Video 1

    • 2. Session 2 - Basic Chords

    • 3. Course 1 Video 3

    • 4. Course 1 Video 4

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About This Class

This class will teach beginning mandolin students how to tune their mandolin in Dead  Man's and ADAD tuning for the mandolin. These open tunings are great ways to learn how to play the mandolin in a simple and easy fashion.

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Willy Minnix

Check Out Dead Man's Tuning at


Willy Minnix – Biography of an American Troubadour

As a musician, artist, writer, sound man and minister, Willy Minnix has formed a unique perspective on life that has grown along with his chance to live all across America. His unique perspective on life is reflected in his works, and connects with people from all walks of life. His songs often offer a glimpse into other times and places, that carry the listener along to places they have never experienced, and sights they have never seen, often reflecting social commentary on modern life and culture. With roots in Blues, Pop, Rock and Gospel, and influenced by the likes of Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Billy Joel, Howlin' Wolf, Greg Brown, Jerry Lee Lewis, Beach Boys, The Beatles, Andre Crouch and the Disciples, Rev. Gary Davis... See full profile

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1. Course 1 Video 1: Theo was willing medics. I am the author of the Mandolin, Dead man's tuning Siris of Books And today I'm here on skill share to teach you a little bit about the man. Lynn, I am going to teach you today how to tune your man land into either dead man's tuning or a dad tuning. And in order to do that, you're going to need a couple things. You're going to need a mandolin, and you're going to need a tune. Or now I'm using a corked tuner. This is the C A one. I think this model might be discontinued, and I think they have another model that's like it. But this is a great tuner. I've always liked it. And what's nice about it is you can plug in your instrument if you have an instrument that can be plugged in. This is not a guitar tuner. This is a chromatic tuner. So if you haven't bought a tune area and you want to get one, make sure you get a chromatic tuner because that will allow you to tune other instruments other than just the guitar. Whereas a guitar to know basically teaches you how to tune the guitar, and sometimes they only have the notes that air in standard tuning for the guitar. Now we're not going to cover standard tuning for the mandolin today. There hundreds of hundreds of mandolin tunings out there, and there are lots of people that will teach you that I'm here to teach you but alternate tuning that will let any body start pointing the mandolin immediately, and you'll be able to play songs and hymns and full tunes and blues tunes and country tunes and bluegrass and anything you want to in this tuning. So what you need to do to get started is you're going to have to turn your to your own, and the tuner will actually have little lights or some sort of a meter that will tell you when you're in tune. When the tuner Lite hits the note you want and it turns green, then you'll be able to tell that you're in tune. Now, on my other camera, I have I'm gonna let you be able to see what I'm playing on the mandolin, and hopefully you'll also be able to see enough to understand how the tuner works. This is a basic video for people who you may know nothing about how to play an instrument, so this should help you get started. So when I first want to play, I need to to my bottom string, which is the thickest one here, which seems a little odd. Some people think, well, shouldn't be the top string since it's at the top of the man the land. But actually, we think of this is the bottom because it's at the low end of the sound. It's not a high pitch note. It's a low pitch, so we call it the bottom. So the bottom string is actually tuned to either a low D or A in this case. And what tune it to an A. So according to this, if you can see that, yeah, I'm a little bit a little bit off. So I need to to turn this to my pigs, uh, to get it to go to the note that I want, and I don't have to do it too much, just a little bit, and now you'll see my life's turning green. See how green is where it kind of ends. Now there are It's hard to juggle everything. There are different schools of thought as to how you should tune Some say, you know, you just tune gently and like, you know, work through it that way. Other people say no. You tune it as hard as you be playing. I like to tune it somewhere in between. You know, that's how hard I strike the string. Why do it now? Mandolin has double rows of strings, so you have to tune the next string to our matches. Now, if you listen to this, they don't sound like they match. So you have to take this other string on, tune it until it also makes the green light shine. Now they sound like they're together. Now, the next note that we want is the D. No and notice. I'm almost there. I'm really close. You see that? So now to the next one up to that. And if you overshoot, you just back it down a little bit on then. I like to play them together because it lets me know. Okay, that sounds nice. So they must be tuned. So my bottom to strangers now in two. Now we're doing it to True Dead Man's tuning, which is D D a. D. This string would actually be eight notes lower on that string, so they would sound very similar. They would just be a knocked of apart, which is what you get when you play the mystery and the last string. When they're in tune, you get an octave apart there. But in this case, we're doing the old violent tuning eight at a d A. D. And because it's going to set up some of the songs that I want to teach you in other lessons. So now we're on this string and it should be exactly an octave higher thin. This should sound similar. Now I know this. They make the green light shine to now You may notice that sometimes the light wavers between the green light and the red light. That's OK, as long as that green light is the predominant light. Then you're in. You're doing well. Now, finally we get this last string tuned, okay? And it gets tuned to a D on, and we're too. Sometimes if you have some weather change or humidity change, you may have to go through and adjust it a couple times as you go along with my mandolins minutes Pretty stable environment today, so I don't really have to change much on it. So that's it for how to tune. Now, In the next couple videos, I want to show you some tricks. The next video, I'm going to show you some basic chords and then the following video I'm going to show you a basic song. And so that way, when you get ready to your project, you will be able to tune your tune, your mandolin, play a little bit of the chords, play a song and it will be good. So stay tuned. Check us out in the next video. 2. Session 2 - Basic Chords: Hey back. My name is willing Minnix, and I'm here to help you learn a little bit more about how to play the mandolin. Now most people want to know how to play some basic chords on the mandolin. So here are some very, very simple chords that will get you started. And with these three chords, you should be able to play hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of songs. One, The Man Lab. The first court, of course, is the D Court. Because we're in an open D tuning and this court is so simple to play its Azizi is just strumming across the way. Thing is what we call motile D because we don't have the f sharp. That makes it a Trudy, but casual listener that sounds just like a regular D. So that'll work for our purposes. Now the next court is easy to play, too. But sometimes people have a little bit of a hard time forming this court, so you're gonna have to practice and make sure that it works. But what you do is you take your finger and you press it across the fifth fret. One, 2345 and you'll notice on my mandolin. It has a dot there. It's actually the second dot There's the first dot. There's a 2nd 1 now. This is how you I remember 357 you know, those were my main cords that I want to play at the fifth dot That's my G chord. So what I do is I pinch the mandolin like this and you see how my fingers nice and strength . And if I hold it like this, there's no curve there. It's not art like this. It's not bowed out like that. It's just straight and flat right across, and I pinch it with my hand, my thumb. And if I'm not strong, if I take my middle finger and I go over top and I just apply a little bit more pressure and notice when I do that, I hear this this string and it can kind of buzz. If you get your finger too close to the front, you want your finger back away from the fret so that with the string is hitting the fret but your fingers not, But when you do it properly, you get all of your friends. Are all of the strings to sound at the place where you fret them, which is the fifth fret. So that makes a G poor or a motile g chord. Now, if you take that on and slide it up 12 friends thing you get in a corner. I tend to do this a lot with Frankie. Three chords that you can use. No, those are not the only ways to play those cords. Now I'm going to show you another way that I think a little bit easier to play them. But you may practice it either way. And when you do your project, you can show me which one you prefer. One the other way that I played. G Chord is all only do it down on this camera. So maybe you could see better. I put my my first finger on the second fret of the second string this string 123 and four. So first finger on the second string second fret and I put my fourth finger. I'm sorry. Well, either my fourth or my fifth finger, I'll put right here on the first string on the fifth Fret. Okay, See? See, the this is 0.3 this is 0.5 that stopped seven. There you go. That's the way to form a G chord and you leave these other two strings open. And when you play, it sounds somewhere that and there's if you read it across the fifth ready. But it takes a lot less effort, I think, to play it like this, play like that. Now, if you take this and just like you slide the fifth fret up. Two frets and you slide this up two frets way a little bit of buzzing going on my my mandolin today, but that makes the a chord. Okay, so notice I'm here at the fourth fret second string seventh fret first string makes a cool . So in the next video, I want to show you how to play a very simple song that you can play in practice and then you'll be able to make your project and show us how you can play a song. So have a great day. We'll see in the next video 3. Course 1 Video 3: Okay, so here we are, back for skill share, and my name is willing Minnix, and I'm here to teach you how to play a simple song in Open D Tuning on the mandolin and the simple song I Want to teach You Today is Amazing Grace, and that's a song that pretty much everybody has heard in their life. And it's really simple. You can play it if you want to, with only three chords and the three chords that we're gonna play with today are the D chord, the G chord and the a chord. And I want to teach you a method for figuring out songs. That is kind of an ear method, and I want you to take the same method and start working one songs that you know in love and seeing if you can apply the same method. This way, when we sing a song and we play a song, we have to listen for where the cords change, okay? And so the cords change at different spots, depending on the song, and you normally can hear them because it just doesn't sound right. If you don't change, let me give you an example with this song. Amazing Grace. Amazing Grace. How sweet. And it's like that doesn't quite sound right. There seems to be like there should be a change there. So how sweet. And it changes again. So that first change isn't G. Now, if we limit our palette of choices to just those three chords, it means that you either are going to change to a G, or you either are going to change to an A. You have a 50 50 shot of getting the change, right? So what you want to do is try them both and see which one sounds right. Amazing Grace. How way? And if you want to stop there, you could try the other one. Amazing grace. How sweet. Now that doesn't sound right. So you know that it's you're not changing to the a chord. You're actually changing to G core. So I want you to use that method when you try to figure out songs that you like to play. No matter what the song is, you can use that method to try to figure it out. Now, not all songs have just three courts, so sometimes you'll be like I can't find the court. That's okay. Keep watching the videos, Keep taking these classes and I will show you down the line a lot more chords that will help you figure out even more complicated songs before these simple songs. Just remember you got three chords to work with The d chord, the G chord and the A court and keep it simple. So here's amazing grace She start out with a D On the open strumming Amazing Grace How go to the g chord which is the fifth fret Or this first port on the back to the d I think this is a lie And now we're going to the a chord me notice out Sounds good together This me it clashes a little bit Wouldn't have been right to go to the G So cigarettes like me Here we are the a chord And then back to open I want was lost to the g core. Now I'm back to Was that opening in? But now a cord I see and then back to open So I'm gonna play through one more time Just calling out the changes open Amazing Grace How g cool, sweet, open this'll wretch like seventh Fret or bake or me I opened once was lost Fifth corps or army in the fifth Fret or the G chord Now I'm open was lying open again But now seven i and then backed open sea So when I say seven, I'm talking about the a chord When I say five I'm talking about the G chord Well, I say open. I'm talking about the d chord. That is how you play the mandolin in open d tuning. So you have a great day. God bless you. I will see in the next video where I will tell you how to make your project for this class thief, Yeah. 4. Course 1 Video 4: Theo was willing Mix and I'm here was skill Schaer teaching you how play the mandolin in open D tuning or what's also known as Dead Man's tuning. It's called Dead Man's tuning because of an old song called Shaving a Dead Man. But some people refer to it as Bonaparte's retreat tuning because it was also the tuning for a song called Bonaparte's Retreat that was very popular. I'm not technically in Dead man's tuning cause Dead Man's tuning is traditionally D d a. D. Today I'm in 80 a. D, which is a great old fiddle tuning that you can also play those same songs on it just gives you a little bit more variety. So today we're gonna talk about your project for this class. The project that I want you to work on in this class is very simple. I want you to videotape yourself tuning air mandolin. I want you to tune it to a d a. Let me play it again. So if you are tuning in, you can hear it around both e strings have to be tuned together. That was a little bit out, Theo Strong A couple times thing here is I would like to see you play your G core by barring fifth. Fred, I'd like to see you play your a chord by barring the seventh fret Or I would like to see you play your G chord. Using this court form on, I'd like to see play Yugi Court using or you're a chord using this court for on Then I want to hear you play Amazing Grace. It doesn't matter if you can sing it, You can sing it if you want to, or you could just play through the chord changes if you want to So you're gonna Your video will start off with you tuning your mandolin, playing the different court forms and then playing through amazing grace. So that's it. You guys have a great day and I'm looking forward to seeing your videos and hearing more from you. If you want more information, you can always do it. Which is willing medics dot com. My name is spelled w I l l. Why am I in i x dot com and you can also check out my books if you need to, because there's a lot of information and a lot of other songs in there that you can learn how to play. But on my website, I think I if you scroll through the archives, you'll find PDS of songs. You'll find other links to videos that explain a lot of this stuff and just mawr mawr information that you can get involved with and give more detail about. So God bless you. You have a great day and I'll catch you later on down the road, Theo.