How to play JAZZ on the mandolin

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Mack the Knife

Louis Armstrong jazz

Learn Your First Jazz Tune

Mack The Knife


It is good to start with easy tunes with very few chords.  Start with Mack the Knife

Louis Armstrong Sings it here     



1) Learn the Melody by ear.  Sing it, then play it.

2)  Print out the PDF file here.  The PDF file has 2 slightly different simplified chord progressions, chord voicings for all chords and arpeggios for those chords.

3) Learn the chords to progression 1.  Notice the two chords are G6 and D7.  Learn the chords.  Sing the melody with the chords.

4)  When you are ready to try improvising, watch and follow this video. 




A Band in a Box play along files for this tune are here

Best of luck and have fun learning Jazz!

Django Reinhardt Jazz


Instructional Material

Getting Started

Common Tunes


Play Alongs

Chord Melody


Jazz Music Theory


Band in a Box Files for Jazz tunes

Free Jazz Mandolin Instruction Books



Instruction Videos


Performance Videos


Dexter Gordon Jazz

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