Books and multi-media resources for Bouzouki & Octave Mandolin Players.

Books on the bouzouki

"The Irish Bouzouki"
by Niall O'Callanain and Tommy Walsh
Waltons Manufacturing Ltd., 2-5 North Frederick Street, Dublin 1, Ireland
Waltons Music Inc., P.O.Box 1505, Westfield MA 01086, USA

contains basic chord charts for GDAD and ADAD tunings, some backgrounds on the instruments, short biographies of the most prominent players, and example tunes from their various styles.
There is a tape available with these tunes, and it really helps you to get your money's worth out of this book.

"Exploring the Bouzouki"
by Jim Cowdery
Front Hall Records, FHR BP-1001 (Book and Cassette).

This booklet covers playing of tunes in GDAE tuning, so it is probably more useful for those playing the octave-mandola. But it also covers backgrounds of the instrument and useful hints on right-hand technique.
This one also has a cassette with the tunes and examples.

"Road to Rembetika"
by Gail Holst
Published by Anglo-Hellinic Publishers

covers the history of the Greek bouzouki and its music, the rembetika. Informative, but not too relevant if you want to play Irish music on the instrument.

(As far as I know it's out of print - try a library)

(If anybody knows about other books that might be useful for bouzouki players, I'd like to hear about them. Mail me at the below address)

Multi-media resources:


"Bouzouki CD-ROM Tutorial"
by Gerry McKee
Produced by

Covers tune accompaniment in GDAE tuning. Good explanations on various rhythms.

Description from the MadforTrad website:
"Learn to play the bouzouki with our CD ROM bouzouki tutorial. Bouzouki instruction is provided by our bouzouki tutor Gerry McKee, of Nomos fame. Video and audio files combine with music notation, text and photos to make the learning process as easy as possible. Gerry McKee is a true innovator in the tradition of Irish-bouzouki playing. His style is rhythm driven with a strong emphasis on bass runs and substitute chords. Included in Gerry's many teaching invitations are, the Masters Degree in Traditional Music Performance at University College Limerick, and at the Blas Festival held on the same campus. The tutorial caters for all levels from the absolute beginner to very advanced players. The tutorial also includes a performance piece and an interview with the tutor."


"Learn to Play the Irish Bouzouki"
Taught by Zan McLeod
Produced by Homespun Tapes.

Everything you always wanted to know about using the bouzouki for Irish music, in GDAD tuning of course.

Quote from their website:
"One of the Celtic music world's most talented bouzouki players, accompanists and arrangers, has created a lesson that is comprehensive enough to be of great value to beginners and experienced players alike."

"The Mandolin and Bouzouki of Tim O'Brien"
(Playing Celtic, Bluegrass and Contemporary Songs)
Taught by Tim O'Brien
Produced by Homespun Tapes.

Melody and chord-based accompaniment in GDAE tuning. Simple but effective chord shapes, and clear explanation of right-hand techniques.

Quote from their website:
"Tim OíBrienís course will be a boon to mandolin and bouzouki (octave mandolin) players who want to improve their technique, develop ideas and learn new repertoire, whether itís an Irish slip jig, an old time mountain ballad, a bluegrass tune or an original country/pop song."

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