The ToneWay® Project: helping people play music


Get Started Plus!
From zero to playing fluently by ear

Core Songs Edition
Featuring 100 big print songs with chords, hints & history

  • Second Edition
  • Pages: 150
  • Size: 8½″×11″×½″
  • Binding: paperback or coil-bound, your choice

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The book teaches you how to sing and strum ten traditional songs using just a handful of chords. You also learn to ‘pick’ (play melodies) by ear with the ToneWay Picking Patterns, unique to our Method. More importantly, however, you build the skill of playing music by ear. This means that before you know it, you'll be able to strum and pick any song you can sing, in any key, without practicing it beforehand. (This makes playing music with other folks so much more fun!)

Core Songs Edition

We've hand-picked 100 songs; some of the best and most commonly heard. You get all these great features from Big Print Songs:

  • Generous 20-point (big!) type, one song per page
    • You can read it from the floor!
  • Listen to every song for free on our web site
  • Alphabetical order
  • Jammability and speed hints
  • Background information, notes, and history for each song
  • Chords in "1-4-5 notation" make playing in any key a cinch
    • This simple system is explained in the book if you're not already familiar
  • Optional stay-flat coil binding

Optional Companion CD


The Get Started Companion CD was designed specifically for our step-by-step program. Full band recordings of the ten songs in the Get Started program, plus simple/slow tracks (in two keys) for many of the songs. Check it out.

What people are saying…

“I have been trying to teach myself mandolin for 7 years, and average
buying one book a year. Get Started is the best book yet! It was
obviously written by people who care about
the reader actually learning something.”
Bill Herzog, Rogue River, OR
(read more quotes)

Complete list of Core Songs

Each of these songs has a corresponding Song Clip which you can listen to by clicking the link. Also, band versions of all 100 of these songs can be found in the Core Songs CD Series.

  1. All the Good Times are Past and Gone
  2. Angel Band
  3. Are You Tired of Me My Darling
  4. Banjo Picking Girl
  5. Banks of the Ohio
  6. Black-Eyed Susie
  7. Bring Back My Blue Eyed Boy to Me
  8. Bring Back to Me My Wandering Boy
  9. Bury Me Beneath the Willow
  10. Cindy
  11. Columbus Stockade Blues
  12. Corrina
  13. Cowboy Jack
  14. Crawdad Song
  15. Darling Cory
  16. Darling Nelly Gray
  17. Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down
  18. Don’t This Road Look Rough & Rocky
  19. Down Among the Budded Roses
  20. Down in the Valley
  21. Down in the Willow Garden
  22. Dream of a Miner’s Child
  23. Drifting Too Far from the Shore
  24. East Virginia
  25. Fair and Tender Ladies
  26. Girl I Loved in Sunny Tennessee
  27. Give Me the Roses
  28. Going to Georgia
  29. Ground Hog
  30. Handsome Molly
  31. Hard Times Come Again No More
  32. Hold Fast to the Right
  33. Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand
  34. Hot Corn, Cold Corn
  35. I Am a Pilgrim
  36. I Never Will Marry
  37. In the Pines
  38. Jesse James
  39. John Hardy
  40. John Henry
  41. Johnson Boys
  42. Just Over in the Glory Land
  43. Late Last Night
  44. Leaning on the Everlasting Arms
  45. Life’s Railway to Heaven
  46. Little Bessie
  47. Little Birdie
  48. Little Log Cabin in the Lane
  49. Little Maggie
  50. Lonesome Road Blues
  51. Lonesome Valley
  52. Long Journey Home
  53. Lord I’m Coming Home
  54. Man of Constant Sorrow
  55. May I Sleep in Your Barn Tonight Mister?
  56. Meet Me by the Moonlight
  57. Midnight on the Stormy Deep
  58. Molly and Tenbrooks
  59. More Pretty Girls Than One
  60. My Home’s Across the Blue Ridge Mts.
  61. My Native Home
  62. New River Train
  63. Nine Pound Hammer
  64. Oh Susanna
  65. Oh Those Tombs
  66. Old Joe Clark
  67. On Top of Old Smoky
  68. Palms of Victory
  69. Pass Me Not
  70. Paul and Silas
  71. Precious Memories
  72. Pretty Polly
  73. Rabbit in the Log
  74. Rain and Snow
  75. Red Rocking Chair
  76. Reuben’s Train
  77. Rocky Island
  78. Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms
  79. Roving Gambler
  80. Rye Whiskey
  81. Sad and Lonesome Day
  82. Sally Ann
  83. Shady Grove
  84. She’ll Be Comin’ ‘Round the Mountain
  85. Short Life of Trouble
  86. Sittin’ on Top of the World
  87. Standing in the Need of Prayer
  88. Stepstone
  89. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
  90. Take this Hammer
  91. This World Is Not My Home
  92. Water Bound
  93. Waves on the Sea
  94. When the Bees Are in the Hive
  95. Where the Soul of Man Never Dies
  96. Who Will Sing for Me
  97. Wild Bill Jones
  98. Will You Miss Me
  99. Working on a Building
  100. Worried Man Blues