Mandolin Instruction-- Materials and Transcriptions by Debora Chen
Standard Notation for the Tab-Addicted Mandolinist-Mandolin Instruction-Testimonials
                (Reviews from Mike Marshall, Don Stiernberg, Tony Williamson)

Sample Customer Testimonials:                        

from beginners, and notation-fluent musicians new to mandolin:

    "I love your book as it is very informative and is teaching me things I did not understand. The exercises are brilliant and easy to understand, even for beginners like myself. Please put me on your mailing list for your new book as you know what you are doing and I am sure it will be good. Many thanks and all the best from the UK." -- Tony Marshall

    "I already read notation but, because I've had several teachers on several clefs with several instruments in several cities, well, there's been a lot that I've never been taught or that has fallen through the cracks...
    I would highly recommend this book to anyone who already reads notation as it will logically take one through playing the mandolin. The practice tips provide good advice (along with whatnot to do - ouch! I can identify with too many of the "do not" tips!And some of these tips I've never been told before, yet they make so much sense!)
    I must have a million music books - some are 4 times the size of this one - yet I can see immediately that this will be the most useful music book I've ever purchased!"--
Jill G., California

    "I received your book a few days ago and it has been immediately helpful to me.  I was having difficulty learning to read notation on the mandolin because I had previously taught myself classical guitar and my brain kept insisting on reading the notes as if I was fretting a guitar.  Your exercises have helped my brain finally make the switch to mandolin.  I also like the pieces in which I have to jump from string to string because they provide great practice for my right hand.  All in all, after only a few days, I have already made great strides in reading. 
    I bought Marilyn Mair's book  'The Complete Mandolinist' before I bought yours and became incredibly discouraged because she assigns so little time to learning the basics before she plunges into scales and complex arpeggios.  On the other hand, some books I looked at were way too simplistic and tedious.  You have a very good sense of how to move the student along at a pace that feels encouraging without being overwhelming. 
Thanks for a great book." -- Laurie D.,  New York

    "Thanks for the fast shipping of SNFTAM.  I received it yesterday and have already started working through it.  It is exactly what I hoped it would be and more.  I can already read standard notation but my problem has been knowing where to find the notes on the fretboard, when to keep fingers down, which fingers to use to play which notes, knowing when to move to an adjacent string, etc.  The book is answering all of this for me.  I appreciate that the exercises are not overly complicated, yet after just a couple of hours I found myself not having to look at my hands all the time to find out where I was.  Thanks for such a great book."  --
Mark G., Georgia

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  from experienced trad mandolinists new to standard notation:
    "'Standard Notation for the Tab Addicted Mandolinist' is the first music instruction book I have ever finished cover to cover. What a great book, what a great program this was!... Straight up, your book is the real deal. I never thought I'd be reading as well as I do now...I go through my song books and I pick out something that looks complex, and in 20 minutes I have it decoded. In an hour I'm playing through it slowly start to finish. Just two months ago, it would have taken me two days just to do the decoding. At that rate, it would be a couple of weeks before I'd be able to play it start to finish!
    Now I'm psyched to know that I'll be playing Bach next!" --
Mitchel G., New Jersey

    "I love the tab addicted book. It has really helped me sight read. I'm now sight reading musical notation for about 80% of the stuff I'm practicing. I am really enjoying your work. Keep it coming!" --
Walt W., New Jersey

    "Finally,a clear way to 'see' the mandolin fretboard in terms of standard notation. I never realized tab was so limiting with respect to patterns and repetition. Debora's book provides a clear method for learning the mandolin patterns that repeat up the fretboard. I've tried to learn 'music' so many times I've lost count, but snftam finally gave me a way to do it constructively that I haven't quit! Thanks for caring, Debora, and helping me deal with my 'addiction'.
    I really feel like you've nailed my mando personality (and surely many others): addicted to tab yet unaware of the real shortcomings inherent to tablature and similarly unaware of the beauty of standard and how helpful it can be in your playing. Somehow your approach/method captures my attention where other methods of learning did not.  Truly, thank you. Wish you were closer so I could do a workshop!"--
Chris B., Virginia

    "I wanted to tell you how happy I am with your materials. I've tried a number of guides in the past but not with any real success. The key for me was your advice... I've been dividing my time between your materials and some simple Celtic tunes and avoiding tabs en toto. I'm leaving for a two week vacation but I'm packing my RISA Solid travel mando and your book."--
Dan H., Pennsylvania

    "The notation book is terrific. Concise, logical, and best of all explains why the exercises are set up as they are."--
Richard K., Connecticut

    "It is sort of an interesting situation in that tab can be used to identify fingerings or at least suggest them... in your book you accomplish the same thing... and do it one better by creating the foundation for proper positional playing so the fingerings become self-evident. Nicely done." --
Ian M., Michigan

    "Just a quick note to let you know that I am really enjoying your Standard Notation Book. I have been playing mandolin for over 30 years now and reading music has always been somewhat difficult. I have been using your 15 minutes a day for a week on each section idea and I can honestly say that I see real progress."--
Alan E., Michigan

    "I have been trying to learn to read music for about 3 years so I knew a little before I started, but I have to say that it is your book that has brought me out of the darkness... after 3 years of doubt, I finally have the sense that I can actually do it. Thanks again and if you decided to do vol. 2, let me know."--
L.S., Massachusetts

    "I've never seen reading music explained in quite this way before, and having seen it, I can't imagine why!  Thanks for an excellent, original approach."-- Steve S., Queensland, Australia

"I thought I had seen every book like this, but yours is head and shoulders above anything else available. Thank you for putting together the best thought out music book... Every new mandolin student should begin with this book. They won't need anything else. I rarely use TAB unless there was nothing else. TAB was/is very limiting.  The logic and quick progress makes it very enjoyable to practice.  I hope you sell a million of them."-- Rich S., Tennessee

"I wanted to pass along a quick note that your book traveled with me on vacation to Tanzania... I understand that my not-so-successful efforts in the past didn't involve enough repetition.  And now that I'm a little more patient with my plodding learning curve, I'm continuing to make good tab-free progress."--
Dan H., Pennsylvania