by Nicola Swinburne
A chance for mandolin players to learn techniques to
play Italian folk melodies. The class will review simple picking techniques
for playing single-line music and how to develop an effective tremolo
that can convey the emotion of the music. We'll review
how to get the greatest dynamic contrasts out of the mandolin including
piano vs. forte, staccato and legato, and how to use glissando. We'll
be using these techniques
to play one or two Italian love songs in harmony.
Some knowledge of reading staff notation is useful as well as basic knowledge
- Part 1
What are the essential elements in Italian mandolin music and why does
it sound so different from bluegrass? We will listen to some recordings
and analyze what makes that typical Italian sound then see how it can
be produced on the mandolin. Recognize crescendos, glissandos and cadenzas.
In Part 1 of this class, we will review how to hold the mandolin, pick
single notes in the classical style and develop a tremolo.
Part 1 would suit all mandolin players from beginners to advanced. Reading
music is not required.
- Part 2
Learn how to develop the typical Italian tremolo and when to use it to
mimic the sound of the human voice. The class includes several exercises
for building a good tremolo that sounds pure, controlled and smooth.
Using this technique, will play some Italian songs in two or three
Attending Part 1 is useful.
Nicola Swinburne is a teacher of Italian and classical
mandolin in San Francisco at the Community Music Center in the Mission
District and at her home studio in Noe Valley. She teaches both individual
lessons and an ensemble class. She performs regularly in a variety of
small ensembles with harp, guitar, piano and other mandolins. She recorded
a CD of arranged classical, operatic and folk pieces with harpist Mitch
Landy called Serenata.