View RSS Feed


Mandolin Mondays #329 w/ Special Guest Rainer Zellner

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
This week on Mandolin Mondays we're joined by German mandolinist and bluegrass promoter Rainer Zellner, playing a beautiful solo version of "Flowers of Edinburgh' with his Northfield Big Mon mandolin.

Rainer started playing music in the early 70s on guitar when folk music caught his attention. It did not take long until he switched to mandolin for Bluegrass music. In the mid 80s Rainer wrote and published "Das Mandolinenbuch,“ the first ever Folk music mandolin instruction book in German, covering Bluegrass, Old-time and Celtic music as well as detailed technique and background on the instrument. He also recorded a mix of Bluegrass and Celtic tunes in his personal style on "Cold Frosty Morning“ (a Cassette/CD and transcription book) in the late 80s with players from those genres.

For a bit more than two years Rainer went out on the road with various projects but decided to pursue other elements of the music business. He never stopped teaching and performing, but on a much slower level. His main activity for the last 30 years has been booking tours in Germany and other European countries for all sorts of "World“ music. With some of the best US bluegrass bands on solo tours and the well known annual "Bluegrass Jamboree - Festival of Bluegrass & Americana Music“ which he MCs and join in the grande finale.

As booking is slowing down these days, teaching goes up and he enjoys getting back to that part of musical activity more and more. Teaching personal on camps and workshops. He currently performs regularly with a group called "die Croonies,“ playing wild chansons from Berlin’s 20s cultural underground era along classic swing standards from the US. Check out their music here:

Here's a word from Rainer about this video, "I think some Fiddle tunes sometimes are played too fast to really appreciate their charming melodies. That is why I came up with this arrangement. I started playing bluegrass music on mandolin in the late 70s, but also toured with an Irish music band for a while. The beauty of Celtic melodies which would not really need chord instruments to accompany them was what I liked about that style most. You need a good ringing tone on your mandolin to make that work. I have developed the arrangement on my vintage Gibsons round-hole A and Fs, but as I have acquired a Red Spruce Big Mon Northfield recently, I gave it a chance to show what an F-5 can do with the tune."

Be sure to connect with Rainer at the following links below for more information about his music:

And as always, tune in next week for more Mandolin Mondays! Until then...

Happy Picking!

Submit "Mandolin Mondays #329 w/ Special Guest Rainer Zellner" to Facebook Submit "Mandolin Mondays #329 w/ Special Guest Rainer Zellner" to Twitter Submit "Mandolin Mondays #329 w/ Special Guest Rainer Zellner" to MySpace Submit "Mandolin Mondays #329 w/ Special Guest Rainer Zellner" to Yahoo Submit "Mandolin Mondays #329 w/ Special Guest Rainer Zellner" to Google Submit "Mandolin Mondays #329 w/ Special Guest Rainer Zellner" to StumbleUpon Submit "Mandolin Mondays #329 w/ Special Guest Rainer Zellner" to Submit "Mandolin Mondays #329 w/ Special Guest Rainer Zellner" to Digg


  1. Todd Bowman's Avatar
    Absolutely beautiful, Rainer! Thank you for sharing!!
  2. Larry Mossman's Avatar
    Thx for the cool arrangement of that old chestnut..!
    I couldn't agree more with regard to appreciating melodies when played at different or slower tempos...
  3. Chuck Leyda's Avatar
    Great arrangement!
  4. Hendrik Ahrend's Avatar
    Nicely played, dear Rainer.
  5. grassrootphilosopher's Avatar
    Very nice Rainer, and sooo entirely different from how I would/do play it.

    Hope to see you this year at the you know where, and maybe we´ll play both your and my take. It´ll be fun.
  6. EvanElk's Avatar
    beautiful arrangement and playing!
  7. Alfons's Avatar
    Very nice, and I agree that many tunes benefit from a more relaxed tempo that allows one to enjoy the melody. Not that I don't also admire and enjoy some pedal to the metal playing. Thanks for sharing this one!