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Mike Marshall Releases Mandocello J.S. Bach Cello Suite No. 1, BWV 1007


Three-time Grammy-nominated mandolinist and ArtistWorks instructor, Mike Marshall is not only a master of the mandolin but of a variety of stringed instruments including the guitar, fiddle, and mandocello. On July 26, 2021, Mike once again solidified his status as a master of the strings when he released his latest album performing the entirety of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007 unaccompanied on the mandocello.


While Mike may be most often associated with the bluegrass genre (and is a bluegrass mandolin instructor here at ArtistWorks), he is no stranger to a vast array of performance styles and techniques. In addition to sharing the stage with fellow bluegrass giants like David Grisman, Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer, Béla Fleck, Darol Anger, and more, Mike has also recorded several albums in the Brazilian Choro style and has performed countless classical masterpieces with his wife, fellow mandolin virtuoso and ArtistWorks instructor, Caterina Lichtenberg. So, the release of this new rendition of Bach’s Cello Suite was not Mike’s first plunge into the classical realm.


I had always wanted to dive deep into this work by Johann Sebastian Bach and this past year of pandemic madness finally gave me the time,” Mike stated when asked about the new record in an interview with popular music blog Mandolin Café. “It also seemed like the music resonated with the uncertainty of all of life during these past months. It put me in the right frame of mind and was pretty much about all I was able to play.”


Some of you may be wondering, “what is a mandocello?” A mandocello is a baritone instrument of the mandolin family and features a larger body, longer neck, extended scale length, and a deeper, lower tuning compared to its petite counterpart. Like a mandolin, the mandocello has eight strings paired in four sets of two. The strings in each pair are tuned in unison and each pair is separated from the next by the interval of a fifth. However, unlike the mandolin, the mandocello is tuned down from G to low C. In essence, the mandocello is to the mandolin as the cello is to the violin.


I‘m playing my beloved mandocello in this recording built by the great luthier John Monteleone,” Mike explains. “It’s tuned just like the cello (CGDA).”


Mike’s masterful mandocello performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007 can be downloaded and purchased directly from Mike’s Bandcamp page.



Have you always wanted to learn how to play bluegrass mandolin? Through our comprehensive online mandolin lessons and Video Exchange Learning platform here at ArtistWorks, you can learn from internationally renowned players, like Mike Marshall, and get personalized feedback on your playing.


Mike’s course starts with the basics and teaches everything from beginner mandolin to advanced performance techniques and tunes. So, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player, all levels are welcome and all students will grow and improve their skills as mandolin players and musicians!


Try out some free sample music lessons here and see what makes ArtistWorks courses some of the best online music lessons around!



ArtistWorks Music Series Podcast: Mike Marshall - Overcoming Musical Obstacles

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Mandolin Lesson: How to Hold the Mandolin with Mike Marshall




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