I always like the look on someones face when they learn that I am the author of "Mandolin For Dummies". The first response is usually laughter as they think it is a joke, but when they realize that I am serious, they tend to have a look of bewilderment. I can't tell you how many times people have said "I have never actually met a "Dummies" author before." Which is then followed by something like "I did not think there were real people that wrote those books." Well there are and if you have ever owned one, you know they are well thought out practical reference manuals on a variety of topics, which is why they are wildly popular around the world. They simply have a winning formula and I was lucky enough to be chosen to write "the book" on mandolin. Based on the success of "Mandolin For Dummies" I was hired to put together a second book of exercises entitled, yes you guessed it "Mandolin Exercises For Dummies."  I have signed copies available that I will personally bring to the post office and send to you in the US Mail. You can get these books for a little less money from amazon (which is still fine by me) but by ordering a signed copy directly from me, you can be sure that a larger cut is going directly to the author.  

Don Julin

Mandolin For Dummies

Mandolin For Dummies (signed by author)
  • Mandolin For Dummies (signed by author)
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Over 400 pages of mandolin goodness make this one of the best selling mandolin books of all time. An introduction to the mandolin along with sections on playing the mandolin in a variety of styles, purchasing and caring for your mandolin, and even mandolin players past and present to listen to are all covered. Every song and exercise is demonstrated with ninety one downloadable audio tracks. See why the mandolin is the prince of all stringed instruments.

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Mandolin For Dummies Audio Tracks

Customer Reviews

“This is the best mandolin book ever written. It starts right at the beginning and moves forwards to other styles, influences from other countries and players. It gives us tunes, chords, rhythms, different techniques, some theory about different modes all written in a step by step logical way, that is interesting and sometimes funny and, unlike some music books very easy to read.” 


“In my opinion, Mandolin for Dummies simply is the best overall instruction book for mandolin available today. It goes beyond the beginner level to provide a general introduction to numerous styles of mandolin playing. I love that it is not just one more bluegrass book, but introduces the player to ragtime, jazz, Irish, Brazilian, and Dawg music as well. Chapter 7 on playing "Jethro Burns"-style 3 finger chords takes the mystery (and the misery) out of learning a gazillion different chord shapes. There is also great material on rhythm, theory, scales, right hand techniques like tremolo, advice on mandolin purchase and care, etc. This is just a great book at a great price. At almost 400 pages, I have been working through it for several months now, and have still not made it to the end.” 


“I have not normally been a fan of the ".. Dummies" series (I have generally found them to be verbose but not containing a lot of information), but I love this book. I first got turned onto it after watching some of the author's instructional videos on YouTube. Perhaps one of the best thing about the book is how it covers a wide variety of musical genres and how they apply to the mandolin. From my experience I have found that the old time fiddle tunes are easiest to learn and the book discusses those as well as how you can expand on the basic tunes to play bluegrass style. Once you get more comfortable with improvising on tones and rhythms you will perhaps be ready to experiment with jazz or blues.” 


“The provided internet link to the 91 audio tracks is great. I have just picked up the mandolin in past 3 or 4 weeks after playing guitar for years. Track 69 is a full demo of the chords and melody for "O Sole Mio" Italian Love Song and Track 70 is "Come Back to Sorrento" which gets you thinking of a fine Italian restaurant. Best part I could play all the mandolin chords and melody lines after about 2 hrs of practicing along with the tracks! I also really liked the full tab and chords for "Wayfarin' Stranger" on Track 40. I struggled for 3 weeks to try to figure out this tune by watching Youtube lessons but could not capture the nice double stops used. My wife even said I sounded pretty good on that mandolin. Thanks for very useful instruction book. Highly recommended.” 


“Don wrote a great introduction to the Mandolin. It is a complete tool kit to get from holding the Mando to cross-picking 'grass licks. For those who aren't familiar with Don Julin, he is an accomplished musician who has played with the greats and recorded some wonderful music.”

Mandolin Exercises For Dummies

Mandolin Exercises For Dummies Audio Tracks

Customer Reviews

“Every mandolinist should own this. Unless you are Chris Thile. If you aren't, order it.” 

“Gave me ideas on different exercises I would have never thought of. Buy this book no matter what your experience level. 

Outstanding product. Great work by Don Julin again. Excellent companion for the Mandolin for Dummies book. A must have for the serious mandolinist.” 

“A great deal of really useful, accessible information. I am interested in improvising and this book is perfect for building the infrastructure needed. I find it inspirational. Don has a lot of information on the internet, both free and subscription.” 

“Full of useful practice tips.I use the right hand picking exercises everyday and find that my tone is really improving.” 

“Great resource. If you're looking for instant magic, look elsewhere. If you're looking to learn the instrument, this an excellent resource?” 

“Another phenomenal book by Don Julin, loaded with numerous scales and exercises that help your fingers become stronger and work more independently! I highly recommend this book for any serious mandolinist.”